Upper Harbor Terminal Project moves forward despite frustrations from residents

Plans for the Upper Harbor Terminal Project led to some heated moments at the Minneapolis Economic Development Committee meeting Tuesday.   

Included in the proposal are housing, parks, businesses, office space, an amphitheater and more. Some residents, who live near the site, however say plans need to include more of what they see as the future of the 48-acre site. The opposition has been outspoken since the Upper Harbor Terminal concept plan was developed.

Tuesday, protesters gathered for a rally in the hallway of Minneapolis City Hall. Their frustrations were directed toward three First Avenue representatives involved in the plans for entertainment at the site.

“You are participating in the continue divestment of wealth from the residents of north Minneapolis,” said Michael Chaney, an activist. 

Chaney is just one of many concerned that the vision will include a land grab, taking advantage of those who live in the nearby McKinley neighborhood.

“Neighborhoods are going to be hamstrung,” said Chaney. “That poor unaware people are going to sell their property unbeknownst that this big development is going to be happening.”

Those opposed say possibly a bigger concern is a lack of community engagement. 

“In many cases, people aren’t even aware that the river is there and yet they advance some fraudulent effort called outreach that has been outrageous,” said Chaney.

Inside council chambers for the committee meeting, there was anger that the meeting was not designed to include a public hearing. 

Feeling like the north side is being left out, those presenting the concept plan indicated what many would say is the opposite. Plans show housing that would be 40 percent affordable housing as well as jobs and opportunities for residents to own businesses.

“All throughout the project, there is the idea to have the ground floor owned by the community, they’re working hard to figure that out,” said a presenter at the meeting.

All committee members voted to pass the concept plan.