East-West team wins competition to guide revival of Mpls. riverfront

  • Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 10, 2011 - 10:48 PM

The selection is part of a Minneapolis effort to provide more parks, recreation and jobs along the Mississippi.

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One of the winning team’s ideas to spruce up the riverfront.

Photo: TLS/KVA illustration, Dml -

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A team from the East and West coasts is the winner of the design competition to guide development on the north Minneapolis frontage of the Mississippi River.

A 13-person jury of elected officials and design professionals announced on Thursday that it had selected the team of Tom Leader Studio of Berkeley, Calif., and Kennedy & Violich Architecture of Boston from four finalists.

The team's proposals will guide future development along 5 1/2 miles of river corridor from the Stone Arch Bridge north to the city limits. The area contains about 22 acres of parkland, but much of the corridor is owned and used by businesses and industries.

Interstate 94 also parallels the river, forming a barrier between it and north Minneapolis neighborhoods.

The team will receive a financial commission that's yet to be determined.

One of the competition's goals was to bring forth new ideas for connecting north and northeast Minneapolis with the river and to identify strategic sites for possible parks, green corridors and open spaces.

Jury chairman Thomas Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design, said the winning team presented a pragmatic set of plans.

"They had quite a bit about strategy about how to mix private development with a park, how we might mix open space and employment, and how we might reuse some facilities on the river for green jobs and new employment," Fisher said.

The winning team is made up of 14 additional firms, including nine Minnesota partners.

The next step is to form a steering committee to identify and begin discussing a major river-related project that could be built within five years, Minneapolis Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller said.

More information about the TLS/KVA proposal, and what the other three competing firms suggested, is online at www.minneapolisriverfrontdesigncompetition.com.

Tom Meersman • 612-673-7388

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