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MNdible
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MNdible » July 19th, 2013, 1:49 pm

A bit more detail from MinnPost, including this interesting tidbit:

The focus was on 36,000 square feet of space at the far end of the proposed park, across the street from the Hennepin County Jail, that the city will buy from Ryan Companies, the developer for Downtown East. Ryan is interested in buying that land back but giving the city control of the ground floor. Revenue from the sale to Ryan would be used to develop the park....

Rybak said the city would like to use the ground floor rights for the land parcel for a destination restaurant with revenue from that business used to operate the park.


Sounds like a great active use to have fronting on the park.

stockman
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby stockman » July 19th, 2013, 7:58 pm

If this 36,000 sq. feet is actually within the two block section of the park this is a bad idea. It really isn't good to have office or residential buildings basically in the park midblock. It will diminish the character of the park and probably the property values. A park of this nature should be distinctly public, which means it really should be fronted by streets all the way around. A restaurant can be placed inside the park without being in a larger office or residential building. And at $2.5 million I don't see how this is aiding the construction of the park given the total cost of the investment at $65 million.

Does anyone know more about the location of this piece of land in question and where it is positioned within the park?

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby alleycat » July 19th, 2013, 10:42 pm

It is positioned on the western block and will only take up 1/3rd of that block or 1/6th of the entire park. That doesn't include the third block that is the stadiums plaza and the LRT station. I'm hopeful that the two block park and the one block plaza will be designed in tandem. Then that third of a block development won't take up too much land.
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RailBaronYarr
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 20th, 2013, 12:28 pm

I think parks surrounded by streets (the kind we have here in America) are far less pedestrian friendly, usable, and beautiful than parks/plazas directly fronted by buildings and a wide sidewalk/shared space (paved) that vehicles can drive on but is not a main thoroughfare. Lining a park with 40' of pavement and 35 mph vehicles means people have to wait at crosswalks and for light timing to get to the park. Hardly great for families and kids and presents that extra mental barrier from use. It also means it won't be naturally active with people passing through it as a normal means of getting by, and people attract other people. Just my take. I think the building on the western 1/3 of the block would be a good addition.

NickP
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby NickP » July 20th, 2013, 12:38 pm

If I am thinking of the right location, such a building would also serve as a nice barrier to the prison. Nothing against it, I could just see people not wanting to hang out across the street from prison cells.

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Avian
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Avian » July 20th, 2013, 1:03 pm

Whatever goes on that park parcel had better be of high-quality design. It would be the opposite bookend of the park along with the new stadium. From the stadium and park it would be the primary landmark and certainly be a focal point for national TV cameras during big games.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Minneboy » July 20th, 2013, 3:29 pm

Avian wrote:Whatever goes on that park parcel had better be of high-quality design. It would be the opposite bookend of the park along with the new stadium. From the stadium and park it would be the primary landmark and certainly be a focal point for national TV cameras during big games.
Agreed

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby John » July 22nd, 2013, 2:56 pm

I agree as well with Avian's comments. I guess if the far west block is going to ultimately be partially redeveloped, leaving Portland Ave open to car traffic (while continuing to block Park Ave) could be a compromise solution to the county's opposition to closing both roads. Not ideal , but still would allow for a large two block swath of park land to be completely pedestrian oriented, and maintain the connection to the entrance of the stadium.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Le Sueur » July 22nd, 2013, 5:56 pm

The parking on the east end of the jail block could support/could be made to support new vertical construction as well no? How about a dual building development on the west end of the park. Have a small building on the western most portion of 'the yard' and a larger tower above the parking across the street.

MNdible
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MNdible » July 22nd, 2013, 6:15 pm

I believe that Hennepin County was reserving that space for future jail expansion. Not sure if they still think they might need it.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Didier » July 22nd, 2013, 8:06 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:So, I don't know if this affects the towers and Wells deal, but a friend's brother was just laid off from WF yesterday along with 200 other people from the Home Mortgage office. Signs of anything bigger in their future staffing??
http://www.startribune.com/business/216456321.html

34?

Aville_37
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Aville_37 » July 22nd, 2013, 9:39 pm

From one of the articles I read - sounds like Ryan is already thinking of putting residential at that one end of the park with the city having dibs on the first floor for a restaurant, etc.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 23rd, 2013, 8:01 am

^ The on MNdible quoted didn't say office vs residential. Any reason to believe one way or the other? A residential building directly abutting park space with ground floor restaurant/other would be fantastic.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby mattaudio » July 23rd, 2013, 8:25 am

I can still dream that the eastern half of the jail block, and the parking blocks get redeveloped, right? I wonder if the Haaf ramp was developed to accommodate any sort of structure on top.

MNdible
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MNdible » July 23rd, 2013, 10:45 am

The Southwest Journal has an article with some additional information.

Highlights:

Park Board President John Erwin said the Park Board would be interested in having two vendors at a new park, and he said his conservative estimate is that each would generate $150,000 annually. Maintaining a park downtown would likely cost $300,000, Erwin said.

Rick Collins, vice president of development for Ryan Cos., said Ryan Cos. is contemplating residential development on that piece of land and is open to the restaurant idea.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby nickmgray » July 25th, 2013, 9:42 am

I think residential development and at least one restaurant is needed to make this park a success. Yes, the office tower will bring people into the park during the week, but there needs to be a human presence at night and on the weekends as well. I think it will help this area turn into a nice neighborhood rather than a park with a few buildings surrounding it.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby talindsay » July 25th, 2013, 10:52 am

MNdible wrote:The Southwest Journal has an article with some additional information.

Highlights:

Park Board President John Erwin said the Park Board would be interested in having two vendors at a new park, and he said his conservative estimate is that each would generate $150,000 annually. Maintaining a park downtown would likely cost $300,000, Erwin said.

Rick Collins, vice president of development for Ryan Cos., said Ryan Cos. is contemplating residential development on that piece of land and is open to the restaurant idea.
Tangential, but I'll note that John Erwin is a really great, knowledgeable and unassuming guy. Several years back when I was on the DFL's central committee I spent a lot of time working with him at one of the conventions, and he really impressed me. I'm glad to hear he thinks this would work out financially and is in favor of the model, because he should know how the books will look.

MNdible
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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby MNdible » July 25th, 2013, 11:03 am

No doubt, Erwin is the bright spot on the Park Board.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby nordeast homer » July 25th, 2013, 12:18 pm

Ryan showed off this project at a Minneapolis Chamber meeting this morning and talked about the thought process behind the park. Their main point was that they want this to be a year round feature. The residential component was critical, but the retail is also a critical point in their minds. Most of the first floor space facing the park will be retail with a mix of restaurants. Ryan made a point to say that this is not their park and that a city entity will be responsible for the final design and maintenance.
Nothing really new from the meeting, just reinforcing the timeline. They will close on the properties in December, start demo shortly after and hope to have aground breaking in April. The first of the facilities will open in late '14 with the project completion date summer of '16.
I spoke with someone from a law firm representing Wells Fargo and he didn't tell me (but he smiled and didn't deny) that the banking side of Wells is the potential tennant, not the Home Mortgage side of the business.

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Re: Star Tribune Blocks

Postby Tyler » July 25th, 2013, 1:32 pm

Has there been any talk about changing the design to prevent the block-long park ramp on 3rd? Or does no one care about this?
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