Community Planning & Economic Development
Contact: Rose Lindsay, communications (W) 612.673.5015 (C) 612.250.8661

City, Park Board Select Development Team to Pursue Redevelopment of Upper Harbor Terminal Site

Friday, January 27, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) - The City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) have selected a master developer team to work with them to pursue redevelopment of the 48-acre City-owned Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) site. The selection was approved by the City Council on January 13 and by the MPRB on January 25, and the Mayor of Minneapolis has concurred with both actions.

The team selected as master developer is led by United Properties and also includes THOR Development and First Avenue Productions. All three of the partners are local firms with extensive experience and capacity that were key factors in their selection.

“I am very excited to work with United Properties, THOR and First Avenue as their redevelopment concept for Upper Harbor takes form,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for North Minneapolis with much yet to be done, so the community should and will continue to be fully involved in what happens at Upper Harbor. I look forward to the day when the residents of North Minneapolis have full access to the beautiful riverfront, world-class amenities, and the many economic opportunities that this redevelopment has the potential for.”

“The Upper Harbor Terminal site represents an unprecedented opportunity to unlock public riverfront access in North Minneapolis,” said MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller. “We are thrilled to keep moving forward in our mission to provide equitable access to Minneapolis’ world-class environmental resources.”

“This is a well-known, highly regarded development team that has provided us with an exciting vision for the Upper Harbor,” said Council President Barbara Johnson, “I look forward to the opportunities this project will bring for North Minneapolis.”

“I’m impressed that three highly regarded local companies have banded together to try and get this complicated project started; if anyone can succeed they will!” said Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman, Chair of the Minneapolis Community Development & Regulatory Services Committee.

The Council and MPRB actions also authorized their staffs to negotiate a three-party exclusive rights agreement with the development team. This agreement will guide the site planning process that the City, MPRB and development team will complete, with community input, to formulate a coordinated plan and implementation strategy. The goal is to transform the site from its previous use as a barge-shipping terminal to a new mixture of riverfront parkland and private development. Once the terms of this exclusive rights agreement are negotiated, City Council and MPRB authorization to execute the agreement will be sought.

The selection of the development team is not an approval of the initial development program that was submitted by the team. These development concepts will be used as a starting point for the site planning process, but extensive community input remains to be completed, and many factors need to be thoroughly evaluated to determine what will actually be feasible and desirable. Future Council and MPRB actions will be needed to approve the actual development plan and a multitude of implementation steps.

The MPRB and City will host a community open house and meeting at which the public may provide input as to what would make the redevelopment equitable and what community engagement approaches should be used for the planning process. This meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 31 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the MPRB headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N., Nokomis Conference Room (first floor). 

From 6:00-7:30 p.m. it will be an open house format where attendees will be able to visit various stations and share their feedback about community engagement and equitable development as well as learn about other MPRB projects and planning initiatives in the Upper River including the North Service Area Master Plan; 26th Avenue N. Overlook and Greenway; Scherer Bros site; RecQuest; Great Northern Greenway, and more. From 7:30-9:00 p.m., discussions about the project will continue as part of the monthly meeting of the Above the Falls Community Advisory Committee. Light refreshments will be provided, and the event will be family-friendly.

For information about the Upper Harbor Terminal site, the January 31 open house, and the request for qualifications process to seek a developer visit the Upper Harbor terminal website.


Published Jan 27, 2017



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