The City of Arden Hills is located in the northwest corner of Ramsey County and eight miles from the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The city borders Roseville, Shoreview, Mounds View and New Brighton cities. Bordering roads include Interstate 35W (west), Lexington Avenue (east), County Road I (north) and County Road D (south). Arden Hills occupies 9.6 square miles and is home to approximately 10,000 residents, seven lakes, 15 parks and 15 miles of trails.
City Namesake and Incorporation
The name of the city is said to have come from billionaire Senator Joseph Hackney's hobby farm, Arden Farms. Hackney started the farm within the city limits back in 1906. Charles Perry, for whom Perry Park was named, ran a small potato farm adjacent to Lake Johanna in the 1850s. Lake Johanna sits at the southern end of the city and has been a popular location for swimming, fishing and boating since the late 1800s.
At one time, the city's geographic topography consisted of several hills formed by glaciers. In fact, the highest point in Ramsey County is a geologic kame located within the boundaries of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant with an elevation of 1,100-plus feet.
The city was originally part of Mounds View Township. When the township was organized, it included the present Shoreview, Arden Hills, New Brighton, Mounds View and parts of North Oaks and St. Anthony. Arden Hills was incorporated on February 14, 1951, in response to New Brighton's request for annexation of the area. Over the next 20 years the boundaries of the city were formed through other annexation deals and land trades, forming the city as it currently exists.
Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP)
In 1941 the Federal government purchased 2,530 acres of farmland, approximately one third of the city, for the establishment of an ammunition manufacturing site. At its peak during World War II, the arsenal employed 26,000 people, who produced four billion rounds of ammunition at the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. In 1994 the U.S. Army formally declared 585 acres of this land in the southwest corner as excess, 427 acres for private redevelopment and the remainder for green space and other local public use. The City Council and staff have been negotiating a master development agreement with Ramsey County and Alatus LLC to create a mixed-use development, referred to as Rice Creek Commons, on these excess acres. The remaining 1,785 acres continue to be used by the Minnesota Army National Guard and the Army Reserve as a training site.
Arden Hills experienced rapid growth from 1970-1979, during which a total of 1,065 new housing units were constructed. This is about one third of the present number of housing units in the city. Arden Hills is also home to two major corporations, Boston Scientific and Land O' Lakes. The direct access to highways and county roads makes the city an ideal location for both business and residents. The city is also home to Bethel University and Northwestern University (partially within city limits). Mounds View High School is also located within the city.
The proposed TCAAP redevelopment/Rice Creek Commons is expected to increase the city's housing stock by nearly 1,500 units and its population by approximately 40 percent over the next 15-20 years.