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Work underway for new $8M pavilion on Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis

The new pavilion is being built in the same space where the old pavilion burned down in 2019.

MINNEAPOLIS — Work is underway on the northeast shore of Bde Maka Ska.

Workers with the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board began working on a new pavilion that will soon be a place where residents and visitors can enjoy food, drinks and live music by the lake.

"It's over an $8 million investment that we're making,” design project manager Dan Elias says.

The new pavilion is being built in the same space where the old pavilion burned down in 2019.

Elias says this new pavilion will be larger and will feature two separate buildings to give better views of the lake.

“The buildings will be next to each other and will maximize the lake views here at the site,” Elias explains.

The Minneapolis Park and Rec Board is hoping this new pavilion will become a gathering space for locals and visitors who want to experience Bde Maka Ska.

"There aren't a lot of places in the city of Minneapolis where you can have sort of lakeside dining,” Elias says.

The plan is to have the new pavilion and restaurant up and running by the middle of next summer.

“We’re looking at a timeline of about 12 to 15 months,” Elias says.

Lynn Annis is excited to see the new project.

She lives a few blocks away.

“I’m glad to see something coming in here, but I also have my concerns,” Annis says.

“It’s such a quiet place to come and visit and enjoy nature. I hope that they respect the nature and continue to honor that.”

Park visitor Sam Burns also has mixed feelings about the project.

He often stops by Bde Maka Ska during his daily bike rides.

“It’s such a great place for a picnic or to just relax,” Burns says.

“Fifteen months is going to be a long time without this place. People are going to really miss it, but I guess it’s something for us to all look forward to.”

The Minneapolis Park and Rec Board says the project will cause a few minor detours for streets and trails.

The boat launch at Bde Maka Ska will also have to close down for most of the summer.

“The launch will close starting on June 6th and that will run through September 17th,” Elias says.

"Bde Maka Ska is the only sort of formal boat launch for the upper chain, so it will be a big disruption for some folks who have grown accustomed to launching their boat here.”

The Minneapolis Park and Rec Board is also planning to replace the damaged roof on the Harriet Bandshell later this Fall, once the summer concerts are over.

And they're looking for a replacement for the popular restaurant ‘Sandcastle’ on Lake Nokomis, which will close at the end of summer.

The Minneapolis Park and Rec Board will soon start accepting applications for vendors who would like to move into that spot in 2023.

So, a lot of changes to the lakes this year, but the park board is hoping it's all for the better.

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