2020 Partners Membership Meeting
The Courts at Mayo Clinic Square – Experience Center
Draft Meeting Minutes were approved by the Steering Committee at its meeting on July 21, 2016
Attendees: Bruce Bahneman, Pierce Canser, Raymond Dehn, Thomas Dodds, Alice Eichholz, Brent Erickson, David Frank, Stuart Goldenberg, Diane Hofstede, George Holden, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Ted Johnson, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, Bruce Lambrecht, Chuck Leer, David Loehr, Peter McLaughlin, Ra’eesa Motala, Pat Nelson, Kristina Nesse, Cali Owings, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Neil Reardon, Peter Roos, Bob Salmen, Max Salmen, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Karlee Weinmann
1. Call to Order and Introductions – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm.
2. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on March 22, 2016
Minutes were APPROVED and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.
3. Reports on Legislative Issues
a. Overview – Raymond Dehn, State Representative-59B
Representative Dehn reported that the state legislators did not get their work done by close of the session Sunday night. They did not pass a bonding or transportation bill, and among other things no action was taken on Real ID. There is no requirement that a bonding bill be passed. Without passage of a transportation bill, which would hopefully include Southwest LRT (SWLRT), federal funding is at risk, not just for this project but for future transit projects in Minnesota. He suggested 2020 Partners members contact Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to communicate to them that it is critical for the state to move forward supporting transit. There is a possibility they will return for a one-day special session, probably before July 4, if the Governor and legislators can reach agreement prior to that.
b. Major League Soccer – Ralph Strangis, Kaplan Strangis Kaplan
The City of Saint Paul and Minnesota United asked for three things from the Legislature for the major league soccer stadium to be built on a site in the Midway area: (1) exemption from real property taxes for the bus barn site, (2) standard exemption from sales taxes on construction materials, and (3) liquor license. They received numbers one and three. On number two, the Legislature deferred the sales tax exemption because the City of Saint Paul can provide essentially the same thing through a refund process. That means that contractors and subcontractors must pay the tax and file for a refund. There was not a lot of legislative opposition due in large part to the fact that the ownership group is putting in at least $150 million to build the stadium.
c. Southwest LRT/Transit Funding – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
At the last moment during Sunday night’s legislative session it was proposed that raising the cap for Hennepin County taxpayers from 10 to 20 percent of the cost of the project would keep SWLRT alive. It was the worst item on a bad list of last-ditch options, but in the absence of other options it was necessary. Fortunately, that plan collapsed. What it did was give Governor Dayton a significant amount of influence in advocating for a comprehensive transportation bill that would include SWLRT. Peter thinks it is likely that Governor Dayton will call a special session, and 2020 Partners members are again being encouraged to contact the Governor and key legislative leaders to say (1) we need a special session to move forward on a comprehensive transportation package, and (2) raising the percent contribution for Hennepin County taxpayers is not the preferred option. Another option for funding SWLRT is the proposed sales tax in the metropolitan area. With Bottineau coming online right behind SWLRT it is necessary to come up with a long term solution.
4. Farmers Market Development Strategies Report: Pre-Feasibility – Neil Reardon, UrbanWorks
David Frank, Director of Economic Policy and Development, introduced this segment. He said UrbanWorks has been leading a study that is now in draft form. Once it is complete and has been presented to the City Council, city staff intend to keep working with 2020 Partners and neighborhood groups to implement the recommendations, making improvements to the
city-owned land at the Farmers Market and also drawing in nearby property owners for
Neil reported that in the past few months they have conducted market review on the site and community engagement on the three strategies that the city had outlined for the Farmers Market and vicinity: (1) make the current market better, (2) expand the market horizontally and vertically, and (3) make it part of a new development. One of the most common things they heard was lack of connectivity.
(1) Some of the things that could make the current market better are signature market identification and artwork, enhancing the boulevard, and enclosing all or part of a shed. Some of the items on the menu of options are adding a drop off/pick up area, and a plaza with public restrooms.
(2) (a) Vertical expansion: Using only the current footprint, UrbanWorks considered what could be built including an indoor market, an adaptable indoor-outdoor market that would function in all four seasons, and other ancillary spaces. They did an economic analysis on each option. They also considered collateral development within the district.
(b) Horizontal expansion: After studying a variety of options they determined the best option to show in the report was to look at the city-owned property, the Traffic Control Building on Border Avenue. Using that property or another privately owned property they could build an indoor market but also create some links back to the other market. It could be done in conjunction with or following work done in Strategy (1). It also involved creating a linear public space facing west and south. If the Southwest LRT station is built, the construction impact would necessitate a connection between Border Avenue and Glenwood Avenue.
(3) This would make the Farmers Market more of a district and part of a new development in a mixed-use building as part of a public-private investment. Phase 1 would use only city land (and possibly the Traffic Control site). There would be a new Farmers Market as well as an indoor Farmers Market. In the interim the existing Market would continue to operate. Phase 2 involves requiring three adjacent parcels to create an outdoor market on a new block with creation of a new street to the north. It would include a public plaza with public art.
UrbanWorks provided a summary of the economic impact of each strategy, which included funds from property taxes and collateral development. David reported that Neil’s team will finish the final report after receiving comments from the city. It will be presented to the City Council, then posted on websites. Parallel to that, the city has put in a request for funds in next year’s capital budget to begin development on the selected strategy.
From the ensuing discussion period:
⦁ A question was raised about the cost to the city of each strategy. Strategy one would be a $4 million upgrade, primarily a public cost. Costs for strategies number two and three depend on the financial structure, and that has not been determined in this phase.
⦁ There is currently private property in the vicinity available for sale. The city does not currently have the budget for this and has not entered into any discussions with those property owners.
⦁ What is being done about parking concerns? There was nothing in the presentation about parking changes or structures. What percent of people coming to the Market are arriving by cars or bikes? Neil said they had heard a lot about parking concerns but it was not specifically addressed in a development scenario. About 90% of people arrive in cars; there are also pedestrians and space for 300 bikes on Border Avenue across the street. David added that there is not political support in the city to create additional parking in the area. Pat Nelson, manager of the Farmers Market, said there are currently 1156 parking spots that are utilized on the weekend, and on busy weekends it is not enough. Trying to find a nearby parking spot is a logistical nightmare. Neil said that adding a drop-off/pick-up area would be one small first step that would help alleviate that.
⦁ What is a realistic timeline? With properties for sale in the area and the possibility of Southwest Light Rail, will this development happen fast enough? David replied that the path will be determined in the next couple of months. When funds would be available to acquire property is too far in the future.
⦁ Was the Farmers Market Annex included in this study? If the city is not going to buy property what can it do to induce the kinds of changes it wants to see in this area? Neil said it is privately-owned and functions as a market on its own. It was not included in this scope of work. David added that this report is pointing towards development on adjacent properties, and 2020 Partners can be part of this public-private partnership.
⦁ City Public Works has said that in order for development to happen on the City-owned Traffic Building site, they would have to find a new home for the Traffic building.
5. Target Center Improvements Update [PPT] – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx
Target Center renovation will include the addition of a three story glass atrium on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street. The First Avenue elevation will have new windows and a video board. Seventh Street will be reconfigured and the Target Center footprint extended 50 feet to install a three-truck loading dock. Street redesign, which is a city project, will be done simultaneously with Target Center renovations.
The entire exterior will be redone with metal panels. Facing the challenge of having Target Center fit in with the neighborhood (it is located in the nexus between the entertainment district and the warehouse district) the architectural firm selected tones that reflect those of Target Field and the warehouse district with the material being more modern. The finish is matte with copper coloration. The renderings show what look like white lines; these are actually recessed light bars. The cost for the project is $130 million.
Inside the arena and event level there will be a number of changes. The Timberwolves | Lynx locker rooms will be redone. On the First Avenue side they are moving the box office lobby to the corner; in its place will be a new Courtside Club (for Courtside Club members only) with windows on First Avenue. On the skyway level they are expanding entrances, going from four to more than twenty doors along the corridor. The skyway will be widened allowing for better ingress/egress. Another new club will be added for members in the 10,000 square foot former office space of Timberwolves | Lynx management. On the main course they are refreshing all of the public areas, including restrooms, and polishing the concrete floor. There will be new food and beverage choices and new way-finding signage. Everything will be ADA compliant.
Work on the premium level will begin this summer. All of the suites are being redone on the First Avenue side, and a new all-inclusive Chairman’s Suite club will be added with a view of Mayo Clinic Square through floor-to-ceiling glass. Twenty four- to six-person theater boxes with plush chairs and dining tables will be added on the other side of the premium level. They will be knocking out walls to make it look more open, bringing downtown into the arena.
In the arena they are redoing the bowl and technology, changing how the floor and the courtside seats interact. The basketball floor itself will be replaced and expanded on all sides for player safety, and all of the seats will be reconfigured. During the Olympic break this summer the scoreboard will be replaced.
If any funds remain or become available during the construction process, the primary alternate is to add a skyway entrance from the southern end of the building from the skyway by Ramp A. Currently two-thirds of the people come from Ramps A, B and C through one skyway, and one-third come up through the main entrance. Ingress is not a problem, but they want to redistribute this so that leaving the building is not so difficult. This will also help to alleviate congestion at the north end of the building.
Construction/road closure schedule:
May 2016: Two lanes of Second Avenue closed down, making it a one-way street
June 2016: City starts work on Seventh Street
September 2016: First Avenue will become one lane in each direction (after Twins season)
October 2016: Work begins on entire exterior of building; one lane of Sixth Avenue will be taken over starting at 9:00 am each day
June 2017: Start to see work on exterior completed; Seventh Street reconfiguration completed
August 2017: Work on Sixth Street completed
October 2017: All work along First Avenue completed in time for Timberwolves season
November 2017: All work completed
At the end of this presentation Ted Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Development Officer for the Timberwolves | Lynx, expressed his appreciation for patience during the construction process. He invited anyone interested in being kept up to date to sign up through Marsha Wagner, email@example.com.
6. Property Development and Neighborhood Updates
Nick read from a list of recent openings and proposed developments that had been provided by David Frank and Bob Pfefferle:
• Two new taprooms – Modist and Inbound
• Opus is about to start construction at the ABC Electric site
• United Properties and Greco are bringing forward new buildings separately between Freehouse and Bunkers
• Cooks of Crocus Hill is opening in the Local D’lish space
• Pacifier is open
• Open Streets event on Washington & First Avenue in July – second year downtown
• HCMC clinic in Tractorworks coming soon
• Duffey buildings on Washington are being sold
• T3 is topped out and closed in – exterior corten steel cladding will be going up soon.
• Sex World – now known as The Washington – is under construction for repositioning to office and street level retail
• Hewing Boutique Hotel construction is moving along, expected to open in Fall of 2016
• Gardner Hardware – aka Maytag Building – is pursuing new leases for retail and office
7. 2020 Partners Work Plan for 2016: Long Range Planning and Funding – Nick Koch
Nick said the Steering Committee has been working on the scope of work to move us into the future, building on the principles and connections of the public and private sectors that were part of DAG 360. They are looking beyond the scope of the area outlined in UrbanWork’s presentation, seeking ways to connect to the West Market, Glenwood Avenue and North Minneapolis. Anyone with comments is invited to email them to Marsha.
Ralph Strangis, noting that Downtown East received grants from the City and McKnight Foundation, suggested we might have similar resources available for our work plan. One of the qualifications for receiving grant money is to be a nonprofit, so the Steering Committee is inviting Tawanna Black, head of the Northside Funders Group, to attend its next meeting to see if there are ways to collaborate on connecting to the North side.
8. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, from 5:00‑6:30 pm, at HGA, followed by a Minnesota Twins game courtesy of Dave St. Peter/Twins.
Other meeting dates in 2016: September 27, November 15.
Following a drawing for Minnesota Lynx tickets provided by the Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx (won by Max Salmen) the meeting was adjourned by Nick Koch at 6:33 p.m.
2020 Partners Membership Meeting
HGA, Ford Center
Draft Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners on 5/24/16
Attendees: Kathleen Anderson, Gretchen Camp, Joan Campbell, Pierce Canser, Bob Day, Ehsan Dehbashi, Chelsey Falzone, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Bob Iwaskeayez, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, David Loehr, Sherman Malkerson, Andy McDermott, Peter McLaughlin, Ra’eesa Motala, Cathy Nordin, Marilyn Porter, Keith Prussing, Kit Richardson, Robert Rimstad, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, Rick Rud, Mark Saliterman, Bob Salmen, Max Salmen, Mark Stenglein, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Marsha Wagner, Dale White
1. Call to Order – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm
3. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on January 26, 2016
Minutes were APPROVED and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.
4. Minnesota Twins/Target Field Station Update [PPT] – Chelsey Falzone, Ballpark Operations Assistant, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
Target Field Station (TFS) opened in 2014. In 2015 there were more than sixty events along with 81 home games and two concerts. Minnesota Twins road games were televised on the video board, and that will be continued in 2016. Partnerships were formed with more than 20 local organizations. Thousands of people attended or participated in events at TFS.
The types of events held at TFS in 2015 included several sponsored by the Minnesota Twins, i.e. Physics Day, Earth Day, Farewell to Nye’s Polka Party, and FIFA Women’s World Cup Viewing Party. Several local organizations also held events, including Be the Match, Go Outside with Hennepin County, CorePower Yoga and Downtown Families Minneapolis. Go 96.3 sponsored a weekend concert series / nightly music and the Blues N Brews Festival.
As they begin programming in 2016 they realize that an area for improvement is to expand outreach among people and organizations. They are also acknowledging and celebrating successes from 2014 to 2015, which included increased awareness, improved understanding of what kinds of events best fit the space, and boosted creativity. Many events have been scheduled for 2016 or are in the works, including repeats of some events from last year but also several new ones. For an updated list of events visit the Twins’ TFS website. To inquire about or schedule an event contact Chelsey Falzone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-659-3669.
In the question and answer period that followed, Chelsey added that TFS is a unique space and does not fit every event. Some of its great draws include its location (transit) and ties with the Minnesota Twins and Hennepin County. Since TFS competes with other event space, they are always looking for creative ideas for using the space. There is no cost to reserve TFS, but there are costs involved with using the video board, which requires an operator, and possibly other staff. MLB constrains some promotion of TFS, but social media is used when possible, and they count on event hosts to publicize their events.
5. Courts at Mayo Clinic Square/Target Center Improvements Update [PPT] – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx
On March 18 the Minneapolis City Council gave final approval of the design and bonding for improvements at Target Center. Brian thanked The 2020 Partners for providing a letter of support. He showed several images of the new exterior from different views, adding that when Target Center was built it was a 90 degree building. When Target Field opened in 2010 Target Center became a 360 degree building, viewed from all sides, not just First Avenue.
The groundbreaking is scheduled for Friday, May 6, and the project is expected to be completed by the start of the Timberwolves’ season in the Fall of 2017. Planned renovations include expanding the building and making changes to the exterior, adding metal paneling to give it a more modern look and feel which will help it fit in with the neighborhood and Target Field. They are also expanding the loading dock from one to three bays, and are working with the Minnesota Ballpark Authority to reconfigure Seventh and Ninth Streets. One lane of Second Avenue will be closed down to accommodate the construction elevator, and Target Center will be completely shut down from May through October 2017. Hubert’s and Lifetime will remain open but there will be no activities or events in Target Center during that time.
Brian announced that the Timberwolves | Lynx are hoping to host the May 24 meeting of The 2020 Partners at Mayo Clinic Square. At that time he will provide a more detailed presentation of the project.
Nick commented about our letters of support, stating that when we send them they are on our letterhead and (with their permission) include the organizations whose logos are shown on the bottom of our website.
6. Transit Development Updates
a. Southwest/Bottineau/Royalston-Farmers Market Station – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
Peter said that there is a lot to accomplish on transit—including Southwest, Bottineau, Gateway corridor out of Saint Paul to the east, 35W bus lane—during this short legislative session that will end on May 22. Currently the State’s 10 percent capital share is the one piece that is missing to get these projects done. The federal government has passed a five year fully funded transportation bill. If we are unable to get the rest of the funding locally the federal money will go to other cities, like Denver, Portland or Dallas.
The task is complicated by the fact that all of the legislators are up for reelection, so this issue has become highly politicized. The goal is to get an ongoing source of funding with an additional sales tax in the metropolitan area which would take the state out of the equation. This would allow these projects to move forward without waiting for state bonding approval which requires a supermajority.
The Governor has proposed a one-half cent sales tax in the metropolitan area, a portion of which will be available for county road expansion or to pay for the county’s share of transit. The five counties involved are Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington; Carver and Scott Counties opted out. If applied that would cover the ten percent state capital share plus the fifty percent state operating share and allow for expansion of the bus system over the next ten years. While this essentially makes transit a “freebie” for rural legislators, the transaction cost associated with getting the state’s ten percent share is too high.
The 2020 Partners will be sending a letter of support to the Governor, Speaker and Majority Leader as well as legislators who serve on key committees. In addition Peter asked that 2020 Partners members contact the legislators in their districts by phone or email, especially if they serve on one of the key committees involved, in support of a robust transportation bill that includes a strong transit component. They should encourage others (i.e., employees, fellow chamber or business association members, especially those in positions of leadership) to do the same. A spreadsheet of legislators will be provided by email, along with talking points and links to other resources.
Nick added that this is a two part process. The 2020 Partners will be sending its letter of support, which will be posted on our website. Once that has been done an email will be sent from Nick to all 2020 Partners members so that they can reach out to their legislators. If a legislator receives between five and ten calls or emails on an issue that is a lot, and the power of the individual voice helps get their attention.
When asked about the current posture of the larger business community on transit, Peter referenced a MinnPost article wherein Doug Loon, head of the State Chamber, said we must have a signification transportation bill this year that needs to include roads, bridges and transit. Charlie Weaver, head of the Minnesota Business Partnership, echoed those same thoughts. The Minneapolis Downtown Council, Saint Paul Chamber, and Minneapolis Regional Chamber have all been supportive of a transportation bill.
b. Metro Transit Heywood Campus Projects: Proposed Police Facility and Heywood II Garage Design Activities [PPT] – Marilyn Porter, Director, and Pierce Canser, Associate Planner, Engineering and Facilities, Metro Transit
Marilyn began by explaining that the Master Plan has three key themes:
⦁ Growth: Metro Transit’s campus needs to keep up with growth (Bottineau and Southwest LRT)
⦁ Integration: being a good neighbor in this area
⦁ Operations: more equipment will be needed, and more space to store that equipment
The Master Plan is about addressing current needs while acknowledging future growth, taking a holistic view of things.
Pierce talked about the two major components of the current project: Heywood II Bus Garage and Transit Police Headquarters. He introduced two colleagues who are the individual project managers: Cathy Nordin and Robert Rimstad.
Metro Transit currently has four different facilities on 25 acres of land. The Transit Police station will contain up to 60,000 square feet of space on up to four floors and will front Sixth Avenue. It will serve as the home base for officers who are deployed to multiple locations: riding the bus, riding the Metro lines or Northstar Commuter Rail, or squad car, bike, and foot patrol. It will also provide administrative space for back-of-house functions like investigations, staff training and other critical functions. Currently there are almost 200 Transit Police officers but that could be increased to more than 400, part- and full-time.
The Heywood II Bus Garage will be a bus storage and maintenance facility with space for more than 200 buses. It will serve as a home base for buses and drivers, and provide space for employee check-in and fare processing. It will be located on property formerly occupied by Ragstock and primarily owned by Metro Transi that is bordered by I‑94/Lyndale, Seventh Street and Tenth Street/Oakland.
Both projects are now in very early design. Metro Transit will begin a robust community outreach process to allow stakeholders to weigh in within the next couple of months. Later in 2016 they will begin site cleanup at the Heywood II site and site preparation for the Police Facility. 2017 will be a heavy construction year for the police facility, and will be a conditional construction year for the bus garage because it is dependent upon funding. Both facilities are expected to open in 2018. Next steps for design outreach are to continue discussions with the City of Minneapolis and other stakeholders—including the North Loop Neighborhood Association and 2020 Partners—in an effort to produce and refine designs.
Kit Richardson asked if they would consider building the bus barn over a freeway. If the planned site is tax-exempt, building it there would take if off the tax rolls for a long time. By putting it on public land or the public right-of-way the land could be sold for a profit for other uses that would generate traffic, taxes, and jobs. It would also be nice to have development rights above the structure. Metro Transit staff replied that this is a thought-provoking idea, and what they keep in mind when considering facility expansions is condensing their land footprint and enabling development by the private market.
Jamil Ford commented that it would have been nice to have development rights above the structure. As office space is oriented toward Tenth Avenue a mixed message is being sent to neighborhood associations, residents and businesses further north that North Minneapolis continues to be a back yard to the business district or to Minneapolis. He requested that Metro Transit be mindful that I-94 is a regional connection to Downtown. Metro Transit staff said these were good points to raise as they begin to consider different concepts. The view corridors of the bus garage site are expansive, the site is cavernous, and the level of Seventh Street is above most of the building. On the Tenth Street side it is more at grade. Joint development studies indicate the market isn’t there now to look at a joint use project for the bus garage, but they will not preclude that if it is an opportunity.
Regarding district energy, which 2020 Partners supports, Metro Transit has considered it for this project. They have had multiple meetings and conversations about utilizing district energy since last summer, and are currently going through an Energy Design Assistance program.
In the coming months Metro Transit will host a number of opportunities for public information and comment, and will be visiting neighborhood groups like The 2020 Partners to show and get feedback on their designs.
7. Work Plan for 2016
Discussions about the Work Plan began at the November 2015 meeting and continued at the January 2016 meeting. The Steering Committee considered the ideas submitted at its February meeting. Nick said that we agreed that the primary focus would be on the Farmers Market area and the space around it, and the Farmers Market LRT station. Our first principle has always been about connections: pedestrian; development; visual to the near north, west to Glenwood, to Downtown. In January we talked about the importance of the public realm and infrastructure, which could become the catalyst to private development, and what we can do about parking and barriers to development. Parking is a citywide issue that is difficult for us to address but it will remain on our radar.
Development of our Work Plan is on a temporary hiaitus for a number of reasons. The Urban Works report on the future of the Farmers Market will be done in April. The fate of any transportation bill will be decided by the legislature before this session ends in March. The conversation on a Major League Soccer stadium for the Twin Cities area is going on at the legislature. Because these issues are not yet resolved the Steering Committee did not develop specific tasks or implementation steps, but several ideas have been proposed:
⦁ Creating a forum to document, share and record development principles, using the DAG 360 model.
⦁ Convening a panel of experts to raise issues, identify barriers and discuss ways of removing them.
⦁ Breaking the barriers and developing the areas under freeway decks by adding lighting, playgrounds or art.
In the ensuing discussion Nick invited 2020 Partners members to contribute their thoughts and ideas:
⦁ Max Salmen: I believe the most immediate challenge to the Farmer’s Market Area is that it is on a concrete island. In order to optimize both what the Market can be and the success of the Royalston Station, dramatic improvements must be made in the walkability of this area from Washington Avenue and Downtown. Olson Memorial, North 7th Street, and the valley through which the Cedar Lake Trail runs are all massive psychological barriers to foot traffic. To state it more concisely: For the evolution of the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market and Royalston Avenue Station to be successful, pedestrian thoroughfares must be created to connect Washington Avenue and Downtown to the immediate area. This will both increase usage and decrease parking needs and congestion.
On this topic, Dan Kenney had previously commented (via email): When we talk about connections—emphasize the pedestrian experience and ways to improve access to and through the neighborhood. This includes things like better lighting, street trees, painted crosswalks, wide curb cuts, wayfinding, public art, etc.
⦁ Mark Stenglein: The Minnesota Ballpark Authority has been generous in the neighborhood with its sales tax money. [MBA has funded improved lighting on the Sixth Avenue renovation project.] The HERC plan generates steam; we need to find a way to use it.
⦁ Kit Richardson: The Royalston Station plan has it on the wrong side of the site. It should be on the west side where it could be part of a larger development. Consider having it developed privately, with air rights above, so it becomes part of this area’s redevelopment. Rail could be moved to the east side. Previously property owners wanted it on the west side because they did not want to lose access; now many of those owners are gone so the objection is moot. The Farmers Market should be moved and connected to the Royalston Station on the west side. This would also make parking less of an issue because more people could take transit instead of driving to the Market.
Karen Rosar: With regard to the North Loop Small Area Plan (NLSAP), which was being developed in 2009 and completed in 2010, the area around the Farmers Market at that point in time was “fuzzy” and was not considered in a current market and development aspect. There was not a lot of direction at that point; there is no direction now in the NLSAP.
David Frank: Clarifying that the prefeasibility study being done now for the Farmers Market itself, with UrbanWorks as the lead consultant, is considering three options: should it stay where it is, grow vertically, expand or move within the area, it is very timely to ask this question about connecting LRT and the Market.
⦁ Ralph Strangis inquired whether we could have any influence on which of the three alternatives for the Farmers Market would be approved by the City Council as our Work Plan is dependent on that.
David Frank replied that while the study will be complete in April, and options will be presented to the City Council and others in the next few months, the next Council actions are many months away.
⦁ Jamil Ford said that the West Market District is having the same conversations about the west side of the business district: the Farmers Market area and the neighborhood on the other side of I-94. [Nick encouraged the 2020 Partners to work with them.] Jamil added that life safety is a high priority, eliminating pedestrian hazards year round.
Denise Holt: Connections should not be seasonal. Connections should not stop in winter.
⦁ Nick Koch: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Pathways to Places initiative has several concepts for the North Loop in its Master Planning process, including greening and underpass parks. Sherman Malkerson added that they are also doing work along the riverfront, including the Upper Harbor Terminal.
Kit’s suggestion to change the location of the Royalston/Farmers Market station and the Farmers Market itself generated a good deal of discussion. Some thought engineering was too far along to make any changes. Joan Campbell added that she is struggling from a political perspective, and said it might be useful for someone to ask the Met Council what it would be like to move the station at this point as it may involve redesigning two bridges. Kit averred that having two separate, individual projects is not enough to be a catalyst; if they could be connected, together there is more power. If it is too late to change the LRT station location, could the Farmers Market be moved since the City has not yet made that decision? Joan said that having served on implementation committees for other projects, changes can be made at that level, even during construction itself if there’s room for change.
As our Work Plan develops in the coming months, Nick offered a reminder to keep firmly in mind this unique forum (The 2020 Partners) where the public, private and institutional come together. Three levels of government are represented, along with private sector developers and people with knowledge of Park Board activities. David Loehr added that in the genesis of this group (2010 Partners) there was a lot of drive and energy around design guidelines and urban realm, which became driving forces to help change the nature of the North Loop Neighborhood. The Royalston-Farmers Market station is a galvanizing effort going on currently in the Farmers Market and brings with it some public investment. It would be great to come out with a plan that is development-rich, pedestrian-friendly, and with enough vision that shows how public investments can be a strong impetus for change. Casting a vision for the Farmers Market, based on a really strong integrated transit emphasis but development friendly, could be a powerful, galvanizing vision for The 2020 Partners. This would be similar to the work that was done by this group while Target Field was being built.
Nick said our work—with a deliverable that could be a drawing or a series of vignettes—needs to be done without stepping on toes. Ralph added that we need to be mindful of our organization’s limited resources. Rather than do this work ourselves we can perhaps influence those who are working with public funding.
Nick thanked everyone for their input, and invited anyone with additional ideas about the 2020 Partners Workplan for 2016 to send them to Marsha (email@example.com).
8. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, from 5:00‑6:30 pm, at the Experience (skyway level), Courts at Mayo Clinic Square. Other meeting dates in 2016: July 26, September 27, November 15.
The meeting was adjourned by Nick Koch at 7:02 pm.