MPRB acquires key connection along North Minneapolis riverfront

minneapolis park and recreation

Above the Falls Regional Park

MPRB agrees to purchase key connection along North Minneapolis riverfront

Land sits in between North Mississippi Regional Park and Upper Harbor Terminal

At its Jan. 20, 2016 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners authorized a purchase agreement for the acquisition of 4022 ½ Washington Ave. N and 4050 ½ Washington Ave. N.

The 4022 ½ Washington Ave. N property covers approximately 3.88 acres of land containing more than 500 linear feet of shoreline. Someday that land will become part of the continuous network of parks and trails along Minneapolis’ Upper Riverfront envisioned the Above the Falls Master Plan and RiverFirst Initiative.

“This purchase is a big step forward as we work with our partners to accomplish the exciting vision laid out for the Upper Riverfront,” said MPRB Assistant Superintendent for Planning Michael Schroeder. “In the short-term we can use the land for our own operational needs and help pay down the acquisition cost by renting it to existing private businesses, while working toward the long-term plan of creating dynamic park land and river connections in North Minneapolis. It’s win now, win later.”

Acquiring this piece of North Minneapolis riverfront real estate is vital to developing Above the Falls Regional Park, which covers both sides of Minneapolis’ Upper Riverfront from the Plymouth Avenue Bridge to the Camden Bridge [MAP].

It’s important to distinguish Minneapolis’ regional parks from its network of 160 neighborhood parks. Regional parks like Above the Falls, Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, Minnehaha and Theodore Wirth serve many people from outside Minneapolis and rely on funds from the state, Met Council and other public agencies with broad constituencies to develop and maintain park amenities. Neighborhood parks are smaller, primarily funded by local tax dollars and predominantly serve nearby residents.

The 4022 ½ Washington Ave. N property is a key link in redeveloping the Minneapolis’ Upper Riverfront. The Upper Harbor Terminal site – 48 acres of city-owned land the MPRB and City of Minneapolis are jointly redeveloping – sits one block south, and the southern boundary of North Mississippi Regional Park sits directly north.

The 4050 ½ Washington Ave. N property is not within the Above the Falls Regional Park boundary, but the seller refuses to separate it from the sale of the riverfront parcel. MPRB staff recommends reselling the approximately half-acre parcel of land