Carisch family considering $500,000 pledge towards Panoway boardwalk

A potential one time gift seeks to help fund boardwalk and could rename the structure to Lakewalk; Council to discuss on April 18th Workshop at 5:50pm

A DRAFT letter from William Sternberg, Director, Business Development & Philanthropic Advisor of the Minneapolis Foundation was published in the April 18th Wayzata City Council Workshop agenda packet, and stated:

The Minneapolis Foundation (the “Foundation”) is pleased to approve a grant of $500,000.00 to The Wayzata Conservancy (the “Conservancy”) to support the Boardwalk section of Wayzata’s Panoway Project. The Boardwalk section, or “lake walk” is the proposed lakeside walkway that will stretch approximately 1,000 lineal feet from the COV RR Crossing to the Wayzata Depot, adjacent to Lake Street in downtown Wayzata. This grant is awarded from the Carisch Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

Included in the draft pledge from the Carisch Family is a request to rename the boardwalk to “Lakewalk”; with the specific signage to read:

Enjoy the Lakewalk – The Carisch Family

The proposed donation will be made from the Minneapolis Foundation on behalf of the Carisch Family Fund, to the Wayzata Conservancy in order to help fund construction, operations, maintenance, upkeep, restoration, etc. of the Boardwalk.

Proposed signage included in the Workshop packet.

According to the City Manager’s Memo attached to the letter, “The Conservancy will present a draft proposal and Pledge Agreement for a $500,000 donation to the Conservancy from the Carisch family through the Minneapolis Foundation. It includes a request to name the boardwalk as the “Lakewalk” and include signage as shown in the updated signage standards. After the Council’s preliminary review of the draft proposal and Pledge Agreement, the Conservancy is prepared to present this donation at the next Council meeting on May 2.


Organizers hope other large donors may step forward to fund the project as well given the pledge.

A bit about the Carisch Family:

Marquee Place in Wayzata

Business partners Lyle Carisch and Ray Lee built the Wayzata Theater on the 600 block of Lake Street; it operated from 1932 until 1985. The family operated 100’s of theaters across the country, and later expanded into Arby’s franchises across the nation.

The family also owns the 600 block of Lake Street, known as Marqee Place, which houses many of Wayzata‘s favorite businesses and restaurants.

The 600 Block of Lake Street, known as Marquee Place is situated in front of Panoway on Wayzata Bay, and the proposed boardwalk.

Stay tuned to on this evolving story.

This post was edited to reflect that the letter in the Workshop Packet is a DRAFT, and that both sides are considering the matter.

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