Parklots popping up in downtown Minneapolis

Jul 27, 2015

The new downtown Minneapolis Cultural District encompassing Hennepin Avenue and adjacent streets, runs from the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden to the Mississippi Riverfront and is home to numerous businesses and many arts, cultural and educational organizations.

Among these is Hennepin Theatre Trust, owner and operator of the historic State, Orpheum, Pantages and New Century Theatres, and more recently leader of the Cultural District. This area of Minneapolis has a mix of ‘good’ blocks with abundant activity, and ‘bad’ blocks punctuated by surface parking lots and empty storefronts. The Trust is working to strengthen the positive aspects by partnering with other area businesses to revitalize the area. Their 10-year plan to build and activate the Cultural District will dramatically reinvent the neighborhood.

Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of The Parklot Project, which will result in five “Parklot” pop-up parks throughout downtown Minneapolis. The first Parklot opened on July, 11, 2014 in a surface parking lot next to the Orpheum Theatre–four days before the Major League All-Star Game at Target Field welcomed some 160,000 additional pedestrians to the area. The second Parklot was housed in the Highland Bank Building and two new Parklots will open in summer 2015 at the IDS Center and Peavey Plaza.

These “pop-up parks” provide safe and pleasant public gathering areas, encouraging people to stop for brown bag lunches, host casual meetings or simply rest their feet from shopping. The Parklots strengthen relationships and community while stimulating the local economy. The Parklots aren’t only available during the summer months – in wintertime they move inside the lobbies of nearby buildings and provide unique recreation spaces all year round.

People who live, visit, work and play in Minneapolis are excited to see the Parklots and other elements of the Cultural District contribute to building a more vibrant, thriving, hope-filled and welcoming downtown neighborhood.

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