Asian carp made it all possible.
The invasive menace is wreaking havoc on the Mississippi River, but its spread might have paved the way for a glitzy 10,000-capacity amphitheater in north Minneapolis.
To help blockade the carp scourge, the Upper St. Anthony lock shut down in 2015, rendering a former barge terminal upriver irrelevant. And now that 48-acre site is being prepped for the Upper Harbor Terminal development.
Among its potential features: the amphitheater, a park, a promenade, a "Community Innovation Hub," 80-140 apartments (20-30 percent "affordable"), a 150-ish-room hotel, and 100,000-plus square feet of office/commercial/retail space, according to a new report issued by the city of Minneapolis.
The centerpiece is the so-called Community Performing Arts Center, a venue that could facilitate 6,000 seated attendees and 4,000 more on the grass, plus 10 private boxes. It'd be run by First Avenue and offer about 50 ticketed events per year.
As for the other components of the plan: The adjacent riverside park would provide 15.5 acres of green space; the plaza, promenade, and parkway areas seem pleasant (see images below); and the Community Innovation Hub will "foster innovation, create jobs, and activate the public realm through [its] everyday operations"... uh huh.
In total, the project would generate 559 construction jobs, 269 operations jobs, $4.2 million in tax revenue, and extra money for the community via ticket fees, according to the report. Paying for it will require at least $31 million in public funds and another $125 million from private investment. Construction efforts from Minneapolis-based developers United Properties and Thor Cos. Coen + Partners won't begin until at least 2021, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Biz Journal reports.
Wanna voice your approval, indifference, or opposition? The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is hosting a presentation/discussion tonight from 6-8 p.m. at 2117 West River Rd. N. Click here for future dates.
In the meantime, check out these carp-less renderings.
Here's a rockin' scene from a concert:
Here's a rockin' scene from the riverfront promenade:
Here's a rockin' scene from the parkway:
And here's a rockin' overview of the project: