Each year, the mpls downtown council recognizes and honors leadership by individuals, organizations and initiatives alike through our 2025 Plan leadership awards. This year, BKV Group was selected as a recipient. The mpls downtown council asked BKV Group about their efforts on the Park and Portland Project in advance of receiving their leadership award at our mdc gala on Wednesday, October 11.
Describe the overall involvement that BKV Group had in the Park & Portland Project.
BKV Group engaged in a year-long pro bono effort to understand the past master planning efforts for the area (there were many) and analyze the Park & Portland corridor and East Town as it exists today to better identify the design and growth opportunities in this area.
How did BKV Group get involved with the Park & Portland Project?
Dan Collison presented this opportunity to BKV due to our involvement with various downtown committees.
What caught your eye in terms of opportunity to help showcase this area of town that made you want to take part in this initiative?
East Town is clearly thriving, but there are still incredible opportunities for development there, particularly within Elliott Park. It’s a truly unique part of downtown with a rich history and a variety of uses, and stands as one of the last remaining established neighborhoods in the downtown district.
What opportunities do the Park & Portland corridors represent for Minneapolis?
By focusing on making Park & Portland connectors for pedestrians and bicycles in addition to cars, the entire downtown will benefit. Also, adding greenery along these roads will help connect the Mississippi River, the Commons park, Elliot Park, and other East Town destinations, making the entire area feel more like one cohesive experience.
What are you most proud of in looking back at this particular project?
We love a challenge, but even more we love the opportunity to spark impactful development that will enrich lives and strengthen communities.
To you, what is the biggest impact this project has on downtown Minneapolis?
It has already spurred some great conversations with neighbors, land owners, and developers who share our vision for making the Park & Portland corridor a downtown destination.
What do you enjoy most about downtown Minneapolis?
We enjoy the energy and vitality created by the continued growth of our city.
What does the 2025 Plan mean to you?
The 2025 Plan is a comprehensive vision for the future of downtown, and was the jumping off point for the Park & Portland vision study. As a firm deeply involved in the development of multifamily and mixed use projects it’s important for us to be proactive in the strategic growth of our communities and provide the best living environments as we try to meet our goals for downtown population growth outlined in the Plan.