Via a May 4 email from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:
At its May 2, 2012 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) voted to pursue purchase of a $1.37 million piece of key riverfront property in Northeast Minneapolis. The 1.74-acre parcel at 1720 Marshall Street NE will provide 354 linear feet of Mississippi riverfront and continues the MPRB’s long-standing work to create green corridors and provide public access to waterfront in Minneapolis. The acquisition process is expected to take up to four months.
“We are very excited. Revitalizing the Mississippi Riverfront with new parks, trails and green spaces is one of this Board's highest priorities. Previous Park Board development of the Chain of Lakes and the Central Riverfront has been an incredible success for our city,” said John Erwin, president of the MPRB Board of Commissioners. “This purchase is the first step in making the Upper Riverfront such a success story as well, and represents the first purchase since adopting the RiverFirst plan.”
RiverFirst – A Design Proposal and Implementation Framework for the Minneapolis Upper Riverfront, was adopted by the Park Board in March, 2012, following almost two years of input, collaboration and support from the public, business community and local, regional and state agencies. RiverFirst encompasses the 5.5 miles of Mississippi River from the Stone Arch Bridge to the northern City limits, and builds upon the Above the Falls Master Plan to develop the land along the Mississippi River.
“I am so excited to add another piece of quilt to the upper riverfront ribbon of green,” said Liz Wielinski, Park District 1 Commissioner, in which the property is located.
This leadership in preserving land along the city’s lakes, rivers and streams has earned the MPRB national recognition for its exceptional parks and trails. By the early 1900s visionary Park Board leaders had acquired most of the east and west riverfront of the river stretching from St. Paul to St. Anthony Falls for public parkland. Since the 1993 the MPRB has led the charge to expand parkland to provide a connection from the downtown area north of the Falls area.
The signing of a purchase agreement is the first step in the acquisition of the parcel. Over the next sixty days the acquisition process will include conducting an appraisal of the property to confirm fair market value and working with potential funding partners to obtain satisfactory commitments. At the same time, the MPRB will conduct environmental due diligence processes to understand any environmental concerns for the property. If all aspects of the agreement are satisfactorily met, the acquisition will be finalized in approximately four months.
Acquisition funds will come from a combination of regional park funding, MPRB funds approved in the 2012 budget for riverfront land acquisition and possible other sources.