Celebrating Upper Harbor milestones

Upper Harbor Park rendering courtesy of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

On June 8 Mayor Frey, City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) leaders, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), project partners and state elected officials gathered at the Upper Harbor redevelopment site on the Mississippi River to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 public infrastructure and the groundbreaking for the new regional park.

The new regional park covers about a mile of riverfront with separate bike and pedestrian trails, a new parkway road with parking, and naturalized shoreline. A five-acre core park space will serve as the park entrance and connect Dowling Avenue to the riverfront. This central open plaza and lawn area features several picnic shelters and is designed as a flexible space for events and activities.

Native trees, grasses, woody shrubs and perennials will be planted across the park, along with a large-scale stormwater treatment and riverbank restoration that includes a river overlook. Much of that work is being done in partnership with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. Check out the MWMO Upper Harbor page for details, mwmo.org/projects/upper-harbor-terminal/.

The park is expected to open by the end of 2025. When it opens, it will add 20 acres of publicly accessible riverfront parkland on the Northside, a significant milestone in the MPRB’s mission to increase parkland and river access in North and Northeast Minneapolis.

The infrastructure includes a newly constructed roadway network on site with the creation of West River Road and reconstruction of 33 Ave. N. and Dowling Ave. N. into the McKinley neighborhood, underground water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, signage and signals. 

“Project partners are acting with community after more than 25 years of planning to transform this former barging terminal into a large-scale development with numerous community benefits that support current Northsiders,” said CPED Director Erik Hansen.

The City’s coordinated plan and the MPRB’s park concept plan center around the values and priorities expressed by the community through six years of community engagement. We are reconnecting north Minneapolis to the riverfront with new housing, small business commercial space, living wage jobs, a health and wellness hub, community performing arts center, and a 20-acre park.

Find additional info at minneapolisparks.org/park-care-improvements/park-projects/current_projects/upper-harbor-terminal-new-park.