Lake Effect News & Design Archives
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.
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-foot sidewalk to better accommodate the higher pedestrian traffic that exists throughout the warmer summer months.
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.
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 ceiling.
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.
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.
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.
About the Lake Effect Project
Designed by award winning Denver-based landscape and urban design firm Civitas, the Lake Effect Project is a proposed new park along Wayzata’s lakefront. It will reconnect residents to one of Wayzata’s greatest assets and identity, Lake Minnetonka.
Lake Effect Project will provide a vastly improved lakefront that will be more ecologically healthy, more beautiful, and more accessible for Wayzata residents. People will be able to stroll, sit, or put their toes in the water along the shoreline. For the first time in 100 years, people will be able to safely cross the railroad tracks and walk the length of the downtown lakefront. The park’s benefits go beyond the human experience: the lakeshore will be restored to its natural condition and the quality of rainwater that flows into the lake will be improved.
The project extends from the Section Foreman House to the Depot and from Lake Street to the water’s edge. A meandering continuous boardwalk, the Lake Walk, will extend from the Broadway community docks to the historic Depot. Along the length is a series of elevated terraces providing many opportunities for residents to sit along the lake edge and dip their toes in the water. The entire shoreline will be restored to its natural ecological state.
To the east of the Lake Walk is a proposed Eco Park, a restored historic shoreline marsh that also serves to improve water quality. A pier extends into Lake Minnetonka and an environmental education center is housed within the historic Section Foreman House, providing a convenient location for local schools to come and learn about diverse ecosystems as well as an intergenerational community center.
Lake Street will be redesigned to be more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, with a signature urban park replacing the Broadway Municipal parking lot. This year round park space will include café seating, a retail kiosk, landscaping and shade trees to create a relaxed urban experience with expansive views of Lake Minnetonka. The space will be highly adaptable to support a variety of community events.
Lake Effect Schematic Design Approved
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 spring 2020 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.
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