On Wednesday, June 28, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners voted to adopt the Water Works design concept.
In May, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, together with the MPRB, brought forward a dramatic — and now definitive — design concept for the Water Works project that will embed a new, indoor park pavilion into the historic remnants of the Bassett and Columbia mills, as well as expand naturalized gathering spaces with direct access to public amenities. Phase 1, known as the Mezzanine phase, will be complete and open to the public in 2019.
Through the Parks Foundation, the majority of Mezzanine Phase funding will be provided by philanthropic investment. In 2015, the Parks Foundation launched the RiverFirst Capital Campaign, which has to-date raised $12.3M in philanthropic gifts and commitments.
With the adoption of this final Water Works concept, the MPRB and Parks Foundation will launch schematic design and begin preconstruction activities on site ahead of the 2018 construction start. In 2017, activity will include preliminary archeological digging to determine the condition of remnant mill walls. In addition, the selective deconstruction of an existing building – the former Fuji-Ya restaurant – will also begin.