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Scherer Bros Site
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Scherer Bros Site
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Scherer Bros Site

The riverfront property formerly owned by Scherer Brother Lumber Company and purchased in 2010 by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is located on the east side of the river just north of Boom Island Park. Plans are underway for development of the area as parkland. To prepare the site for development, environmental clean up is required.

Public Impact / Projected Timeline
News Releases / Updates
Public Participation (Review documents, submit comments)
Reports and Information (Environmental Assessment and other documents)

Public Impact / Projected Timeline
The site is currently undeveloped, so there is no impact to the public.

Demolition of the buildings began September 26 and is expected to be complete by the end of October. Soil remediation is expected to begin in early November and be complete by the end of 2011.

The site is secured and off-limits to the public.

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News Releases / Updates

Fall 2014
Next steps are underway in the continued preparation to transform the Scherer Brothers site into parkland. As part of the RiverFirst vision a new park and the recreated Hall’s Island would be created on the Scherer Brothers site. This vision would provide access to the river for paddlers and other users while creating a habitat-rich island.

The MPRB will be required to obtain several agency permits in order to construct Hall’s Island. Prior to this permit review several important studies must be conducted in order to assist in the submittal. A soil analysis investigation of the entire site is currently underway. Soil samples are being taken and will be analyzed to identify any potential soil contaminants.

Early in 2015 permit applications will be filed with the U. S. Army Corps (USACE), Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). It is expected that the permit review process will take several months before authorization can be granted to proceed with the development of the site and construction of the island.

September 2011
Demolition began Monday, September 26. Asbestos and other hazardous material were removed in the two weeks previous to demolition. Timbers and other salvageable materials have also been removed. All utilities have been disconnected.

Demolition is expected to be complete by the end of October. The site is secured and off-limits to the public (though the view from the Plymouth Avenue Bridge is pretty much unimpeded).

The second phase of the project – soil remediation – is expected to be underway in early November and complete by the end of the year.

July 2011
Information on the proposed environmental cleanup plan will be presented to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) during its regular board meeting August 3, MPRB headquarters, 2117 W River Rd. The regular board meeting begins at 5:00 p.m.

The MPRB plans to demolish buildings and conduct a cleanup of soils contaminated by hazardous substances on the site. Development plans currently include a riverfront regional park on the western half of the site. The eastern half may also become part of the regional park, but may be targeted instead for residential, commercial or mixed-use development. The Minneapolis Riverfront Design Initiative, currently working with community groups to develop plans for the riverfront, envisions the Scherer Brothers property as an “important recreational entry point to the trail and park system for kayaks, bikes, skiers, and runners” and a “significant urban hub.”

The property is enrolled in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA’s) Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup Program.  The MPCA is providing technical review and oversight of the cleanup and has reviewed and approved the proposed response action plan for the cleanup.  Cleanup activities are proposed to begin this fall.

In connection with this project, Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services anticipates providing a sub-grant of up to $1.0 million from its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF).  The BCRLF Program is funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as authorized by Section 104(d)(1) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. 

News Releases

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Public Participation
The environmental assessment of the property, as well as the proposed action plan and other documents are available for review online (see “Reports” below) or at the MPRB offices, 2117 W River Rd., Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To review the documents at the MPRB offices, contact Cliff Swenson at 612-230-6473 or

Written comments were accepted through August 15 by David Jaeger, Supervisor of the Contaminated Lands Unit at Hennepin County: or Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services, Suite 200, 417 N 5th St,  Minneapolis, MN 55401.

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Reports and Information

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Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
2117 West River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55411
612-230-6400 (Mon-Fri 8:00-4:30) | Contact Us

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