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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Panoway Plaza Work Behind Schedule

As Phase 1 of the Panoway Project moves forward, portions of the work have fallen behind schedule.


600 block of Lake Street with Plaza area in the foreground (Wayzata.com photo taken 7/12/20)

The work on the plaza outside of CōV restaurant is one section of that construction.

The overall construction project and additional delays are impacting local businesses.

“It has been difficult because the majority of our guests only feel comfortable eating outside,” said Gianni’s Steakhouse owner Terri Huml. “The dust and construction are not a pleasant situation for our diners to enjoy the experience.”



Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

Stahl Construction releases a weekly report showing the plans for the upcoming weeks.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

The paving of the plaza appeared on a previous report to be worked on the week of June 29. It has appeared on the subsequent six weeks including next week, the week of August 3.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

On Friday, July 24, Wayzata.com asked the City of Wayzata and Stahl Construction what was causing the delay in the paving of the plaza. 


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"There were a few elements beyond our control that has impacted the overall schedule regarding the plaza and the paving," said Stahl Construction President Jessie Houlihan. "Namely the catenary light pole base design and materials, which were stuck for a few months with the design team / procurement."


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"Procurement means stuck with the vendor," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "The shipping of the actual catenary equipment has been delayed, unfortunately. There were a few needed design tweaks, as well, given all of the underground utilities running underneath."

"The plaza will be poured soon and we are projecting that the park, along with the rest of the project will be substantially completed by our original goal. There, of course, will be things that will be completed afterwards such as the catenary lighting," added Dahl.

Dahl stated that the goal has consistently been substantial completion by James J. Hill weekend which was supposed to begin Friday, Sept. 11.


In March, Stahl estimated the targeted entire project close out date as September 7.

“A lot of people ask about how the street is going to function with parking and two lanes of traffic, when is it going to be done, etc.,” said Huml. 

Stahl also stated that because the light pole footings are located over a Met Council forced sewer main and they had to come up with a different plan. Stahl said it needed Met Council’s approval and that pushed the work back by weeks.

The Met Council says that an inspector is overseeing the work in the area of the sewer main on south side of Lake Street during the Panoway project. According to the Met Council, the line enters Lake Street at Grove Lane (lift station) and continues east along Lake Street and transitions into Eastman Lane and then down Highway 101/Bushaway to Minnetonka.

The catenary lighting system is illustrated in the images below as system that will be strung over Lake Street.


Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Meanwhile, the precast benches and walls requested by the city have also been an issue. According to Stahl, the exploration of a hybrid alternative delayed the ability to secure an order with the precast supplier. It was later determined that the hybrid alternative was not a viable solution. Once the product was confirmed to install, the order was placed, according to Stahl. The issue of benches and walls took more than two months to resolve.

As COVID-19 hit Minnesota, the Wayzata City Council decided to continue moving forward with the Panoway Lake Street construction project at a special emergency workshop meeting on Thursday, March 26.



According to the Wayzata Lake Effect "Panoway On Wayzata Bay" Phasing model,  the targeted completion date for the 600 block was July 16.

Plaza Park is targeted to be completed by August 14 according to the phasing model.

The construction is a part of the Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1.

The city allocated roughly $9 million toward the first phase of the project.

The current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) includes $200,000 for business impact mitigation tactics.

Earlier this year, city staff met with business owners to discuss specific tactics including “open for business” signage as well as complimentary valet services for the downtown area.

But considering the COVID-19 outbreak, the city considered different ways to allocate the funds.

“At this point we have used the funds to waive sidewalk patio fees, pay for some additional signage, and pay for overtime to expedite Panoway Construction,” said Dahl. “We have not officially waived liquor licenses fees as of yet, but we have allowed delayed payment. The Council is still considering it and if we do, that will take up the lion’s share of the $200,000.”

“It’s the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with,” said Huml. “I'm trying to be a strong and positive leader but some days I wake up and am gripped with fear. Both COVID and construction are completely out of my control and yet both have affected my ability to run my business. My goal is to provide a safe environment for my staff and guests and offer an opportunity to dine out.”

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.

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RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

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