NEWS RELEASE > MPRB hosts community open house to review progress on RiverFirst Priority Projects


Thursday, January 17, 6-8:00 PM (Presentations 6:30-7:15 PM)
Nicollet Island Pavilion
40 Power Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401
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Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, a RiverFirst Initiative Managing Partner, is inviting the public to explore and comment on the design direction of Scherer Park and seven other RiverFirst Priority Projects at an Open House, 6-8:00 PM, Thursday, January 17, at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis. RiverFirst is a multi-agency effort to create visionary parks on the Minneapolis Upper Riverfront; the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation are also RiverFirst Initiative Managing Partners.

Eight RiverFirst Priority Projects are in varying phases of design, with four – Scherer Park, 26th Avenue N and 22nd Avenue NE Greenways, Riverfront Trails and Bridges, and Phase 1 of West River Road Extension – undergoing schematic design by the RiverFirst Design Team under contract to the Minneapolis Park Board. The Design Team – led by Tom Leader Studio and Kennedy & Violich Architecture – is also studying the feasibility of floating River Islands. The public can find complete descriptions and up-to-date information on these Priority Projects at

“We are midway through schematic design, a pivotal time to report progress and gain feedback on design strategies from the public, Park Board Commissioners and stakeholders” says Bruce Chamberlain, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Assistant Superintendent for Planning. The Design Team will present to Park Board Commissioners at the Wednesday, January 16, meeting. “The 12-acre Scherer site where a riverfront park design and adjacent development standards are being solidified will be of particular interest for many.”

From 6:30 – 7:15, the public can hear presentations from the RiverFirst Design Team and RiverFirst Initiative Managing Partners. The RiverFirst Design Team will present schematics for four Priority Projects, as well as an update on Floating Islands. The City of Minneapolis will give an update on the Upper Harbor Terminal (site of the Northside Wetlands Priority Project), and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation will give an update on the Water Works Priority Project near the Stone Arch Bridge.

Before and after the presentations, the public can view renderings and representatives from the Design Team and Managing Partners will be available to answer questions and take community input.

Schematic design is the process through which design concepts are refined to greater detail based on actual data, such as measurements, materials and other technical information; it is the step between concepts and construction documents.

About RiverFirst
RiverFirst is a multi-agency, multi-year effort to bring sustainable destination parks and trails to both sides of Minneapolis Upper Riverfront, along 5.5 miles from the Stone Arch Bridge to the city’s northern limits. The RiverFirst area is included in both the Central Riverfront Regional Park and Above the Falls Regional Park. RiverFirst Projects will create new Mississippi River experiences for residents and visitors, as well as form critical connections to, across and along the Mississippi River urban corridor. The RiverFirst Initiative is an interagency partnership of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Parks Foundation – together with community and agency participants and the public – to realize the RiverFirst Vision and support the implementation of RiverFirst Projects. RiverFirst began with the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition in 2010; the first Priority Projects are anticipated to open in 2016. Learn more at


> Download Release-R1OpenHouseJan2012 (pdf)

Janette Law

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