Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.


2014-2015 Snow Emergency Brochure Available Online

If you didn't receive one in the mail, you can view the 2014-2015 Minneapolis Snow Emergency Brochure online.

In additional to other important information, the brochure outlines ways to find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared, including: call 348-SNOW (7669), sign up for a text message, check online, or download the Snow Emergency app for iPhones and Android devices.


Are you a Foodie? You Won't Want to Miss the Oct 30 Talk of the Stacks at Central Library!

Talk of the Stacks with Dana Cowin
in conversation with Andrew Zimmern

Dana Cowin has been covering the world of food, wine and style for over 30 years. Food & Wine’s Editor-in-Chief since 1995 and a guest judge on Top Chef, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America in 2012.

Ms. Cowin will be joined by friend and fellow foodie Andrew Zimmern to discuss her newly released cook book, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen− a collection of recipes, stories of her own culinary ineptitude and invaluable lessons she has learned from some of the today’s greatest chefs.


The Encore 935 2nd St - CPED Staff Report

(From Planning Commission Agenda 10-27-2014)

The Encore (BZZ-6843, Ward: 3), 935 2nd St S (Hilary Dvorak).

Download the Staff report

A. Conditional Use Permit: Application by Tony Kuechle with Sherman Associates for a conditional use permit to amend an existing Planned Unit Development to construct a new 12-story, approximately 176 657 square foot, 122-unit residential building located at 935 2nd St S. The property is zoned C3A Community Activity Center District and is located in the DP Downtown Parking Overlay District and the DH Downtown Height Overlay District.

Recommended Motion: The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development recommends that the City Planning Commission adopt the findings and approve the application for a conditional use permit to amend an existing Planned Unit Development to construct a new 12-story, approximately 176,657 square foot, 124-unit residential building at the property located at 935 2nd St S, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The conditional use permit shall be recorded with Hennepin County as required by Minn. Stat. 462.3595, subd. 4 before building permits may be issued or before the use or activity requiring a conditional use permit may commence. Unless extended by the zoning administrator, the conditional use permit shall expire if it is not recorded within two years of approval.
  2. As required by section 527.120 of the zoning code, the development shall comply with the standards for some combination of the following amenities from Table 527-1, Amenities and those proposed by the applicant totaling a minimum of 15 points: underground parking, outdoor open space, decorative fencing, enhanced exterior lighting, pet exercise area and recycling storage area.
  3. There shall be a minimum of two visitor parking spaces designated on site.
  4. There shall be a minimum of one bicycle parking space per dwelling unit provided within the building.

B. Variance: Application by Tony Kuechle with Sherman Associates for a variance to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) of the building located at 935 2nd St S from the permitted 4.8 to 5.62.

Recommended Motion: The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development recommends that the City Planning Commission adopt the findings and approve the application for a variance to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) of the building from 4.8 to 5.62 located at 935 2nd St S.

C. Site Plan Review: Application by Tony Kuechle with Sherman Associates for a site plan review for the property located at 935 2nd St S.

Recommended Motion: The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development recommends that the City Planning Commission adopt the findings and approve the site plan review application to allow a new 12-story, approximately 176,657 square foot, 124-unit residential building at the property located at 935 2nd St S, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Approval of the final site plan, elevations, floor plan, landscaping plan and lighting plan by the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
  2. All site improvements shall be completed by October 27, 2016, unless extended by the Zoning Administrator, or the permit may be revoked for non-compliance.
  3. The applicant shall work with the utility company to try and locate the transformer along 10th Ave S to the south side of the building and then screen it with landscaping.
  4. The applicant shall design the east side of the twelfth floor and the south side of the first floor so as to not have any expanse of wall that is over 25 feet in length and blank.
  5. No less than six canopy trees or 12 ornamental trees shall be provided on the site.

Wednesday Night - The Superior Plating Task Group Meeting

The Superior Plating Task Group (SPTG5) will be held Wednesday:

            5:00pm to 6:30pm    

            October 29, 2014

            Ginger Hop (corner of 2nd St NE and East Hennepin)

Project & Meeting Materials

View aerial photos of the site:

Download the developer presentation:

Download the meeting agenda:


Water Works Design Unveiled

For 12,000 years, the Mississippi River has powered through Minnesota, where it’s scrawled a deep gorge like a signature through limestone and prairie. The source of this massive geological imprint was the River’s only true waterfall, now known as St. Anthony Falls, which receded over millennia and now graces the heart of Minneapolis. It is this unique geography, geology and history that inspired a schematic vision for a new destination park on the West Bank of St. Anthony Falls, developed by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, and presented to the public at the Mill City Museum on Thursday, October 23, in the form of a design presentation and 3D flythrough animation.

Called Water Works because the city’s original water supply and fire-fighting pumping stations were located on the site in the 19th century, the four-acre strategic urban location encompasses Minneapolis Park Board-owned land between Portland Avenue South and the Third Avenue Bridge, and between First Street and the Mississippi River. The Water Works site is an important convergence of multiple riverfront destinations and physical features in addition to St. Anthony Falls, including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Stone Arch Bridge, lock and dam, listed and eligible industrial ruins, the Mill City Museum and Guthrie Theater, as well as parkway, trails, and Mill Ruins and Gold Medal parks. Like the city itself, this site has grown to meet the changing needs of the people living in it from navigation, to industrial, to recreational and residential.

Water Works is also a RiverFirst signature project. RiverFirst is a 20-year vision for transforming 5.5 miles of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. In realizing this great vision — beginning with multiple priority projects in the next five years — the “City of Lakes” will restore its identity as a city of the mighty Mississippi and leverage one of the three great rivers of the world as a source for economic development and community and cultural vitality.

“This site is where Minneapolis became the city it is today and has long been a point of convergence: between water and land, industry and recreation and between people from across the world. These falls have attracted and captivated people – first Native Americans, and later, European settlers, who harnessed the power of the falls through a massive intake canal unheard-of in size, and turned Minneapolis into the world’s milling capital,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Parks Foundation. “With many hours of collaborative input from community leaders and engaged citizens, and in partnership with staff and citizen advisors appointed by the Minneapolis Park Board, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation has presented a schematic vision for a four-season park on St. Anthony Falls that meets the needs of 21st century residents and visitors, while celebrating and reactivating the most compelling features of the site, including the historic intake canal.”

Water Works Design: Zones, Experiences and Key Features

The design was created by the interdisciplinary design team of New York-basedSCAPE/Landscape Architecture and Rogers Partners, with James Lima Planning + Development and SRF Consulting (Minneapolis), through a 13-month process begun in 2013. The team was selected by a five-member multidisciplinary Designer Selection Committee that included representatives from the Minneapolis Park Board, St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board, City of Minneapolis, University of Minnesota and MPF.

Working closely with the Parks Foundation, the Minneapolis Park Board and in response to the advisory committees and community input, the Design Team identified three zones – Mezzanine & Outdoor Rooms, River’s Edge, and Canal & Gatehouse – and shaped each zone based on its key features and potential use, then reconnected the zones to each other and the river via intricate realignment of paths, trails and roads. Within and across these zones, the team overlaid four year-round experiences:

  • People. A key feature of Water Works will be a park pavilion, sited between First Street and West River Road. The pavilion, which will be a four-season gathering and eating space, will elegantly traverse two levels, overlook the river at the top of St. Anthony Falls, and connect seamlessly with an amphitheater and outdoor rooms on the Mezzanine level. This building will become a signature entry point to the Falls for people travelling from Downtown and provide an entryway into the river for paddlers.
  • History. The dominant historic feature of Water Works is the reimagined intake canal and gatehouse, a beautiful four-season water and ice experience that focuses on the site’s incredible historic value, while providing visitors with visual interest and a place to stay and play. Elsewhere in the Water Works site, industrial ruins will be exposed and stabilized to shape paths and form play and gathering spaces.
  • Water. The water story is integral to the future park experience, beginning with the reimagined mill canal and continuing with a beautifully explored urban watershed – storm water will be directed through an intricate network of above- and below-ground cisterns and runnels, eventually emanating from a seep wall at the base of the Mezzanine level that in winter will freeze in interesting architectural forms. Finally, park visitors will be able to connect directly with the Mississippi via a new kayak/canoe launch.
  • Habitat. Four areas for habitat restoration have been identified: pollinator-friendly prairie near the park pavilion on the Mezzanine level, as well as native plantings around the Canal & Gatehouse, and riparian habitat at the river’s edge. Riparian canopy will also be restored on the Mezzanine level.

“This is one of many transformative RiverFirst projects proposed for the upper riverfront that will provide greater access to the most significant river in the nation,” said Liz Wielinski, Board President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. “It is made possible due to the wonderful public-private collaboration between the Park Board and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which is committed to private fundraising to improve the riverfront and the city.”

Cost, Phasing and Future Considerations

Water Works schematic design ran concurrently with the Minneapolis Park Board’s Central Riverfront Regional Park Master Plan revision, and will be included as an addendum to the updated Master Plan. The Minneapolis Park Board will adopt the revised Master Plan in January 2015, following a 45-day comment period beginning mid-November of this year. In May 2015, the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission will vote to adopt the Master Plan, making the park eligible for regional park funding.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation estimates Water Works site development to cost $19-$23 million, with development occurring in two phases, beginning with the Pavilion and Mezzanine level as early as 2016, followed by the Canal & Gatehouse. The design team identified a number of contingencies vis-a-vis now-buried ruins that will require further exploration. The Parks Foundation is committed to providing private-sector support for Water Works and other parks projects, through philanthropic investment in parks development and stewardship.

Another consideration is the future of the Minneapolis Lock and Dam, immediately adjacent to the site. Slated for closure at the end of 2014, the Lock’s public space will be explored as a future Federally managed visitor center.

# # #


Mississippi Minute Film Festival Winners Announced

Winners of the Mississippi Minute Film Festival were announced Monday evening, October 20th, at the Riverfront Summit, held at the Mill City Museum by the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership,

Winners were juried by Brenda Langton, Spoonriver Restaurant; Ben Heywood, The Soap Factory; architect Tom Meyer of MS&R; Sarah McKenzie, editor of the Downtown Journal, and Jesse Bishop, Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society.

With the tagline “One River, One Minute, Your Vision”, the Mississippi Minute Film Festival asked for one-minute video essays that would amuse, inform and inspire viewers about the city’s great river. Winners are:

Best of Show Award:

Mississippi Night by Jack McTigue

People's Choice Award:

Mississippi and Friends by Dave Woradech, Cabin in the Woods

Category Winners:

Central Riverfront Entries

First Place: Why Yes by Artis Curiskis and Sara Rothholz Weiner

Runner-up: Origins by James Tucker and Ryan Siemers

Lower Gorge Entries

First Place: An Evening on the River with Minneapolis Rowing Club, by Lisa Ohnstad

Runner-up: Mississippi Tribute, videography & editing by Mark Ryan

Upper River Entries

First Place: It's the Mighty Mississippi, cartoon by John Akre

Runner-up: Labor Day by Isabelle Harder and The Starfolk

Upper Harbor Terminal Entries

First Place: Summer of 1975, directed by David Tinjum, videography, Josh Zenner, A Mill City Times Production

Runner-up: River, Wind, Canoe by John Gigrich and Sam Spencer

Honorable Mention

Intro to Belle: The Stone Arch Deer by Darrell Ayers

Spirits of the Winter River by Roy Sorenson

Greg Goes Through the Lock by Paul Helgesen, Greg Bohrer, Phil Harder, Patrick Pierson, and Glen Helgeson

Winners and all submitted films can be seen at