Arden Hills mayor running unchallenged


Arden Hills Mayor David Grant stands next to a crane being used by a construction crew on Lexington Avenue. He is running unopposed for a third term this fall. photo: Solomon Gustavo

David Grant has been on the Arden Hills City Council since 2000 and has been mayor since 2010. 

Two terms in, Grant filed to run for a third, and in August, the filing deadline passed without anyone else joining the race. 

On a sunny mid-August day perfect for anything, Grant sat in an Arden Hills coffee shop, admiring the cranes turning in the clear sky and the construction of hotel suites at Lexington Avenue and Interstate 694. 

“I feel like we accomplished a lot,” said Grant of his time as mayor so far. He said he feels the city has been financially responsible under his watch, keeping taxes low while maintaining the city’s infrastructure and look. 

Grant and the city’s approach ushered Arden Hills through the national housing market crash in 2008 and the ensuing economic downturn, maintaining higher housing values than any other city in the county, he said. 

And that same financial approach lead the city through developing the 427-acre Rice Creek Commons project at the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site, a gargantuan economic undertaking Arden Hills partnered with Ramsey County to tackle. 

In 2010, Arden Hills had a three-way mayoral race in which every contender was named Dave — Grant said a city joke at the time was to predict that Dave would be mayor — and the city had a large, valuable and undeveloped area that could be built into anything. 

During his two terms, most of the soil and groundwater issues at TCAAP were largely resolved. The city made what Grant called “long shot” bids at making the former TCAAP site the new home of either the Minnesota Vikings stadium or Amazon.com, before settling down on the Rice Creek conceit of mixed residential and commercial construction. 

Closing out 2018, Grant, the Dave who won in 2010, is still mayor and has no challengers for a third term. And the Rice Creek Commons project — though the city recently hit a rough patch in its partnership with Ramsey County — is a specific way forward. 

“It took a lot of work” said Grant, who says residents are excited to see what the future holds for the Rice Creek Commons project as it comes together, and what that means for the future of the city. 

Grant said he and others at the city are aware that there might be a split between old Arden Hills and new Arden Hills, caused by the large new development.

“We don’t want separate cities,” he said, noting that council members and city staff are very cognisant of the issue, and have worked to connect and integrate existing Arden Hills with new development areas by building trails and viewing any new addition to the city as an amenity for everyone. 

Assuming he’s re-elected this fall, Grant’s third term will begin next year.

 

– Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here