As Minneapolis looks forward to the construction of the new Vikings stadium, the city is also planning an overhaul of downtown east. So, what will come of the area as the interests of residents, businesses and Vikings fans converge?
The Minneapolis City Council Community Development Committee heard details on development plans by Ryan Companies on Tuesday afternoon. The project focuses on five blocks of downtown east and includes office space, parking, residential units and a park.
The ambitious, $400-million development plan originally called for closing off Portland and Park avenues, but the roads are owned by the county. On Tuesday, Hennepin County planners told council members that they are reluctant to close them.
In the end, the committee found enough merit in the plans to approve negotiations with Ryan Companies. The decision marks the first step toward moving forward with the effort.
"We hope that by April of next year, there will be shovels in the ground and that this whole transformation of this part of downtown will be done by the time the stadium is built in 2016," Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak said.
Along with a two-block park to be named "The Yard," the project also calls for:
- 1 million square feet of office space - A city-financed parking garage with 1,300 stalls - 300-350 multi-family housing units - 40,000 square feet of retail space - Skyways connecting the Haaf Ramp through the development to the new stadium - "The Yard" to be slated for events occurring at the stadium and for public use
The office, retail and residential components of the project would be privately funded. It remains unclear what tailgating may look like in the area surrounding the new stadium.
Much of the region sought for redevelopment is owned by the Star Tribune, but the company no longer uses the parking lots and buildings there.