Downtown Development vs. Riverfront Preservation

Downtown residents like the Cannon’s, anyone who uses W. River Road in downtown Minneapolis, and folks who support public parks and spaces may find this interesting. The land downstream from the 3rd Ave bridge along W. River Road has a development proposal for . . . get ready for it . . . condos.

Here’s a map of the location (pictured below). The area of the river is just above the lock. The tower near the bottom of the photo is the Riverwest Condos. The parking lot on the right of the photo is near the base of the Stone Arch Bridge.

Wave Development

There’s a lively debate on E-democracy about this.

The land is owned by the Minneapolis Parks, but is not particularly park-like today if your definition of a park is something suitable for some form of recreation. However, parks can also, of course, be undeveloped land.

If the land was to be developed, I’d like to see some form of pedestrian-friendly development, such as first-floor retail that’s accommodating to people enjoying the river, such as a coffee shop or bike shop with free air. The worst thing that could be done is building something that turns it’s back to the river like the post office does. I doubt that will happen since the river has been rediscovered as a jewel of the city.

4 thoughts on “Downtown Development vs. Riverfront Preservation”

  1. So, this is the land north of 1st St, across the street running east to west from the Riverwalk Condos? And there is some closed down building, that maybe used to be a restaurant or club? That land is pretty narrow, especially given the existing W River Roadway; and in addition to narrow, it is a hillside with some old mill ruins and stuff…so, in addition to being ‘iffy’ condo land, anything they build up there would block the view of the river for the existing buildings across 1st St…but let them buy a lobbyist if they have a problem, eh?

    I think the city needs more affordable housing, how about if they build condos there for less than $100,000 each so poor people can enjoy the river too. Of course, they would have to be smaller than dorm rooms, right?

  2. I haven’t seen enough details of either the development of the Wave or the potential development of the land to have strong opinion on this. But, I do know that it’s going to be very high-end ($1,000,000+ units), and I can’t say that we need more of those. I do like the idea of bringing some scale (and a nice distraction) to the Riverwalk building, which is an awful byproduct of a development at a time when nobody thought more than 5 years ahead to think of the impact of putting that crap-hole right on the river.

    I know that land because I drive and run by it everyday…I’m struggling to think of how it could be a very useful park area, so I’d like to see that plan. The city already has “parks” along the river (between the wood-plank road in the mill district and the river), and it’s a far cry from a useable park space right now. It took a $5M donation from a private individual to develop the land next to the Guthrie, so I’m not particularly optimistic that the city can do anything with this land in the near future.

    My suggestion…in the spirit of Chris Farly, we just clear the land, and charge $5 per night for people to park their “vans down by the river!”. It could only be late 80’s conversion vans…I simply don’t see how any of you can argue with this use of the land. But I look forward to the debate.

  3. Pingback: The Wave

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