Westminster Church

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
mullen
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby mullen » August 28th, 2013, 6:06 am

i like what they've done with the nicollet mall frontage they purchased. really innovative re-use of public space. people are actually stopping to play a game of ping pong or the other games.

mplser
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby mplser » December 23rd, 2013, 12:24 am

I heard some disturbing news recently. Apparently they are planning on knocking down the wells fargo office building, which they already own, in order to create even more parking/empty lawn space, and totally scrapping the idea of any new building on the site. Keep in mind this is just word of mouth, but still a scary thought.

John
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby John » December 23rd, 2013, 12:59 am

mplser wrote:I heard some disturbing news recently. Apparently they are planning on knocking down the wells fargo office building, which they already own, in order to create even more parking/empty lawn space, and totally scrapping the idea of any new building on the site. Keep in mind this is just word of mouth, but still a scary thought.
Really a sad thought, but it wouldn't surprise me at all. I've always been a little skeptical the church could raise tens of millions dollars for an addition on that block. Sounds like the makings of a new surface parking lot for 40, maybe 50 years. At the very least I hope they retain some of the plaza and fountains in front of the office building to soften the effect for pedestrians along Nicollet Mall.

LyndaleHoosier
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby LyndaleHoosier » December 24th, 2013, 7:44 pm

Don't discount Westminster's fund raising abilities directly from parishioners and their associates. Don't forget that some of the "old money" families (i.e. Dayton) attend this church, so anything is possible!

DTSB
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby DTSB » November 25th, 2015, 8:32 am

Demolition of the 1221 building is expected to begin in April 2016. And then they are expected to dig the hole for 2 levels of underground parking. Grand opening for the new church buildings is expected to take place in the spring of 2018.

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Nathan
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Nathan » November 25th, 2015, 9:12 am

Interesting! Do you know what type of buildings they are meant to be? Do they plan to have retail on Nic?

DTSB
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby DTSB » November 25th, 2015, 10:18 am

It sounds like no retail. "The new buildings in general be used to relocate some of the existing church functions and expand other functions such as 7th and 8th grade class rooms". Also "there will be no public use space incorporated in the landscape area on the southwest corner".

Silophant
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Silophant » November 25th, 2015, 10:53 am

So... No senior housing? No low-income housing? Not even a continuation of the pretty awesome public space they've had for the past couple years?

Wedgeguy
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Wedgeguy » November 25th, 2015, 12:00 pm

This land now goes off the tax books?

Mikey
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Mikey » November 25th, 2015, 12:16 pm

Wedgeguy wrote:This land now goes off the tax books?
How long until Minneapolis follows St Paul's lead on a "Road frontage easement fee"?
Urbanist in the north woods

lordmoke
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby lordmoke » March 10th, 2016, 3:29 pm

And finally, plans: http://minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/pub ... 175093.pdf

Very funky modern building by James Dayton. I think I like it?

grant1simons2
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby grant1simons2 » March 10th, 2016, 3:37 pm

Hopefully both plazas are public. Thats my only concern.

EOst
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby EOst » March 10th, 2016, 3:38 pm

I love the carillon sculpture. That "plaza" along Marquette will be 100% dead space, though.

Didier
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby Didier » March 10th, 2016, 3:45 pm

Whoa, they're demoing an eight-story building?

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 10th, 2016, 3:57 pm

I guess if you like dead plazas, 230 new parking spaces, the loss of office space in our downtown, and the loss of almost $350k in annual property taxes, this is totally the project for you.

amiller92
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby amiller92 » March 10th, 2016, 4:00 pm

grant1simons2 wrote:Hopefully both plazas are public. Thats my only concern.
My concern is adding yet more dead plaza space. And vet more giant building that's lightly used. And more separation from the street.

This church obviously has way too much money.

sanguinic
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby sanguinic » March 10th, 2016, 4:04 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:I guess if you like dead plazas, 230 new parking spaces, the loss of office space in our downtown, and the loss of almost $350k in annual property taxes, this is totally the project for you.
railbarronyarr, here's how I interpret your comment: (Tax-exempt) institutions such as churches do not belong in downtown Minneapolis. I would argue that Westminster is an exceptional addition to the life of downtown Minneapolis (I'm not a member, I've only set foot in the building maybe two dozen times in the past 20 years), and while I'm not sold on that megachurch-style carillon (maybe the sketch isn't doing it justice) I am pleased that that god-awful office building is being replaced by something with far more style (the limestone in particular), and at a more human scale. The jury's out on the plazas.
And while it may appear that the building is only used on Sunday mornings, I would argue that it's much like the soon-to-open US Bank Stadium: it gets all kinds of daily use, but those uses (meetings, day care, classes, funerals, weddings, celebrations, lectures, concerts) aren't as flashy as when several thousand people convene for worship service on Sunday morning. Westminster's building, like so many major downtown churches, are full of activity all day long, every day.
And amiller92, yes, it's obvious that Westminster is a well-funded congregation. But would you prefer that it not invest in its landmark physical plant?
Last edited by sanguinic on March 10th, 2016, 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 10th, 2016, 4:42 pm

I don't think tax-exempt institutions don't have a place downtown. I do think their exemption from paying property taxes to the city they reside in is bad policy. This goes for universities, churches, or other non-profit organizations who end up having little regard for the space they consume and the opportunity cost of the land they take up. Obviously this is a *very* complicated position to take because many private not-for-profit organizations serve social goods that the private sector won't and the public sector maybe can't take on, and many times their uses are indistinguishable from things like public parks (which also don't pay property taxes). I won't try to explain my general position any further here.

In any case, in *this particular situation* we are actively losing a place where many people worked every day, with solid amount of revenue coming to the city. In return, this church will expand its classrooms, offices, and gathering spaces (all private uses that benefit members, not the public). I don't really think the office building was so terrible given the nice little plaza along Nicollet and the structure that hid its backside that the church also tore down a few years back. Besides, the limited rendering we got doesn't tell us much if this will actually be an improvement architecturally or to a person walking by. Side note, I don't know what human-scale even means anymore. But I don't really think the expansion of on-site parking by 230 spaces helps much in that department.

amiller92
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby amiller92 » March 10th, 2016, 5:02 pm

sanguinic wrote:And amiller92, yes, it's obvious that Westminster is a well-funded congregation. But would you prefer that it not invest in its landmark physical plant?
Yes. I'd prefer it not have torn down the housing that is now a surface parking lot. I'd prefer it not tear down an office building that appears to be in use to build more lightly-used institutional structures. I'd prefer it stop making a key part of downtown, just at the end of the mall, less active.

This is looks like a big loss for the city as a city.

sanguinic
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Re: Westminster Church

Postby sanguinic » March 10th, 2016, 5:04 pm

railbaronyarr: Thanks for your response. I agree, church exemption from property taxes to the city is bad policy. But how do you get around the First Amendment? (I suppose that's a discussion that doesn't belong on urbanmsp.)

amiller92: Thanks for your response. I'm with you on the housing/surface parking lot issue, but I part company with you on the "lightly used" observation. I don't see a huge difference in usage between a weekday, 9-to-5 office building and Westminster's expansion. But I'm biased, in that I'm viewing it from the prism of the big downtown Protestant church where I'm a member (not Westminster), and about the hundreds of people -- non-members -- who go in and out of the building on a daily basis, from the busy schedule of AA gatherings, lectures, concerts, community meetings and the like (I was as surprised as anyone to learn how much usage my church gets during the week). To outsiders, these big churches might appear to be inert six days out of the week, but they're not. I'm willing to bet that more people will be using this addition than the number of people who were working in that office building.
Last edited by sanguinic on March 10th, 2016, 5:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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