Towerside District Stormwater System

This first-of-its-kind district stormwater system provides cost-effective stormwater management and reuse while providing public green space.


A view of the main bioretention basin shortly after construction finished in October 2016.

The storage tank beneath the main basin can hold up to 206,575 gallons of treated runoff.

The future location of the Towerside District Stormwater System, as seen in April 2016.

Project partners and local civic leaders at the groundbreaking ceremony July 28, 2016.

A planning workshop for the future Towerside district April 8, 2016.

Project Details

City: Minneapolis

Type: Capital Project Grant, Planning Grant

Status: Completed

Timeline: 2016

MWMO Funding: $1.3 million

Partners: Aeon; City of Minneapolis; The Cornerstone Group; Harlem Irving Companies; Hennepin County; MWMO; Prospect Park Properties; Prospect North Partnership; Towerside, The MSP Innovation District; University of Minnesota

Staff Contacts:
Marcy Bean, PLA
Capital Projects and Stewardship Specialist
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Dan Kalmon, AICP
Planning Principal
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The District Stormwater System at Towerside, the MSP Innovation District, will capture and store runoff draining from a roughly two-block area next to the Prospect Park light rail station, near the University of Minnesota. In addition to treating the stormwater to remove pollutants, the system will create opportunities for reusing captured stormwater for purposes like irrigation and industrial use.

A first-of-its-kind project, the system is the result of a voluntary agreement between four private developers (owning adjacent properties) to manage stormwater runoff jointly rather than separately. This shared “district” approach to stormwater management will save the property owners money while creating more effective, cost-efficient and eco-friendly stormwater treatments. The MWMO facilitated the agreement between the landowners and is providing $1.3 million to supplement the owners’ investment in stormwater infrastructure.

The stormwater system is the first of a more extensive “district system” envisioned throughout Towerside, the MSP Innovation District. The district system design integrates infrastructure to facilitate sustainability and resilience for the community while adding new public amenities like green space. The stormwater system is also a component of the larger redevelopment of Fourth Street, which is known as “Green Fourth.”

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