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Public Works
350 South 5th Street
RM 203 City Hall
Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

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Hiawatha Campus Expansion Project

The Hiawatha Campus expansion will allow the City to relocate and consolidate the Public Works Water Distribution Maintenance and Meter Shop operation from three sites to a centrally located facility. The project will replace the existing Water Distribution facility, which is more than 100 years old as well as eliminate non-ADA compliant work spaces for staff.

For more information on the project, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Project Updates

On July 23, 2019, City staff presented an update on the Hiawatha Campus Expansion project to the City Council Ways & Means committee.

Progress Report

The City Council approved the following staff directions on December 7, 2018:

Hiawatha Maintenance Facility Campus Expansion

General project updates as of January 2020:

  1. Property Services secured a contract with Kraus Anderson Construction to provide Construction Management services, and has initiated project cost estimating and construction phasing development.
  2. A project labor agreement (PLA) for this project has been drafted by labor relations and City attorney staff and will be considered by Council in February. A PLA is a document used by the City for larger building projects that ensures cooperation and communication between the building trades and the City throughout the duration of construction.
  3. RSP Architects have completed Master Planning and Programming phases, and have begun the Schematic Design phase. The project will be LEED© gold certified, and design will address the Living Building Challenge and social cost of carbon.
  4. An RFP for design assistance and multi-year property management and programming of the community, retail and business-generator spaces at the new Recruitment and Training Center is in development.
  5. An RFP for consulting engineering to provide a Traffic Demand Management Plan is in development. The TDMP is a standard requirement for Preliminary Development Review and Planning Commission approval. The TDMP will determine the traffic effects of the development, and will also determine mitigation measures the City will undertake.
  6. Six electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at the site, and planning will include the installation of and capacity for many more such stations. Public Works will be increasing the number of electric vehicles used on this site.

  7. Staff Direction 1

    Establishing a Hiawatha Advisory Committee to meet at least every other month starting February 2019 comprised of residents from Little Earth and the area’s neighborhoods, the community economic development sector, local building trades and City unions, the departments of Finance and Property Services, Public Works, CPED, and the City Coordinator’s Division of Sustainability to serve as an advisory group on the planning and implementation of the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility Campus Expansion with an emphasis on the job recruitment and training center. This Advisory Committee shall provide feedback on space requirements, operating scenarios, and potential costs and partnerships to create a structure for the jobs recruitment and training center that provides formal workforce training as well as additional government functions and community empowerment activities that activate ground floor uses during the weekend and evening hours. These services may include, but shall not be limited to:

    • Establishing an office for the Elections and Voter Services division and a Municipal ID issuance office
    • Provide workforce development trainings, resume builder classes, and certification programs
    • Provide ELL, citizenship, and know your rights classes
    • Provide retail and business incubator opportunities as well as support for entrepreneurship activities that meet the needs of the campus and generally align with the Southside Green Zone vision 
    • Provide meeting space for gatherings and events such as community-wide workshops, conferences, or summit

    Update as of January 2020:

    • HAC process completed (meeting notes and recommendations are posted here), design progress is continuing. The new space will have two classrooms, some general community gathering space and business incubator space, and will be able to accommodate early voting activities. The City (F&PS with NCR) is developing an RFP to find a partner to help plan and manage the business generator and community spaces and their uses, and is working with local labor unions on a partnering agreement for management of training activities.The City is developing an RFP to find a partner to help plan and manage the business generator and community spaces and their uses, and is working with local labor unions on a partnering agreement for management of training activities. The RFP will be issued as master leasing services for the non-municipal use of the space with a community group that can coordinate the programming of the space. Staff will issue this RFP early enough in the design process to enable the lessor to provide input in the facility's form and function.

    Staff Direction 2

    Directing Finance and Property Services, Public Works, CPED, and the City Coordinator’s Office to develop a process and plan for community participation in the new facility’s public art, landscaping, sound buffers, and fencing treatments along with the mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of operational activities on the surrounding residential area and the Midtown Greenway. 

    Update as of January 2020:
    • The Public Art Advisory Panel to the Minneapolis Arts Commission has allocated $212,000 to the Hiawatha Campus Expansion for public art. A community-based steering committee will be formed to define community engagement for this project, establish goals, define art opportunities, draft the Call for Artists, and advise the selected artist on the design. An RFP for a Project Manager is in development.
    • Community input with be gathered, as with any new building project, in early 2020, when site design is further along, for input on landscaping, sound buffers and fencing treatments, along with mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of operational activities. The buffer will also be used for storm water management to reduce localized flooding.

    Staff Direction 3

    Directing Public Works and Human Resources to create a jobs recruitment and hiring plan to prioritize the recruitment, training, and employment of Minneapolis residents from within the three-mile radius of the facility. The plan should include resources to enact an outreach plan that partners with local non-profits and utilizes culturally relevant and creative strategies. 

    Update as of January 2020:

    • Public Works and Human Resources are developing a plan for community engagement to support expanded recruitment efforts. Strategies will be listed on this site in 2020.

    Staff Direction 4

    Directing Finance and Property Services to commence the process of establishing a community solar garden including identifying at least 100,000 square feet of available rooftop or canopy space to accommodate solar using a program design to serve low-income households in the surrounding area. 

    Update as of January 2020:

    • The City remains committed to maximizing solar on the rooftops of the Hiawatha expansion facilities and architectural plans for structure of the buildings are underway with this commitment. There are funds available in the future from the sustainability office for City owned solar facilities that will help to make the cost of solar as affordable as possible.

    Staff Direction 5

    Directing Public Works to apply the City’s Complete Streets and Vision Zero policies to perform continued analysis of improvements to 26th Street and 28th Street to improve multimodal mobility and community safety. 

    Update as of January 2020:

    • Public Works has completed a preliminary review of conditions and opportunities to enhance safety and livability. Emphasis remains on pedestrian and bicyclists safety, and calming traffic in the neighborhood.  

    Staff Direction 6

    Approving master plan concept A with the modification that the job recruitment and training facility and associated economic development and community program space will be increased in size and its location will be evaluated in the first quarter of 2019 to maximize community access and activation as well as to leverage additional municipal functions and partnerships with labor groups. 

    Update as of January 2020: 

    • Job recruitment and training facility and associated economic development and community program space has been increased in size and located on the site. Staff from Public Works and Human Resources have been working together to review current recruitment outreach efforts and expand upon the opportunities within the Phillips neighborhood. Public Works and union partners have been meeting to discuss specific programming needs for the recruitment and training facility and will be working collaboratively to advance opportunities for job recruitment and development.

    Staff Direction 7

    Directing CPED to work with the City Coordinator’s Division of Sustainability, the new Southside Green Zone Council, and members of the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute to craft a business plan to launch an urban agriculture pilot project that strengthens the local food system, creates green jobs, and addresses racial inequities. The business plan should include identifying the type of technical assistance needed, feasible locations, start-up funds required, an implementation timeline, necessary partnerships, among other key facets. Staff and community groups shall report back to the Public Health, Environment, Civil Rights, and Engagement Committee no later than Q3 2019 with a status update on the progress of the work.

    Update as of January 2020:

    • CPED staff, in consultation with staff from the City Coordinator’s Division of Sustainability, met with representatives from the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) to discuss the staff direction. The group discussed and CPED staff followed up on various site alternatives. The EPNI group was not interested in exploring the potential of alternative sites. CPED staff reported back to relevant City Council Members on the work.

    Staff Direction 8

    Authorizes a request for proposals (RFP) for construction services to remediate and demolish the, or portions of the, building formerly owned by Roof Depot. Remediation and demolition of, or portions of, the building formerly owned by Roof Depot shall not occur until after City staff discuss the location options with the City Council and present feedback from the Hiawatha Advisory Committee.

    Update as of January 2020:

    • The City’s consultant Braun Intertec has assisted with communication with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the MPCA to coordinate on their requirements for storm water management, environmental abatement and monitoring of clean-up and demolition actions at the former Roof Depot Warehouse site. An RFP for environmental abatement has drawn several competitive proposals from qualified firms. The design consulting team is completing Roof Depot demolition documents. Updated Historic Review letters have been received, indicating no historic designation qualifications for the former Roof Depot/Sears warehouse. 

    Committee Members

    Hiawatha Advisory Committee Members - as of April 29, 2019

    Hiawatha Advisory Committee Members - as of May 13, 2019


    April 22, 2019 Agenda

    May 6, 2019 Agenda

    May 20, 2019 Agenda      

    June 3, 2019 Agenda

    Meeting Notes

    April 22, 2019 Meeting Notes

    May 6, 2019 Meeting Notes

    May 20, 2019 Meeting Notes

    June - July 2019 Small Group Meeting Notes

    Upcoming Meetings

    The last Hiawatha Advisory Committee meeting was held:

    June 3, 2019, 3:30-5 p.m.

    Meeting Location:
    City of Minneapolis Hiawatha Campus
    1901 E 26th St

    June 17, 2019, 3-5 p.m.

    Meeting Notes:
    We met for a tour of the exterior of the Roof Depot Building at 3 p.m. and convened the presentation and discussion portion of the meeting at the Hiawatha Campus (1901 E 26th St) at 3:30 p.m.

Project History

1991: A Public Works Comprehensive Facility Master Plan was completed. This plan recommended that the City expand the Hiawatha Campus in the East Phillip's neighborhood to allow for better management of Public Works' Water Distribution Services operations.

Public Works Comprehensive Facility Master Plan

2001: The City Council authorized discussions with the Roof Depot for acquisition.

June 2010: Phase 1 of the Hiawatha Master Plan is completed with the remodel of the north end of the site. The project focused on good environmental practices and achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Hiawatha Campus - Before and After

June 19, 2015: The Council authorized City staff to negotiate with the owner of the Roof Depot site for the acquisition of property to allow for the campus expansion.

February 22, 2016: The City Council voted to approve acquisition of the properties. The Council also directed staff to redevelop the site following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold level of quality.

June 2016: The City of Minneapolis acquired the property formerly known as Roof Depot, which was paid for with $6.8 million from the water enterprise fund.

2017-2018: Project design, community meetings and engagement, and staff recommendations are developed.

Why an Expansion is Needed

The main objective of the Hiawatha Campus Expansion project is to relocate water distribution employees and operations to one central site. The current Water Distribution facility is more than 100 years old and must be replaced. Additionally, the facilities are not ADA compliant and do not meet the current needs of the staff.

The three facilities that would be consolidated at this site (East Side Water Yard, the Meter Shop, and Surface Water & Sewers) will be better able to respond to every day essential city services.

Benefits of an Expansion

Opportunities that come with an expanded campus include:

  • Improving the City’s responsiveness and delivery of every day essential services including sharing of resources and a central location, which will result in lower operating costs and faster response times.

  • Job creation for the neighborhood

  • Integration of green site development and construction practices that can serve as a catalyst for Green Zone development including solar energy, storm water retention, and a LEED building.

  • Replacement of an outdated facility with a new green buffer between operations and the neighborhood. The neighborhood has been asked to help design the buffer so it can best integrate with surroundings.

  • Mitigation and management of the effects of site development in a responsible manner. The Public Works Department is and will continue to be a responsible neighbor in the community.

City Community Meetings

Presentation from Sept. 24, 2018 Community Meeting

At a community meeting on September 24, 2018, City Staff presented a project overview and four options for the site.

September 24, 2018 Presentation

Presentation from Nov. 30, 2017 Community Meeting

(PDF of slideshow)

Presentation from April 13, 2017 Community Meeting

(PDF of slideshow)

Recap of Feb. 11, 2017 Community Meeting

Notes from the community meeting at East Phillips Recreation Center

Public Works divisions planned for expanded Hiawatha Campus

(Overview of operations)

Site Development Guidelines Advisory Committee (GAC)

The Site Development Guidelines Advisory Committee (GAC) is an advisory body to the City of Minneapolis that provides input and recommendations throughout the study process for the City’s Hiawatha Campus Expansion project.

GAC Community Feedback and City Response

July 19, 2017 GAC meeting presentation

June 28, 2017 Property Services/CPED presentation

June 28, 2017 GAC meeting minutes

June 7, 2017 GAC meeting minutes

(Overview of GAC's community engagement and framework role)

Environmental and Property Site Studies

An RFP for engineering consulting services is in development to assist the City in self-assessing any requirements for MPCA air quality permitting. This self-assessment, when completed, will be reviewed for concurrence by the MPCA. Such a permit, if required, would trigger a study of cumulative effects. The City does not anticipate any requirement for air quality permits for proposed operations at this site.

A neighborhood organization’s petition has been received, requesting a determination of whether an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) is required for proposed development of the site, and if it is not required, whether the City would engage in a voluntary EAW assessment. The City is reviewing this request, and will respond to the Environmental Quality Board and neighborhood organization within the prescribed time period. Here is the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) process.

Hiawatha Campus Air Permit Study, March 2011

Roof Depot Site Hazardous Building Materials Inspection Report

Roof Depot Site Assessment Phase I ESA

Roof Depot Site Assessment Phase II ESA

City Water Distribution Center Location Workflow Analysis

Final Traffic Study for Hiawatha Phase I

Hiawatha map

 Existing Hiawatha Campus

Frequently Asked Questions

Hiawatha Campus Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this expansion necessary? 

A core goal of the City is to provide safe drinking water and fire suppression to all residents of Minneapolis. To accomplish this goal, the Hiawatha Campus Expansion project will relocate water distribution operations and employees to one central site. The current Minneapolis water distribution facility (also called the “Wateryard”) is more than 100 years old. It is too small for the current demands on the system, and does not meet City workplace minimum standards or accessibility standards. The current water distribution facility site is too small to build a new facility on and would also not benefit from the efficiency of being on the same site as the existing Hiawatha staff and buildings.


Other Public Works staff and functions important to storm water management and protecting our creeks, lakes and the Mississippi River will be relocated from other City facilities.  

Where else in the city are similar facilities located? 

Both the City and the Park Board have maintenance facilities throughout Minneapolis.  A new Public Works facility is under construction in northeast Minneapolis at 27th and University Ave.  This map below shows the locations of these facilities.


City of Minneapolis Operations Map Image

What are the opportunities with an expanded Hiawatha campus? 


The expanded campus provides a single location for the Public Works operational teams working in the right of way provides great opportunities to communicate and coordinate our work. It creates opportunities to share equipment and other fleet vehicles, makes it easier to shift staff to the highest priority work, reduces the overall footprint of material storage and because it is centrally located in the City there will be fewer vehicle miles traveled. 


Over 470 jobs will be based out of the expanded campus surrounded by neighborhoods with historically higher unemployment rates.  A new training facility on the campus will enhance opportunities for Minneapolis residents to be placed in living wage jobs with high-quality benefits.


An important part of the project is to include green site development and construction practices that can serve as a catalyst for Green Zone development including solar energy, storm water retention and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building, which is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The expansion will also reduce soil contamination that exists today. 

What did the City Council decide in December 2018?

The City Council endorsed the Hiawatha Campus expansion plan known as “Option A” with all of the former “Roof Depot” site designated for municipal uses.  The endorsement was included in a staff direction, which allows the Council to set parameters for City staff to follow over the course of the project.  The staff direction in its entirety is available on the City’s website. 

A key component of Option A municipal use is a training and job recruitment facility that will also provide space for potential community and entrepreneurship opportunities. Details for Option A can be found on the City’s webpage.

How large will the jobs recruitment and training center building be?

A committee consisting of building trades, unions that represent city workers, City staff, area businesses, local non-profits, and neighborhood representatives will provide input to the City Council on the exact size of the building.  The City Council will then decide on how large the job recruitment and training facility will be and how the cost of the construction should be paid. The original concept plan assumed about 9,000 square foot of building footprint with some parts of the building on two levels.

Can I attend the meetings of the Hiawatha Advisory Committee?

Yes, the meetings are open to the public and there will be an opportunity to address the Committee and City staff at the end of most of the committee meetings.

Who will pay for the capital and operating costs of the jobs recruitment and training center building?

It will be up to the City Council to decide how costs are split among the various public, non-profit and private entities that may use the job recruitment and training center.

What is the schedule for the Hiawatha expansion project?

Generally, the City will spend 2019 working on planning and design.  Environmental site and building cleanup, along with demolition, is also expected to start in 2019.  Construction will occur on both the existing Hiawatha Campus as well as the former Roof Depot property from 2020 to early 2022. 

Will the City be requesting permits or determinations from the MPCA? 

Once the master plan is more defined, the City will be submitting the applicability determination request to the MPCA which will inform additional submittals and next steps. The project will submit a Response Action Plan (RAP) to the MCPA which will define the proposed environmental remediation procedures.

How will the expansion impact traffic around the site? 

This consolidation of work groups increases the number of employees at the location by 140 people. That means there are more employees walking, biking, taking transit and driving as well as more work equipment entering and exiting the site. There will be an increase of almost 100 work vehicles and equipment. That number includes skid steers and trailers that are pulled by a truck. 

The traffic study shows a total increase of 1.6% of average daily vehicles traveled on the adjacent streets and most of that increase is related to employees arriving for work and the beginning of the day and going home at the end of the day. The project will work to mitigate the impact by staging start times to distribute the peak, follow the idling policy and work to grow our pipeline of employees from the neighborhood.

What kind of vehicles and equipment will be at the Hiawatha Facility?

 Employees get to work by walking, biking, transit and vehicles. In addition to the 400 plus personal vehicles there are 494 work vehicles, equipment and trailers anticipated at the Hiawatha Campus. The city vehicles generally fit into three categories:

  1. Trucks and cars used to clean the sewer system, flush hydrants, respond to water main breaks and move people and material around the city 

  2. Equipment which is most often not used at the Hiawatha Facility and instead hauled to work locations throughout the city

  3. Trailers which are pulled behind trucks to get material and equipment to work sites throughout the city.

Cars and Trucks






















Electric or Propane





Total City Vehicles & Equipment



The staff direction mentions Green Zones. What is a Green Zone?

 The City Council has designated Green Zones in two locations in the city. Read more about the details of these Green Zones. 

How is the Hiawatha Campus expansion being paid for? 

The cost of the expansion will mostly be covered by revenues from the water fund.  Some of the cost will be allocated to the sanitary sewer fund and the storm water fund for their portions of the improvements.  A smaller portion of the costs related to street maintenance facilities and central stores at the site will be paid with property taxes. The exact breakdown of costs will be known when the design is finalized for all components, including the job recruitment and training facility. 

How do I provide input on the site and how it will look? 

The City will invite input on the exterior materials, public art, landscaping, sidewalks and trails through a public engagement process.  In 2019, the City will arrange for open houses and other forms of public engagement.

What is happening to the old water facility that is being relocated? 

The site will become a new City fire station. 

Project Contact

Bob Friddle, Project Manager: 612-673-3387; [email protected] 


Last updated Jan 28, 2020



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