More great news on the N/NE Minneapolis riverfront

The Minneapolis park board recently signed a purchase agreement for the riverfront parcel at 4022 1/2 Washington Avenue North. Located between North Mississippi Regional Park and the Upper Harbor Terminal, the site will someday be a critical link and addition to the Above the Falls Regional Park along the north and northeast Minneapolis stretch of the Mississippi River. 

Great news abounds on the Above the Falls riverfront in north and northeast Minneapolis this month! With the acquisition of a key riverfront property in the works plus a $1 million donation for area park development, progress continues on the public purchase and repurposing of riverfront lands. Additionally, an excellent U of M researcher and Northside resident recently came aboard here at FMR to help compile all the different ways to improve local community connections to the upper riverfront. 

More parks on the way

On January 20th, Minneapolis park board commissioners authorized a purchase agreement for the acquisition of Ramsey Excavating properties, 4022½ and 4050½ Washington Ave. N (map). Located between Upper Harbor Terminal and North Mississippi Regional Park, 4022½ Washington includes 500 linear feet of shoreline and will someday become a key part of the continuous network of parks and trails envisioned in the Above the Falls Master Plan. The 4050½ property is not on the riverfront and will likely be resold (the seller refused to separate it from the sale of the riverfront parcel). 

For the short-term, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) will temporarily move their wood-processing operations to 4022½ Washington from their no-longer viable site near Fort Snelling. Acquisition of surrounding parcels and funding for park development will both be necessary for the long-term transformation of this key parcel into the Above the Falls Regional Park. 

Good news also came on the redevelopment front as General Mills announced plans to donate $3 million dollars to advance development of three riverfront parks. While the largest portion of the gift will go to Water Works Park, a new riverfront activity center near the Stone Arch Bridge close to where General Mills was founded, $1 million is slotted for Above the Falls projects. To help the city complete a new east-west bicycle and pedestrian greenway linking Theodore Wirth Park to the Mississippi River, $850,000 will support a trail connection as well as a riverfront overlook where 26th Avenue North meets West River Parkway. The remaining $150,000 will support park development at the former Scherer Brothers lumberyard site along the river on the east side near Plymouth Avenue. 

Researching better connections

Researcher Eric King will be helping FMR review creative options for improving Northside Minneapolis residents access to riverfront trails and parks.

Finally, this month FMR is pleased to announce that Eric King has joined our team for the spring semester as a research assistant. Eric will be conducting research and compiling plans related to connecting Northside neighborhoods to the Mississippi River. A longtime resident of North Minneapolis, Eric is pursuing a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and comes to FMR through the Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. In addition to his long-term community familiarity, Eric brings experience in research, data analysis, mapping and real estate to this much-needed research review.