2nd phase of Shoreview Commons renovation takes shape

A rendering of the destination playground, which will be constructed as a part of the second phase of the Shoreview Commons expansion.

If all goes according to schedule, the city's renovation and expansion of the Shoreview Commons could be finished this fall.

The City Council approved plans and specifications and authorized the taking of bids for the second phase of the Shoreview Commons improvements. Plans were previously reviewed by both the Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission at their respective December meetings.

The city worked with LHB Corporation, a Minneapolis-based architecture and engineering firm, to develop plans for the Shoreview Commons project. Phase two primarily involves a new destination playground and picnic shelter. Phase one, which was completed last summer, included an updated skate park, skating pond, expanded plaza and sidewalk to the library.

According to city documents, the second phase is expected to cost $2.8 million, which will come from the community investment fund. Though the capital improvement program had initially allocated $2 million for the project, the allocation was made before designs were completed or cost estimates were made.

Bids are expected to be accepted this spring, after which construction will start, said City Manager Terry Schwerm.

“It will take the majority of the summer to construct it, maybe opening, I'd say, either late fall or early next spring,” Schwerm added.

Mayor Sandy Martin expressed her desire for the playground to be finished as soon as possible.

“One of my disappointments was we finished the skate park in the fall (of 2019) but we really couldn't open it until the following spring, which is sort of anticlimactic,” Martin said. “I want the developer and staff to take that into consideration. If there's any way, especially in COVID, that we can open an outdoor facility … I would really love to see it open in early fall if at all possible, so that our community can enjoy it and not have to wait all winter.”

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