River Balcony | PROMENADE

A Critical Connection

The River Balcony is a proposed 1.5-mile promenade along downtown Saint Paul’s river bluff, connecting public spaces, civic landmarks, and development sites, providing new connections to the river and sparking economic development along the riverfront.


Located downtown and anchored by the Science Museum and River Centre to the west and Union Depot and Lambert’s Landing to the east, the Balcony becomes the point of access to all that Saint Paul has to offer, forming a gateway to the city and the river.

The River Capital

One of only two capital cities along the entire stretch of Mississippi River, our city’s unique history, culture and economy are connected to the 17 miles of river that flow through it. The River Balcony stitches together trails, bikeways, open spaces, civic landmarks, and development sites along the bluff to the Mississippi River. Features include an observation tower and “Big Woods Walk”, a “Bluff Walk” down to the river via a newly pedestrianized E. 2nd Street, and a welcome center at Lambert’s Landing.

Project Design

The City of Saint Paul and Great River Passage Conservancy worked with James Corner Field Operations and consultants to complete schematic design for the River Balcony. Schematic design includes site analysis, exploring design concepts, providing a general overview of the River Balcony’s basic features and programming, and getting a general idea of the look and feel of the project. Following months of community engagement, we invite you to view the final schematic design as it was presented in November 2022 and review the final design report with further detail below.

Stay connected with us to receive updates as the project continues to move forward!

Project Timeline

Community Engagement (January – November 2022)

• January 2022 Initial Focus Groups
• February 2022 Presentation and Recording
• June 2022 Presentation


Strategic Planning (December 2023 – December 2024)

• Transition period to define partner roles and responsibilities develop finance strategy, and evaluate potential project phases
• March 2023: HR&A Advisors governance structure recommendation completed


City Council Review (January 2024 – March 2024)

• February 8, 2024: Parks and Recreation Commission Public Hearing, Presentation and recommendation (Click here for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Commission website)
• March 29, 2024: Planning Commission Public Hearing
• April/May 2024: Planning Commission Meeting (Click here for Saint Paul Planning Commission website)
• Spring 2024: City Council Action
Note: All dates are tentative and subject to change.


April 2024 – Beyond

• Fundraising
• Advanced design
• Construction
• Operations


City of Saint Paul
Ramsey County
Metropolitan Council
Xcel Energy
District Energy Saint Paul
Visit Saint Paul
Knight Foundation
Securian Financial
Ruth and John Huss
Capital Region Watershed District