The goal of the Towerside Innovation District is to create a new, holistic way to develop and implement ongoing management of the centrally located but underused area at the intersection of Minneapolis and St. Paul, near the University of Minnesota and intersected by a new light rail line.
The Towerside Innovation District will be an equitable economic model of innovation, urban growth, healthy living, and resiliency. It will integrate new century district-wide infrastructure with great people, places, and spaces. It will leverage resources to catalyze extraordinary development potential that would not happen without intentional and coordinated private/public intervention.
A private/public Prospect North Partnership (PNP) was formed in June, 2013. Its purpose is to implement the innovative vision created by Prospect Park 2020. The vision demonstrates the social, cultural and economic benefits of a District approach. Recognizing that no one sector could realize this vision, and that a specific road map was necessary to guide PNP actions, a 5-year work plan was developed.
The business plan includes 7-action categories:
1. Secure Key Sites
2. Build Partnership
3. Complete District Guidelines and Standards
4. District Infrastructure and Systems
5. First implementation
6. Legacy Funding Model
7. Placemaking and Programming
Located roughly from TCF Bank Stadium on the west to Hubbard Broadcasting on the east and from University Avenue on the south to the railroad yards on the north, the District offers unique assets that create the foundation for this vision:
- A robust multi-modal transportation network with major freeways, the Green Line, and the University Transitway
- The University of Minnesota, one of the nation’s leading teaching and research institutions
- A strong, engaged, longstanding residential neighborhood, including the MPHA’s Glendale Townhomes
- Substantial tracts of underdeveloped property that present opportunities for redevelopment, including a potential for 7000 new jobs in the area
Fulfilling the vision of the District is funded and staffed largely by the Prospect North Partnership, which includes Aeon, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis, The Cornerstone Group, Family Housing Fund/Twin Cities Community Land Bank, GREATERMSP, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Prospect Park 2020, United Properties, University of Minnesota College of Design, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors, University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL), Wall Companies.
Building Healthy Places: Towerside Innovation District
Through a ULI Urban Innovation Grant, ULI MN documented its work promoting the creation of a healthy community in the Towerside Innovation District. ULI MN seeks to share what it has learned across ULI in order to replicate this approach on a national scale.
This guide/toolkit is intended for use as a resource and offers one way to think about and execute on building a healthy community. The intent is to explain ULI MN’s approach, its outcomes, and its accumulated knowledge so they can serve as a framework on which others can build.
For More Information:
Caren Dewar, Executive Director
Urban Land Institute (ULI) Minnesota