Maple Grove - Gravel Mining Area



The Gravel Mining Area Plan and Related Pre-development Planning

Maple Grove is a northwestern suburb of the Twin Cities. Within the City of Maple Grove there is an area defined as the Maple Grove Gravel Mining Area (GMA). This area encompassed approximately 2,100 acres and has been actively mined for construction aggregates since the 1920s.

Beginning in the early 80’s, the progression of mining activities, the need to complete some major county roadway connections through the area, and general development pressure combined to generate the need to develop a comprehensive development plan for the Maple Grove GMA. In 1985, the landowners sponsored the first step in this process which resulted in the development of an infrastructure plan for the Gravel Mining Area. This plan, known as GMAP, contained detailed analysis and recommendations on reclamation, storm water drainage, grading, sanitary sewer, and transportation.

Once the baseline for development was set, subsequent efforts lead to further planning of the Maple Grove GMA. A task force was established with the stated goal to “realize a plan for the Gravel Mining Area that is equal to its potential.” The Gravel Mining Area Planning Task Force included landowners, members of the City Council and Planning Commission and concerned citizens.

Development Results

The vision of the landowners and the Gravel Mining Area Planning Task Force was to create a distinctive environment that blended the desirable elements of typical suburban life with the character and pedestrian scale of more traditional urban neighborhoods. Multiple phases of what became regionally recognized as Arbor Lakes have been implemented and the vision is being achieved with spectacular results. The major elements that have been developed to date include:

  • New civic campus that includes the Government Center for the City of Maple Grove.
  • A new community center with an ice arena, an aquatic center and a fitness center for the Maple Grove community.
  • The Construction of the new Hennepin County Library.
  • The construction of three plus miles of city trails around three major lake structures created by the mining process.
  • Over 2,000,000 square feet of new retail and office space including the Shoppes of Arbor Lakes and the Fountains of Arbor Lakes.
  • Construction of Great River Energy’s new corporate campus which is platinum LEED certified. The building is the first in Minnesota to achieve the distinction and one of fewer than 100 buildings worldwide to receive the designation.
  • Multiple medium and high density housing projects which each include an affordability element.
  • Senior housing through a partnership with Common Bond Communities.


To date, less than 50% of the total area within the Maple Grove Gravel Mining Area has been developed. Over $300,000,000 in tax market value has been added to the City of Maple Grove through our combined development efforts.

Tiller Corporation continues to actively mine the site; executing its mining and reclamation in an orderly fashion. Tiller Corporation, the other mine operators in the GMA and the City continue to enjoy a long-term development partnership that is delivering on a vision that was created over 20 years ago.