After 35 years and more than $2 billion in public and private investment, Minneapolis has transformed its downtown riverfront from an industrial zone into a "recreational, cultural and residential magnet". The next phase of that transformation will turn "an inaccessible hill" between West River Parkway and First Street S. into Water Works Park, "whose centerpiece will be the ruins of a former grain mill and the gate house of the original Minneapolis city water works," reports Bill McAuliffe.
"It’s just one part of a long-term overhaul to the Central Riverfront Regional Park that runs along the riverbanks from the 35W bridge upstream to Plymouth Av., and includes or abuts the St. Anthony Main, Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum areas where numerous apartments and condos have sprung up," he adds. The park will replace Fuji-Ya Japanese restaurant, a city institution that has sat vacant since 1991.
“Now that we have all these new residents down there, people are loving the park to death,” said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board president Liz Wielinski. “We need to give it a face lift.”