Panoway on Wayzata Bay
Panoway on Wayzata Bay is an initiative to restore, protect and enhance a treasured asset for our community and broader region: Wayzata’s downtown lakefront. The multi-phase project will transform the public shoreline on Lake Minnetonka, enhancing the lakefront experience and preserving it for years to come.
Generations of residents and visitors have cherished the Wayzata lakefront as a place to relax, refresh and reconnect with each other and with the larger community. Panoway builds upon this legacy by strengthening the connection between downtown Wayzata and Lake Minnetonka, expanding access to the beloved area while investing in what makes it special.
Panoway grew out of the work of the Lake Effect Initiative, which spent nearly a decade evaluating the needs of the community by soliciting input from thousands of people through years of public and private events, meetings and conversations.
After comprehensive discussions and much deliberation, a vision emerged that includes:
- Improving the lakeside ecosystem by reintroducing native plant life, restoring habitats and converting nearly one acre of concrete along Lake Street to park land will have direct impact on the environment
- Providing greater public access to Lake Minnetonka and creating a living classroom by adding a lakeside boardwalk, making downtown Wayzata more pedestrian and bike friendly, and renovating the Section Foreman House and park area to provide hands-on learning opportunities on the lakefront around the environment and history.
- Preserving Wayzata’s history by making the Wayzata Depot more accessible and inviting by adding a restroom, an expanded garden and green space leading to the water including ADA access to the lake.
- Promoting art and urban greenspace by inviting artists to design creative green spaces where residents can gather, reflect and recharge.
- Keeping downtown commerce vibrant by attracting residents and guests to visit Wayzata’s premier shops, restaurants, cafes, and gathering spots.
Panoway will successfully render this vision, following two distinct phases of development.
Phase one construction began in March 2020 and concluded in late fall 2020. Phase one included reconstructing Lake Street from Barry Avenue to Broadway Avenue to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly; creating a beautiful, multi-use Plaza Park near the lakefront, replacing the existing surface parking lot at Lake Street and Broadway Avenue; and extending the Dakota Rail Regional Trail safely across Ferndale Road to Broadway Avenue.
After extensive community engagement and working through a design validation process, on August 16, 2022, the Wayzata City Council approved the design of Panoway Phase 2A (Boardwalk & Docks) and Phase 2B (Section Foreman House). This approval completes the design development phase for these elements of the Panoway project and moves them into the construction document phase!
Phase 2A will include a 1,500 foot-long boardwalk that will stretch along restored shoreline of Lake Minnetonka from the Section Foreman House to the Depot. There will be two lakeside overlook terraces or “step downs” and a replacement of community docks. The design work is funded by State of Minnesota Bond Funds and construction will be funded through bond funds and Tax Increment Financing (an economic development tool for a targeted area where additional property taxes paid as a result of a new development are captured locally to pay for restricted private and public improvements).
Phase 2B includes the restoration of the Section Foreman House into a new lakefront learning center. The design work for this has been fully funded by the Wayzata Conservancy.
This exciting step gets the City one step closer to our core objective of improving the lakeside ecosystem, providing greater public access to Lake Minnetonka, preserving Wayzata’s history and keeping downtown commerce vibrant.