Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis and partners celebrate Upper Harbor milestones

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Upper Harbor Site 

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis and partners celebrate Upper Harbor milestones

Ceremonial groundbreaking for new regional park at Upper Harbor site. 10 people hold shovels in front of a pile of dirt

Ceremonial groundbreaking for new regional park at Upper Harbor site on June 8, 2024

City marks completion of street and utility construction, MPRB breaks ground on new regional park at site of 53-acre North Minneapolis riverfront redevelopment project


On Saturday, 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 in north Minneapolis 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 more details. 


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. 


"This is a massive milestone amidst an exciting era of riverfront park development in Minneapolis,” said MPRB Superintendent Al Bangoura. “We're incredibly grateful to have so many partners and supporters come together to transform a mile of industrial riverfront into a beautiful, welcoming place for people and wildlife.”


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. 


“Minneapolis is unified by the mighty Mississippi River – but a heartfelt riverfront doesn’t mean much if it’s not easily accessible to all our residents,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “What was once a barge shipping terminal is now becoming a beautiful recreational space for residents to enjoy—and this is just the beginning. Thank you to all our local and state partners who helped make this park a reality.”


“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.

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About this project

The Upper Harbor Terminal Regional Park project will create a new 20-acre regional park at the 53-acre Upper Harbor Terminal Site along the North Minneapolis riverfront.

Project Manager

Julie Aldrich



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