Minneapolis City Council Greenlights $350M Upper Harbor Redevelopment 
Rendering of Upper Harbor Terminal

Minneapolis City Council Greenlights $350M Upper Harbor Redevelopment 

Mixed-use project in North Minneapolis includes 520 housing units, production and commercial space and a wellness hub.

On Friday the Minneapolis City Council approved the Upper Harbor Coordinated Plan, which outlines a $350 million redevelopment of city-owned land on the Mississippi River in North Minneapolis.

The project is a case study in how long it takes to tackle redevelopment of a large urban site with multiple project partners. The city selected Minneapolis-based United Properties as the master developer five years ago. Construction of the first phase is not expected to start until the spring of 2023.

“The plan has definitely gone through a lot of changes,” said Brandon Champeau, senior vice president and market leader for the Minneapolis commercial development group of United Properties.

“I credit a lot of that to the work over the past 24 months with the Collaborative Planning Committee…. They’ve been working us for the last 24 months, really in-depth on the plan, to make it better overall,” said Champeau. “We’re really excited about what this can do for the Northside and think it’s the right mix of housing, community spaces, jobs and public spaces.”

The next hurdle for United Properties is securing financing for the affordable housing. Champeau noted that United Properties has partnered with Devean George and his company Building Blocks on the affordable housing component. George is a native of North Minneapolis and former NBA player who has returned to his hometown as a developer.

The 48-acre site was previously used as a barge shipping terminal before it closed in 2014. Late last year plans for including office space and a hotel as part of the redevelopment were dropped.

The project is now slated to include:

  • 520 units of housing
  • 160,000 to 180,000 square feet of production/makers space for an estimated 300 living wage jobs
  • 45,000 square feet of commercial space
  • A 7,000 to 10,000 person capacity community performing arts center
  • A health and wellness-oriented Community Hub
  • 19.5 acres of new parkland and river access
  • New parkway, bicycle and pedestrian trails and related infrastructure

First Avenue is another project partner, focused on the performing arts venue.