Cedar Riverside/West Bank Initiative Page
The Cedar-Riverside/West Bank neighborhood is named after the intersection of the two main avenues of the neighborhood, Cedar and Riverside. The neighborhood is triangular-shaped with three definitive boundaries: the Mississippi River on the east side, Interstate 94 on the south side, and Interstate 35W on the west side. It has high density residential, major institutional employers including three college campuses and a hospital, central location, stations for the Hiawatha and Central Corridor LRT lines, a vibrant commercial district, a thriving arts community, and a diverse population. Additional neighborhood background information may be found at the Cedar Riverside neighborhood profile page.
The Cedar Riverside/West Bank station area is on its way to becoming one of the regions top transit-oriented neighborhoods. Several significant neighborhood improvement projects are underway. Collectively, these projects and related initiatives will make the Cedar Riverside/West Bank neighborhood more livable and transit friendly. Some of these projects are described below and in this media packet. These improvements are generally guided by the Cedar Riverside Small Area Plan which guides land use and development in this neighborhood.
Projects and Partners
Housing Improvement Projects
Riverside Plaza Renovation: In December, 2012, the two-year renovation of the 1303-unit Riverside Plaza campus located near the intersection of Cedar and Riverside Avenues was completed. The $132 million financing package restructured the property’s debt and financed the $65 million renovation. The project included replacing the central heating, air conditioning, and plumbing systems, common area improvements to the site, building exteriors, and energy efficiency improvements such as window repair and replacement. Outcomes of the Riverside Plaza revitalization project included:
- Preserving and improving 1,303 units of affordable housing designed by modernist Minnesota architect Ralph Rapson;
- Creating more than 200 construction jobs, initially reserving 90 for residents of Riverside Plaza and surrounding neighborhoods;
- Improving public safety by investing in security, lighting, sidewalks, signage and way-finding, as well as Safe Zone tactics such as a Safety Center;
- Significantly reducing the Plaza’s energy consumption; and
- Improving the pedestrian and bicycle environments and streetscapes.
Funding partners in the Riverside Plaza renovation include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , Minnesota Housing Finance Agency , the Metropolitan Council , the City of Minneapolis, the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation , and the Family Housing Fund .
Renovation of The Cedars: The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) has completed a $4.2 million renovation of The Cedars, MPHA’s largest campus with 539 affordable housing units located near the intersection of Cedar Avenue and 6th Street South. This project was funded with by HUD with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Federal stimulus funding.
Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT): Access to the West Bank station will be from the Cedar and 19th Avenue bridges. Construction of the platform and access points is currently taking place. Cedar Riverside will be the only local neighborhood to be served by two light rail stations from separate lines, the current Hiawatha Cedar Riverside station and the West Bank Central Corridor station. Projected weekday ridership for the line in 2030 is over 40,000, and the estimated cost of the entire CCLRT project is $957 million.
Riverside Avenue Reconstruction: Riverside Avenue was partially reconstructed in 2011, completion of the project is expected by the end of 2012. Please refer to the project website for additional information and status updates.
Cedar Avenue Improvements: Cedar Avenue is benefitting from a series of improvements being coordinated with the construction of the CCLRT. Hennepin County will be completing a mill and overlay in 2011 and 2012 for the entire corridor, using funds available through the 35W bridge collapse mitigation funds. Hennepin County also redecked the Cedar Avenue bridge that crosses over the CCLRT line and also serves as the access point to the West Bank station - resulting in increased pedestrian space and extending the life of the bridge. The Cedar Ave/Riverside Ave intersection is being upgraded with mitigation funds available through the CCLRT project. And pedestrian and streetscape improvements are planned for Cedar Avenue from the CCLRT station southward to Interstate 94, now funded through Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis.
4th St. S. and 15th Ave. S. Reconstruction: Referred to as the "Riverside Extension" project, 4th St. S. and 15th Ave. S. will be reconstructed as early as 2014. Planning for the project layout is moving forward this year. The project is immediately adjacent to Riverside Plaza and MPHA’s The Cedars, as well as several prime transit oriented development sites. This would effectively extend the improvements accompanying the reconstruction of Riverside Ave westward from its terminus at Cedar to the Hiawatha LRT station.
Pedestrian / Bicycle Improvements: The Nonmotorized Transportation Program administered through Transit for Livable Communities has been tapped to fund a number of bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the Cedar Riverside/West Bank area, including:
- 19th Avenue S/10th Avenue SE
- 20th Avenue S
- 4th Street S/15th Avenue S
- Riverside Avenue (incorporated into reconstruction project)
- 7 Corners intersection improvements
Planning and Implementation Studies
The Cedar Riverside Small Area Plan: TheCedar Riverside Small Area Plan was adopted by the Minneapolis City Council in 2008 and serves as the City's primary policy document for the area. The issues of transportation, land use, housing, and safety are the key components of the plan.
HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant: The City of Minneapolis is participating in a consortium led by the Metropolitan Council which received a $5 million planning grant in October, 2010 from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program to "support planning along the region’s growing network of transit corridors." This grant will support, among other things, community engagement, local implementation capacity, and planning specific to the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line (see Central Corridor Funders Collaborative for more information).
West Bank Station Area Implementation Study: The West Bank Station Area Implementation Study was initiated in wake of the planning around the CCLRT station area to help prioritize the additional infrastructure investments needed to maximize the TOD potential of the area – and more fully explore the development opportunities that exist. This plan was a joint Hennepin County-Minneapolis effort.
Partners and Stakeholders
Joseph Bernard, AICP, Senior Planner, (612) 673-2422
Haila Maze, AICP, Principal Planner, (612) 673-2098