Upper Harbor Terminal is a truly one of a kind piece of land on the West Bank of the Mississippi River bordering the long-underserved neighborhood of North Minneapolis.  This parcel represents a much-needed point of access for the people of North Minneapolis and is the final missing link in the Grand Rounds, a city-wide system of trails winding around lakes and up the Mississippi River.  


The spatial opportunity for this location is balanced by its challenges, both politically and financially.  In order to develop an interdisciplinary and innovative vision for this mile-long stretch of riverfront, Coen+Partners assembled a multi-disciplinary planning and design team including United Properties, First Avenue Productions, and Thor Development. In addition to design services, the team has been heavily involved in obtaining funding from the State of Minnesota and City of Minneapolis. The project received approval for 15 million dollars of state bond funding and an equal match from the city of Minneapolis for Phase 1 work. In addition, it has gained city and park board approval for the plan in early 2019, with Phase 1 construction to start in 2020. 


Upper Harbor Terminal’s recent industrial past provides inspiration for a concept that knits together advanced manufacturing, creative office, and mixed income housing. The concept preserves the riverfront for public use, proposes broad pedestrian connections into the adjacent neighborhood, and positions streets and public realm to strategically capture and treat stormwater at this critical node along the north Mississippi. The urban framework works with riverfront topography to integrate district parking into a series of mixed-use development blocks.  Most important, the concept welcomes the North Minneapolis community with the city’s very first major outdoor performing arts venue.  Set in the center of the site, the venue is framed by industrial relics as a nod to the working history of the area.  This iconic location serves as a neighborhood anchor and completes the final missing link of the Grand Rounds.


LOCATION: Minneapolis, MN

COLLABORATORS: United Properties, City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, First Avenue Productions, SHoP Architects, Pierce Pini + Associates, Eldorado Architects

SIZE: 48 acres