Case Study: Port Riverwalk

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Before & After

The Goal

Increase Housing Options through Redevelopment

The city of Coon Rapids sought affordable new-construction housing options for residents through revitalization of an existing, city-owned parcel at Port Riverwalk. City planners hoped to maximize the value to residents while also bolstering the local tax base and aesthetics.

The Challenge

Avoid the Pitfalls of Previous Proposals & Maximize the Impact

Formerly home to a strip mall, the 30-acre parcel remained undeveloped for over two decades. Multiple efforts at redevelopment had been abandoned over the years due to title challenges, environmental concerns and economic downturns.

As a mature, land-locked suburb, large-scale redevelopment in Coon Rapids is rare. This meant increased visibility for the project and a desire to maximize the value created for residents.

The Solution

Engage a Local Builder

Centra Homes, headquartered in Coon Rapids, submitted a plan to revitalize the area. The proposal called for division of the plot into several distinct neighborhoods, each including a variety of new-construction housing options to promote diversity. Plans also included a partnership with the city to tie the development into the county trail system.

Due to the high visibility of the project, the city granted preliminary approval contingent on the results of a series of community forums to gather additional resident feedback.

Following the overwhelmingly positive response, the project was approved and the Centra team began a true public-private collaboration with the city to integrate feedback and work through the issues.

Through extensive collaboration and open communication with future-focused city planners, issues were resolved one-by-one. The strong partnership between Centra, the City of Coon Rapids and residents helped everyone ensure that city and community goals stayed top-of-mind.

Together the team was able to refine a plan to deliver the right options for a neighborhood development uniquely suited to this particular community.

The Achievement

New Construction Housing Options for Diverse Families

Following extensive planning and infrastructure work, ground was broken in 2020.

The result is a set of beautiful new neighborhoods consisting of 136 homes, offered in a variety of styles designed to appeal to new homeowners, growing families and downsizers.

Due to the close collaboration with the city, Coon Rapids residents will also benefit from road improvements and new pedestrian walkways, bicycle infrastructure and access to parks and trails.

Together the team was able to refine a plan to deliver the right options for a neighborhood development uniquely suited to this particular community.

Port Riverwalk is a very visible part of community as the gateway to our city. This is a complicated site with infrastructure changes and other challenges. Centra Homes has been a good partner to help make it all work. It is important to work with a developer who listens to what the community wants.

— Grant Fernelius, Community Development Director, Coon Rapids, MN