Fifth & Water Street Redevelopment

5th and Water street redevelopment artist rendering overview

Overview of the redevelopment

The City Council directed staff to attempt to negotiate an agreement with the Lander Group to facilitate the redevelopment of the area into a destination boutique hotel and restaurant. This redevelopment site provides an opportunity to establish an attractive, expanded gateway into Downtown that capitalizes on the location adjacent to the historic district, Bridge Square redevelopment and riverfront redevelopment. 

The private development will facilitate increased investment to help pay for better public spaces and amenities while increasing tourism dollars and expanding the tax base of the City.


The City Council will have input into the project design of the exterior and public spaces including size, scale, materials, landscaping and other elements. The project area is adjacent to, but not in, the historic district. Being adjacent to the historic district requires some added attention to being complementary to the nearby historic district but does not have the same regulatory standards.


The redevelopment will include the Northfield Liquor Store at 116 Fifth Street West and the former location of Ameriprise Financial at 411 Water Street South. The City of Northfield currently owns both of these properties.

5th and water project location map


Dates are subject to change.

Community engagement opportunities

As the project proceeds, you will have opportunities to give public input related to the character and design of building facades and public spaces. Sign up for project updates to stay informed of engagement opportunities.

In addition to these opportunities, all City Council, boards, commission and committee meetings are open to the public. Most, but not all meetings, may have an opportunity for public comment.

September 27, 2023 – Meeting with business and property owners

4 to 6 p.m.
City Hall, 2nd floor training room, 801 Washington Street

September 27, 2023 – Meeting with organizations

Organizations invited include Friends of Downtown Northfield, Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Open Table, Roundtable Project

4 to 6 p.m.
City Hall, 2nd floor training room, 801 Washington Street

October 4, 2023 – Downtown and Riverfront Redevelopment Community Open House #1

6 to 8 p.m.
Fifty North, meeting room, 1651 Jefferson Parkway

October 7, 2023 – Downtown and Riverfront Redevelopment Community Open House #2

2 to 4 p.m.
Greenvale Elementary, cafeteria, 5000 Lincoln Parkway

October 11, 2023 – Downtown and Riverfront Redevelopment Community Open House #3

6 to 8 p.m.
Weitz Center for Creativity, Carleton College, 320 Third Street

Signing up for project updates

Stay informed on project progress and engagement opportunities.

Sign up for email and text updates

Northfield Liquor Store

Northfield Liquor Store is not located in this project area. The City initially acquired these properties to construct a new liquor store. Upon further study, the new location of the Northfield Liquor Store proposed at 5th Street and Washington will better meet the overall goals of the City and liquor store customers. The proposed new boutique hotel and restaurant will further the city’s goals to activate the riverfront area and stimulate economic growth. The Northfield Liquor Store increased sales will pay for the full cost of the new facility.

Paying for the project

The Lander Group will be purchasing the property and privately financing the project. The City is exploring options for some incentives and partnerships to help facilitate this private development.

Other public funding could include a State of Minnesota Redevelopment Grant to assist with demolition and site preparation costs, a State Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Downtown Grant, and City of Northfield redevelopment tax increment financing on the new tax value (no impact to existing taxes) to be used to assist in the redevelopment.

Post office building

The post office building is not included in this project. However, the City is exploring with federal postal officials whether the adjacent private parking at the post office site could be incorporated into the project design.

Public restrooms

The City is exploring conditions to incorporate public restrooms into the project that is yet to be determined on financial assistance but could include tax increment financing as a solution.

Rooftop feature

The developer is currently exploring incorporation of a rooftop lounge to be included as part of the hotel and restaurant project.

Connecting our goals and plans

This project meets a number of strategic priorities of the city’s strategic plan including economic vitality, quality facilities and service excellence. This includes maximizing redevelopment opportunities in the urban edge that encourages a more integrated relationship between the downtown and the river.

The project also checks off a number of objectives from different plans, such as the 2008 Comprehensive Plan, Riverfront Action Plan, Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan and the mission statement.

Comprehensive Plan

  • “Old Northfield” including the downtown core…will define Northfields character
  • Mixed use centers will be compatible in scale and character to surrounding uses and develop in a form that reflects “Old Northfield”, including such elements as building mass, placement and orientation to the street.
  • The Cannon River is a defining natural feature of Northfield and the City will commit to protecting and enhancing the river corridor wen development, redevelopment, or intensification occurs. The corridor will be integrated in development, redevelopment or land intensification to create high quality public spaces that connect people to the river.
  • The preference for accommodating infill first then redevelopment.

View Comprehensive Plan

Incorporate “park once” site design requirements in areas called for mixed use. Improve walking and biking travel patterns through improving existing connections to the Northfield trail system improved street crossings and foot bridges.

Riverfront Action Plan

  • “The urban edge encourages a more integrated relationship between the river and downtown.”  
  • “With building uses spilling out onto the water’s edge, the Riverwalk has the potential to become a world class riverfront experience.”

View the Riverfront Action Plan

Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan

  • Reinforce a positive, genuine character.
  • Design a hierarchy of streetscape elements.
  • “String of Pearls” concept identifies a series of focal points or pearls in the streetscape.
  • Improve the gateway experience into downtown.

View the Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan

  1. Jake Reilly

    Jake Reilly

    Community Development Director

  1. Nate Carlson

    Nate Carlson

    Economic Development Coordinator