325 Blake Road Redevelopment

325 Blake Road


Project Status: 
Aerial of 325 Blake Road
About this project: 

Since 2010, the MCWD has been working to manage regional stormwater and expand and connect the riparian greenway along Minnehaha Creek in a way that complements the built environment. The MCWD has been focusing on the most degraded section of Minnehaha Creek – between West 34th Street and Meadowbrook Lake in St. Louis Park and Hopkins – to implement a comprehensive restoration of the creek corridor that focuses on reducing pollution, addressing inconsistent base flows of the creek, reconnecting green space and habitat along the creek, and restoring the natural character of the stream channel in a manner that protects and connects natural resources to the urban fabric and surrounding communities.

This area, known as the Minnehaha Creek Greenway, historically produces the most pollution running to the creek of any other land area along the entire stream system. The restoration and stormwater management efforts to-date have yielded significant results, often through innovative public and private partnerships, resulting in hundreds of acres of regional stormwater management, nearly two miles of restored stream, over ten acres of wetland restoration, public access to over 50 acres of previously inaccessible green space, two miles of new trails, and improved ecological integrity through a series of habitat restoration and invasive species management. 

Map that shows completed and projected projects in the Minnehaha Creek Greenway

Benefits of the Greenway when completed:

  • 1.5 miles of restored creek
  • 450 acres of stormwater management
  • 12 acres of restored wetlands
  • 50 acres of newly-accessible green space
  • 2 miles of new trails
  • New access to transit options
  • 150 jobs created

Stormwater Management

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District made a strategic acquisition of the 325 Blake Road site as the cornerstone piece of this regional scale effort to establish the Minnehaha Creek Greenway.  This effort identified opportunities for area-wide stormwater improvement, ecological restoration of Minnehaha Creek and the surrounding green space, and corridor links to upstream anddownstream restoration projects. 

The 16.84 acre property, adjacent to Minnehaha Creek, was purchased by MCWD in 2011 for the fair market value of $14.95 million. We expect to recoup much of the initial investment by demolishing the current cold storage facility and positioning it for mixed-use redevelopment, while using approximately four acres of the property to achieve benefits for Minnehaha Creek and the Minnehaha Creek Greenway.

The four acres will be used to restore nearly 1,200 feet of Minnehaha Creek riparian area, provide public access to green space, and manage regional stormwater. This site will capture and treat over 260 acres of stormwater being redirected from three different cities (Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Edina). Pipes will redirect the runoff to a stormwater infiltration basin – a large depression that collects stormwater and lets it soak into the ground, much like a rain garden. The basin will capture approximately 181 pounds of phosphorus per year (1 pound of phosphorus can equal up to 500 pounds of algae). This will improve water quality and help meet federal pollution standards for the creek and Lake Hiawatha, which is downstream.

Blake Road Revitalization

The City of Hopkins and Hennepin County are focusing on Blake Road for reconstruction and revitalization which will include road calming features and making the corridor more pedestrian-friendly. The Cedar Lake Regional Trail runs just south of the project site, and the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) line will run alongside that trail. The Blake Road light rail transit station will be located across the street from the project site with pedestrian access to the station provided underneath Blake Road. With all this work planned along the Blake Road corridor, MCWD has been coordinating and working in partnership with the city and county to ensure our project will complement their long term vision for this area. With the focused attention on the Blake Road area, we are confident that this project site has strong redevelopment potential.


The MCWD has developed a demolition plan and will decommission and close the building, in preparation for demolition, once the tenants vacate the building.

  • 2017 – early 2018: securing funding for cold storage site demolition
  • Fall 2017 – 2018: RFQ process initiated to find a Master Developer for the site
  • 2018-2019: demolition of cold storage facility and county reconstruction of Blake Road
  • 2018 – 2021: construction of the SWLRT line and Blake Road station
  • 2019: implement stormwater improvements in coordination with master developer


Portions of this project are funded by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment and Hennepin County. Additional grant funds are being solicited to fund the demolition of the cold storage facility and implement the greenway restoration and stormwater management features.