Design firm chosen for River Balcony project in St. Paul

The urban design and landscape architecture firm best known for creating the High Line in Manhattan has been selected to design the River Balcony in St. Paul, the city and Great River Passage Conservancy announced Thursday.

The River Balcony project will be a 1.5-mile promenade along the river bluff in downtown St. Paul. It will stretch along Kellogg Boulevard from Eagle Street to Sibley Street.

"Realizing transformative projects like the River Balcony will further spark economic development, attract new residents, workers and businesses, and improve community health and well-being," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said. "I look forward to seeing this incredible vision come to life for Saint Paul and our entire region."

According to the release, the first phase of designing for the project begins in mid-September with the final design and cost estimates coming in June 2022. James Corner Field Operations will be working with some local firms and native communities for input on the project.

The River Balcony project is part of a bigger river development project in St. Paul that has the goal of reconnecting the community with the Mississippi River. It will also include a River Leaning Center and East Side River District.

The firm was chosen from 12 proposals, the city says. In addition to the High Line, a public park built on an old, elevated freight train line on the West Side of Manhattan, James Corner Field Operations also designed 1.5 miles of Seattle’s Central Waterfront, and is in the first phase of a 10-mile park and urban trail called The Underline in Miami.