About Towerside

Towerside is a 370-acre district at the heart of the Twin Cities’ 3.5-million-person metro area. The Innovation District extends from the University of Minnesota on the west to the Creative Enterprise Zone on the east spanning two cities and two counties.

The community-born vision for this district called for capitalizing on its incredibly rich concentration of assets – the University of Minnesota, its medical and research complex, three Green Line LRT stations, two thriving neighborhoods – by creating a high-intensity, high density mix of places and spaces where working, living and innovation come together in an equitable, diverse and sustainable community.

Seeking to become a new replicable model of urban redevelopment rooted in district-wide systems for energy, stormwater management, parking, and connected public realm, the Towerside Innovation District was formed to enable community stakeholders and facilitate the vision. As a community and economic development framework Towerside includes a wide array of partners such as higher education institutions, landowners, businesses, government, nonprofit organizations, and neighborhood groups. Towerside creates framework guidelines, finds early capital to support the district-wide infrastructure systems and advances this vision with potential investors, developers and the neighborhoods.

Art Vision Divider Collage A 1

Board of Directors

Towerside Innovation District is governed by it's volunteer board of directors and supported by its diverse partner organizations. Towerside’s strength and potential rely on public-private coordinated partnerships. This structure aligns leadership, improves cross-sector collaboration, and builds new models of inclusive governance to drive effective planning and project delivery.


Sabina Saksena* - Chairperson/President – CEO, Cytilife

Metric Giles - Policy Coordinator, Community Stabilization Project

Dick Gilyard* - President, Prospect Park 2020

Gloria Jeff, Civil Engineer

Dan King - Chief Technology Office, Darcy Solutions

Olivia Leyrer* - Real Estate and Municipal Lawyer, Best & Flanagan

Pat Mascia - Managing Director, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors

Karen Nelson - Westgate Representative, Saint Anthony Park Community Council

Rachel Placzek - Platforms Manager, GREATER MSP

Kevin Reich - Executive Director, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

Karl Reichert* - Executive Director, Textile Center of Minnesota

*Indicates Board Officers

Art Home Footer Collage B 1

Partners + Stakeholders

Towerside is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed as an intentional partnership of non-profit and government agencies, higher education, community residents, businesses, and developers.

  • Aeon
  • Blue Cross and BlueShield of Minnesota
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Central Funders Collaborative
  • City of Minneapolis
  • City of Saint Paul
  • The Cornerstone Group
  • Creative Enterprise Zone
  • Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Ever-Green Energy
  • Family Housing Fund
  • Greater MSP
  • Hennepin County
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Metropolitan Design Center
  • Minneapolis Public Housing
  • Authority
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Mississippi Watershed
  • Management Organization
  • Prospect Park 2020
  • Prospect Park Association
  • Prospect Park Properties
  • Ramsey County
  • Surly Brewing
  • St. Anthony Park
  • Community Council
  • Trust for Public Land
  • Twin Cities Community Land Bank
  • ULI Minnesota
  • University Enterprise Laboratories
  • University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors
  • United Properties
  • The Wall Companies
  • Xcel Energy