RSM Plaza

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

The RSM Plaza is ideally situated at 8th and Nicollet – the apex of the downtown Minneapolis business community. The property offers excellent proximity to major points of interest in downtown Minneapolis and is directly connected to the city’s best retail options. Car and bicycle friendly with convenient access to public transportation, RSM Plaza is truly accessible to everyone. But what makes the revitalized RSM Plaza one of Minneapolis’ most visible and iconic properties? Some say it’s the new pocket park off Nicollet Mall.

A previously dreary and uninviting entrance to the Panera Bread located at the west building entrance, the former corridor was well known to locals as being dull and bleak. Now, this attractive space, designed by Perkins & Will, has garnered the compliments of residents and visitors alike since it’s unveiling in 2018 – not to mention the 100% increase in revenue that the Panera Bread location saw after the new courtyard was completed. Doubling sales revenue in less than a year – talk about an economic success story to prove the benefits of trees! When asked about the new courtyard, the Manager of the Panera Bread said, “We absolutely love the new pocket park and our customers do to!”

Pocket Park: a small park accessible to the general public that is created on a single vacant building lot, an irregular piece of land, or as a public space component of a large building

There were four trees planted in this pocket park courtyard, all utilizing the RootSpace ArborSystem to provide large volumes of uncompacted soil for vigorous root growth and healthy tree establishment. Each tree received about 610 cubic feet of soil volume at an installed cost of approximately $6,200 per tree (including soil cells, root management, and irrigation/aeration, as well as excavation, labor, and filler soil). Maximizing the health and lifespan of urban trees while managing stormwater and providing many other benefits is all key to the use of GreenBlue Urban’s RootSpace system.

Winter Park Construction completed the courtyard’s landscape elements including the installation of RootSpace ArborSystem and the tree plantings.

“The RootSpace installation at RSM Plaza was very simple and quick – I was expecting it to take us a couple days to complete, and it went together in one day,” Site Supervisor

RootSpace is a modular soil cell system (pavement support system) that allows for uncompacted soil volumes under hardscape surfaces while supporting H-20 vehicular loading, making it possible to grow large stature trees in even the most congested urban areas. The uncompacted soil within RootSpace can also be used for stormwater management, creating a bioretention treatment system underneath paved surfaces. These kind of LID applications also act as irrigation for the trees, in addition to the stormwater treatment being provide by the system.

If you haven’t already visited the new pocket park on Nicollet Mall, it’s highly recommended next time you’re in downtown Minneapolis!