Wayzata Lake Effect

Lake Effect Public Open House Overview

At the Lake Effect Community Open House on August 16, 2018, residents were able to walk through, review and discuss with the design team, Civitas, and staff their thoughts on the design refinements for the Lake street, Lake Street Plaza and Depot Park. 

Boards of the design alternatives were on display and below are the images with descriptions of each of the areas.

18.08-16 WLE Lake St  Plaza Board

Lake Street

At the conclusion of the validation phase it was determined that the option to remove the center turn lane on Lake Street provided the most added benefit to the project.  The space previously used for the center lane has been re-allocated to provide a dedicated off-street bike facility, stormwater planting, and expand the public realm north of Lake Street.

A dedicated bike lane will safely bring riders of all ages on to Lake Street to take advantage of the shops and restaurants. The bike facility will feature a visually contrasting pavement treatment from the pedestrian walking space as well as a visual and textural material change in the step out zone between the parked cars and the bike lane and between the transition from pedestrian walk to bike lane.  In addition to the dedicated bike facility, the design of the south-side of Lake Street includes an expanded 8’ sidewalk to better accommodate the higher pedestrian traffic that exists throughout the warmer summer months.

18.08-16 WLE Depot  Eco Park Boards_Page_6

Stormwater planting along the south side of Lake Street will capture and treat street runoff in a storm event before it is discharged into lake Minnetonka.  This feature will provide an environmental benefit, but will also contribute to the visual impact and patterning along Lake Street by creating a rhythm of green planting. 

18.08-16 WLE Depot  Eco Park Boards_Page_5

The increased public realm space accommodates outdoor seating for current and future tenants, additional seating for community, and ample pedestrian space to enjoy the restaurants, shops, businesses and incredible lake views.  The Lake Street design from Broadway to Walker will have an enhanced paving and lighting.  Special attention has been given to this important and thriving retail block to embrace the views of the lake and enhance the pedestrian, bike, and vehicular experience.  Striking light poles resembling the masts of sail boats are proposed to march down Lake Street from Walker Avenue to Broadway Avenue creating an alluring rhythm and calling attention to the 600 block.  From these posts catenary lighting will be secured, creating a charming celling. 

18.08-16 WLE Depot  Eco Park Boards_Page_8

Lake Street Plaza 

Currently the municipal parking lot, the Lake Street Plaza will dramatically transform the asphalt parking into a community space to be used during all seasons.  A series of green outdoor rooms will flank a flexible plaza space that can be used to accommodate existing uses such as farmers markets, Art Experience, James J. Hill Days and also provide new uses in the winter such as ice skating and informal games of hockey or curling.  A permanent restroom will be located at the East end of the park and plaza providing year-round facilities for the public.  Shaded green rooms build upon the existing elevated garden spaces by providing additional space for siting, relaxing or a shady spot to enjoy a picnic.  Two slender shade structures framing the flexible plaza create a respite from the sun in the summer and a place to gather near a fire pit in the fall and winter.   Catenary lighting over Lake Street extends into the park space creating a ceiling and defining the outdoor rooms over the tilted lawns. 

18.08-16 WLE Depot  Eco Park Boards_Page_1

Depot Park

Since design validation the Depot Park design has evolved to ensure existing uses and character are maintained, while at the same time enhancing accessibility and function.  Consideration has been made to maintain the parks primary passive nature by keeping the boardwalk down at the water level leaving most of the existing open grass lawn as a passive family oriented gathering space.  The ramp system from the boat docks to the Depot has been simplified creating direct access to the Depot and railroad crossing at Barry Street.  A small deck floats in the open lawn providing an opportunity for viewing the lake, lounging, picnicking or a stage for concerts at the depot. 18.08-16 WLE Depot  Eco Park Boards_Page_7

18.08-16 WLE Depot Eco Park Boards_Page_2Eco-Park

One of the most significant changes that has been made to the Eco-Park is the boardwalk itself.  Rather than a static pier that reaches out into the marsh land, now the boardwalk creates a loop taking visitors through several plant communities.  This new experience creates many opportunities for learning about the variety of plants and animal species that are integral to this the lake ecosystem. 

18.08-16 WLE Depot  Eco Park Boards_Page_9

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  5. Previous Lake Effect News

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.