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Prospect Park 2020 History


Prospect Park 2020, Inc. evolved from early planning efforts focusing on the Prospect Park Station Area.  Following is a timeline:


  • 2005 – plans for the Central Corridor Light Rail Line advance to the point that neighborhoods begin station area planning. With FTA funding available through Hennepin County, Prospect Park becomes the first neighborhood on the line to undertake station area planning. PPERRIA forms a committee to guide the process.

  • 2006 – Following neighborhood meetings and workshops the “29th Avenue Station Design Objectives” and “29th Avenue Station Design Guidelines” were developed and subsequently adopted by Minneapolis as part of the City Master Plan.

  • Over the next years the neighborhood realizes that the earlier planning process failed to take into account the unique opportunities the station area offered – the potential for a livable, sustainable 21st century community.

  • 2008 – PPERRIA Board authorizes formation of a Master Planning Committee, with the charge to examine the nature of the forces at work in the marketplace and to identify how to guide these forces to preserve the historic character, scale and architectural fabric of the neighborhood.  The aim is to attract infill development that is bold, innovative and uniquely appropriate to Prospect Park.


Graphic depicts key concepts underlying the neighborhood vision for the new development.

  • 2009 – the Master Planning Committee works with the Metropolitan Design Center at the University, the City, the Metropolitan Council, Funders Collaborative, major land owners and others to advance the vision of an urban village in the area surrounding the Prospect Park station. The committee brings players together to facilitate a coordinated, sustained commitment to efforts that would result in a transformative, affordable, diverse and livable community.

  • 2011 – PPERRIA receives a $60,000 grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative along with contributions from PPERRIA and donations from residents and businesses to support creation of an implementation framework. Prospect Park 2020 forms a Steering Committee with representation from Minneapolis, Hennepin County, University of Minnesota, University District Alliance, local business, Prospect Park and Glendale residents to develop land use and public realm plans. The result of a year-long effort are published in “Prospect Park Station – Central Corridor Light Rail Line 2020 Development Framework”.

  • 2012 - McKnight Foundation awards PP2020 a $75,000 grant (with PPERRIA as fiscal agent). Over the summer and fall of 2012 the PP2020 management team refines the vision and finds ways to communicate and market it. An interim report was made to Mc Knight at the end of the year (“Jan 3 McKnight Report”*).

  • 2013 - Prospect Park 2020 incorporates and is granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. It becomes clear an organization with broader scope and greater capacity is needed to realize the full potential of the area.  PP2020 facilitates and is one of the six founding members of the Prospect North Partnership. The number of partners grows to 35 members including institutional, governmental, property and business owners, foundations, PPA and the University of Minnesota  It is funded by individual partner contributions, a major McKnight operating grant and project funding from a number of the partners and other sources.

  • 2014 – PP2020 works with consultants to explore energy efficiency and sustainability issues that are described in detail in the "District Systems and Green 4th Concepts" report dealing with district land use and public realm, district energy, district water management and district parking for the Prospect North District.

  • 2015 – The city of Minneapolis declares the area along University Avenue north to the railroad yards, and east from the stadium to the city line an Innovation District. St. Paul declares a matching designation for the area west of Hwy. 280. The entire two-city/two county district is renamed Towerside. Surly and Wahu projects are completed.  Plans are underway for a grocery store, housing, restaurant and hotels. The Partnership hires a development manager to coordinate district infrastructure implementation and  individual projects.  Plans are made for the design of 4th street.  The design of a district water management system is lead by MWMO and a district system and project phasing is defined.

  • 2016 – Construction begins on The Rise apartment complex and Fresh Thyme grocery. Project  plans are approved for the Green on 4th apartments, an innovative district water management system is constructed to serve multiple development projects on 4th Street and the Hampton Inn hotel opens. Additionally, the location of a signature district Green Space is identified and the plans for Green 4th St. from Malcolm to 24th are finalized.

  • 2017 - Construction of Green 4th begins mid-summer. Plans for a senior housing development, a food hall, climbing facility and other mixed use facilities are under way.  Letters in support of Expo 2023 are written by PPA, PP2020 and the Towerside Partnership. PP2020 is engaged with Southeast Seniors, committees of PPA and the Towerside Partnership to advance healthy living, learning and the arts within the district.

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