The City of Hopkins has long realized the need to improve the connection between Excelsior Blvd and Mainstreet for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
The plan for a Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) station at 8th Avenue South and Excelsior Blvd has underlined that need and identified an important goal of attracting transit riders to Downtown Hopkins.
Because 8th Avenue South is the intersection of the future LRT Station, is a signaled intersection, and is already designated as the bicycle connection between the Cedar Lake LRT trail and the Lake Minnetonka LRT trail, it makes sense to focus on 8th Avenue South as the main north-south connection between Excelsior Blvd and Mainstreet.
Furthermore, the west side of 8th Avenue South offers some significant redevelopment opportunities. The first redevelopment along this corridor will be the Gallery Flats Apartments, on the former Park Nicollet medical clinic site.
The City of Hopkins desires to create a plan and design for a vibrant, interactive, "pedestrian seductive" 8th Avenue between the proposed Hopkins LRT station and historic downtown Hopkins. It is envisioned that the process to get us there will include an art summit to create the vision for integrating public art into the experience of the corridor - helping tell the story of the new transit linking to the historic Mainstreet while meeting the under lying goal of encouraging pedestrian movement. The process and resulting plan will then inform the technical design of the corridor.
Local Implementation Capacity grant funds will be used to hire a consultant to design and facilitate engagement between the community, artists, city staff, and technical experts and to create an optimal plan for using art to connect the Hopkins LRT station to downtown Hopkins via the 8th Avenue corridor – The Artery.
Proposed Scope of Work:
Task One: Visioning with Community (Art Summit)
The consultant worked with The Artery committee to design a community art summit. The goal of the summit is to gather everyone with an interest in transforming 8th Avenue into a pedestrian-seductive, art-infused corridor, brainstorm how art can be used to draw future LRT riders (and others) from Excelsior Boulevard to our historic downtown, and develop consensus around mediums, messages, and placement of art to inform the development of concept plans.
Task Two: Development of Concept Plans
Based on the input gathered during the summit, the consultant will develop a series of concept plans. The concept plans will not detail specific art pieces but will identify elements such as:
Task Three: Detailed Design Plan
The final design plan will use narrative and illustration to detail all the elements important to implement the vision. The final design plan will also include a rendering of how the street would look if the plan was realized, from a vantage point of Excelsior Boulevard and 8th Avenue South.
Task Four: Financing Options
The City of Hopkins does not have the funds necessary to fully implement the plan, and will be seeking outside dollars through grants, donations, and fundraising. The consultant will be asked to identify resources and provide an estimate of the cost of each of the art elements called for in the plan.