Wayzata Lake Effect

Lake Effect Latest News

City Council approves elements of the Lake Effect Project – Lake Street, the Plaza Park and the Depot Park

At the June 19th, Wayzata City Council meeting the Council approved the schematic design for three major elements of the Lake Effect Project – Lake Street (between Barry and Broadway), the Lake Street Plaza (where the municipal parking lot is currently), and the Depot Park. These designs were approved after a thorough engagement process that began in earlier this year led by City staff and Civitas – a world-renowned landscape architecture firm based out of Denver.
For the past few months, these elements have been in the validation phase, where the Council and Civitas continued to receive input form the residents of Wayzata and stakeholders. The conclusion of this process is summarized below.
Lake Street
The redesign of Lake Street that was approved involves the area from Broadway to Barry. One of the goals of the Lake Effect Project, was to make downtown Wayzata more pedestrian friendly with added space for sidewalk shopping, dining, and landscaping. To do this, the center turn lane will be eliminated. However, there will be turn pockets included on Broadway and Barry Avenue to ease traffic flow and loading areas designated during the day for deliveries. There will also be a two-way bike lane added on the south side of the street to more safely direct local and regional bike traffic through downtown and connecting to other points in Wayzata and beyond. The new design better maximizes on-street parking with 10 additional spaces added.
Plaza Park

Since the completion of the Mill Street parking lot, which added approximately 200additional parking spaces in downtown Wayzata, there has been increased discussion about converting the municipal parking lot at Broadway and Lake into a more multi-use space or plaza. As a result of overwhelming support from the community, the Council approved transforming this lot into a “plaza park.”  This will give this space the ability to be used for multiple uses, along with adding green space to this beautiful vantage point on the lake.
Depot Park
While the first two elements will be publicly funded, the Lake Effect Conservancy is raising private dollars to complete the other elements of the Lake Effect Project south of the railroad tracks – including the Depot Park. The design that was approved is ADA (American Disabilities Association) accessible, along with the addition of much more green space down and public restrooms. The existing Garden Club flowerbeds and the model train facility will remain with a more organized design and increased accessibility around them.

Lake Effect Project

The Wayzata Council approved a contract with Civitas to move forward with the design of implementation plans and construction documents for the Lake Effect Project on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

The Lake Effect project, a strategic initiative by the City of Wayzata which has been developed through several years of engagement collaboration with the community, will be located along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka---extending from the Section Foreman House to the historic Depot Park. The project includes the following improvements: 

On the east side, an Eco Park with a restored shoreline marsh, will also serve to improve the water quality. A pier will extend into Lake Minnetonka and an interpretive center is planned within the historic Section Foreman House.

A meandering, continuous boardwalk from the Eco Park, past the Broadway community docks, to the historic Depot Park area, which will also be renovated.

Lake Street will be redesigned to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly with a multi-use plaza, replacing the Broadway Municipal parking lot.

“It has been an honor working closely with this thriving community to understand and implement their needs toward this change in how they celebrate and protect their community’s greatest asset, Lake Minnetonka,” says Civitas Principal Scott Jordan. “We see waterfront parks as investments in healthier communities, economies and habitats, and are excited to move forward on revitalizing Wayzata’s lakefront.” Denver based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas is known for creating such successful completed waterfront projects such as the Port of San Diego's North Embarcadero and Calgary, Alberta's St. Patrick's Island Park, which has won the firm multiple awards including the 2016 Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the nonprofit Waterfront Center.

As the City of Wayzata moves forward with the Lake Effect Project, this year is dedicated to the design and development of the entire project and construction is slated to begin in 2019 on the Lake Street and plaza components. “The City is fortunate to be working with a nationally renowned design firm like Civitas to bring this important project to life,” says Mayor Ken Willcox. “They have a remarkable record.  Also critical to the success of this endeavor will be the work of the members of the Lake Effect Conservancy and our community partners.”

Outside of the Lake Street and plaza streetscape improvements, the balance of the project is to be funded by a public/private partnership between the City and the Lake Effect Conservancy (LEC).  The LEC is a 501 (c) 3, established to raise private funds and to advocate for the Lake Effect project – a transformation of the Wayzata lakeshore.

Wayzata Lake Effect_Design Phase Services (1) scope of work
lake effect boardwalk
lake effect section foreman house design view
Lake effect design

DRAFT Dates and Milestones

• May 2016
   Lake Effect Schematic Design Accepted by the City Council
• August 2016
   Lake Effect Conservancy Established
• August 2016
   Project Scope Approved by City Council
• August 2016 - April 2018
   Environmental Assessment, maintenance and operations cost estimate, agreement with BNSF Railroad
• June 5, 2018
City Council Workshop to discuss design validation of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza, and Depot Park
• June 19, 2018
   City Council action on design validation of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza, and Depot Park
April - September 2018

   Design development/construction documents and permitting
• October - December 2018
   Final cost estimates and phasing
• January/February 2019
   Construction begins if funds secured

Design First Phase Construction Timeline

Wayzata Lake Effect_Design Phase Services (1)

Lake Effect Conservancy

The Lake Effect Conservancy advocates and raises private philanthropic funds for development, maintenance, and operating costs of the Lake Effect Park project. Visit the Lake Effect Wayzata Conservancy website for more details.

View the Wayzata Lake Effect Board Walk Campaign

(Video below)


Project Contact

Jeffrey Dahl, City Manager at 952-404-5309
Jeff Thomson, Planning and Building Director at 952-404-5312