It’s safe to say that 2020 brought challenges we never imagined. The pandemic, socioeconomic turmoil, and uncertainty forced us all to change course and adapt. Still, in the middle of it all, Wayzata found a way to move forward, to innovate, and to imagine a brighter future. After nearly a decade of planning, Phase I of Panoway on Wayzata Bay is now a reality, and the success of the project is already laying the groundwork for additional phases to come.
Now we are entering a new and exciting chapter with the launch of a $5 million capital campaign to bolster the $4 million grant we received from the State of Minnesota. Additional public and private support will be required to move us toward completion of this project and fulfill the overall vision of Panoway on Wayzata Bay.
Completion of Phase I of Panoway
Phase I was completed this past fall, as construction was able to safely continue despite pandemic restrictions. This phase not only included important investments in infrastructure, upgrading utilities, sidewalks and bike lanes, but it also created a new and improved connection between Wayzata and Lake Minnetonka. This included the creation of a beautiful new park that is providing greater public access to the lake, improving the lakeside ecosystem, and helping keep our downtown commerce vibrant. We hope you have had a chance to enjoy the new and improved Lake Street and Plaza Park. Initial feedback on the enhanced streetscape and new public space has been overwhelmingly positive. Click here to see the ribbon cutting video.
Winston Churchill said, ‘never waste a good crisis.’ So 2020 offered plenty of opportunities to refocus and think strategically about the right path forward. Some of the ways we continued to move our vision forward included:
- In April, we completed a mid-campaign Feasibility Study with the nationally recognized firm of Bentz Whaley Flessner, affirming both the viability of future phases of the project and its worthiness for philanthropic support.
- This summer, we put forward an application to place the Section Foreman House on the National Register of Historic Places. If the designation is awarded, this 1902 lakeside cottage will become the second historic landmark in Wayzata, joining the Wayzata Depot. Future phases of Panoway will restore the Section Foreman House for adaptive reuse as a Lakeshore Learning Center and a unique and valuable community space.
- In September, we were awarded our third significant award for the design of Panoway, receiving the 2020 Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the International Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY.
- Most notably, in late October the Panoway project was awarded a $4 million grant from the State of Minnesota for shoreline restoration and the construction of a lakeside boardwalk.
In the first quarter of 2021, the City of Wayzata will lay out detailed plans for the future of Panoway, including priorities, timing and funding. The City will take a phased approach, prioritizing projects and executing them as funding is secured. The Wayzata Conservancy will play a key role in helping keep this important public-private partnership on track.
Future projects include:
The Critical Role of Philanthropy
The generosity of donors will be critical if Panoway is going to live up to its promise as a transformative project for the community. That’s why we are launching a $5 million capital campaign towards creating new public space and access to Lake Minnetonka. This effort will provide significant benefits such as improving the environment and preserving Wayzata’s unique history, while also adapting space for safe, accessible use in our modern world. As the global pandemic continues many have a newfound appreciation of the great outdoors and the way in which a mindful stroll beneath open skies can put life’s stresses into perspective.
How you can Help
There are many ways for you to get involved in 2021. In addition to financial support we are actively recruiting for additional volunteers and board members. There are naming and dedication opportunities for all of the amenities created in Phase I such as the stone benches along the lakeshore. We are also fundraising for a planned 9/11 Memorial to be completed in time for the 20th anniversary of that tragic day. The memorial will be incorporated into the new lakeside plaza park. To learn more about any of these opportunities, please get in touch.
We know this has been a trying year, and it means so much for us to have your continued partnership and support. The opening of the initial phase of Panoway was a much needed bright spot for our community, and one that we hope you are proud to have supported. Please know that your support is making a difference. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
J Andrew Mullin
- Bob Ambrose
Former Wayzata City Council Member
Retired Executive, Great River Energy
612-865-4591 | Email
- Sharon Lim
Partner, BlueFire International
612-801-7149 | Email
- Marnix Guillaume
President ISIS LLC (International Strategies & Insurance Solutions)
Past Chairman Willis Corroon International
612-296-5240 | Email