2010 Partners Meeting Notes
Tuesday 1 December 2009
5:00 PM – 6:45 PM
Environmental Services Building
Ground Floor Conference Room
417 North 5th Street
Attendees: Paul Adelmann, Susan Braun, Deb Brisk, Joan Campbell, Mike Christenson, Raymond Dehn, Phil Eckhert, Alice Eicholz, Beth Elliott, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Linda Higgins, Denise Holt, George Holden, Ed Hunter, Dan Kenny, Steve Kotke, Craig Lenning, Bill Madden, Peter McLaughlin, Carl Michaud, Mark Oyaas, Karen Rosar, Marcy Schulte, John Sigmond, Dave St. Peter, Dennis Sutcliff, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Chuck Ballentine, Douglas Wardlow, Chuck Leer, Mary deLaittre, Leah Swartz
Chuck Leer opens the meeting by reminding everyone this is the last meeting of 2009 and that we’re coming down home stretch towards Opening 2010. Attendees go around the room and introduce themselves. Minutes from previous meeting are approved.
Proposed Historic District Merger-Beth Elliott:
The designation went well in October- the guidelines have been worked on since then.
More analysis was done to find a need for more flexibility in rail yard area which will have its own set of guidelines including less limitation to height, style, material, etc.
Historic guidelines can be found online.
An informal HPC business meeting was held on Tuesday, December 8 at 4:30 pm to review guidelines. Results will be reviewed over the next month and a public hearing will follow in January.
Mike Christenson reports that the Transportation Presentation presented by Peter McLaughlin at the previous HPC meeting went well. Christenson also thanked Peter McLaughlin, Mary de Laittre, and Chuck Leer for their hard work as well as David Frank for understanding the preservation process.
Peter McLaughlin also compliments the City, HPC, 2010 Partners (especially Mary and Chuck) on all their hard work.
Chuck Valentine is pleased with the direction of things-“…improvements are really possible now, height is encouraging, there’s an amazing number of people on the North Star, area is surrounded by history-yet they’re new and exciting spaces…”
Mary deLaittre states the goal is to develop a neighborhood and create a community.
Chuck Leers asks if there are any developer concerns-none were reported.
HERC Conditional Use Permit-Carl Michaud:
State PCA took pass at current form-more information is to be gathered and distributed.
They expect to hear something in January-once they get the application.
They are asking the City to delay action until May 3.
2nd Avenue Improvements-Dan Kenny and Dave St. Peter
Kenny reminds the group of the original conditions: 8’ sidewalk with little separation from 394/ chain link fence that collected garage… not a real inviting entrance to downtown
Now a retaining wall has been added with a fence to tie in to the area and bike racks
St. Peter “really gives credit” to the Ball Park Authority who funded this piece-making a huge difference due to the number of pedestrian and vehicle view.
St. Peter adds they are in discussion with MNDOT regarding greening the median at 394 since a precedent seems to have been set with other projects in the City; More discussions will take place in the future-good opportunity to make this a welcoming gateway to downtown since lots of people will be looking at this from Target Plaza.
Ed Hunter reports that he and St. Peter have talked to someone from MNDOT already and he seemed open to the idea. St. Peter adds that MNDOT has been a good partner so far and hopefully they will continue.
A question is asked regarding how traffic has been affected and how it’s been moving through. The answer: we won’t know impacts until it’s all up and operating.
Steve Kotke adds that the intersection at 2nd and 5th is always going to be somewhat of an issue and changes with Hennepin and 1st are still being sorted out, but he’s optimistic that they’ll come up with a plan that works.
Chuck Leer closes the topic of discussion by adding that this is a wonderful example of what an organization like 2010 can help make happen- “…urban design is important and connections are critical.”
North Start/ LRT Opening Day and Transportation Interchange Next Steps-Peter McLaughlin:
Chuck Leer starts by saying that Opening Day was a wonderful, fun, exciting event.
Nick Koch asks if the group has established a link with the Downtown Improvement District and Sarah Harris as it makes sense for them to be an involved partner. Answer: conversations have been started.
Another attendee suggests that walkability is tough and wonders if pedestrian improvements are being addressed. Beth Elliott responds that historic guidelines are not addressing this issue, but the long-range planning documents suggest how viaducts might be handled. Elliott continues by saying that it is not feasible to remove viaducts, so considerations are being made regarding how they can be made to feel like local roads and viewed as an amenity.
An attendee suggests the idea of the subterranean city to take place underneath as they occur in other cities and improve walkability.
Getting back to the Opening Day Event, Peter McLaughlin reports spectacular media coverage, a fabulous success of an event with lots of energy and lots of volume.
The next question is how we get to St. Cloud; it’s exciting for the City and the whole state… thanks to the 2010 effort.
An attendee reports that the State Bonding Tour took place. Data is to be collected reporting who is taking the LRT/ buses/ walking… how people move from “here” to the government center. Currently there are too many lights and it takes too much time… this all needs to be sorted out.
The North Star Opening, the Hiawatha extension, and the ball park excitement- “… it’s some really good times for the City.”
McLaughlin reports that the development of the Kenilworth Line will be continued; we’re getting closer and closer to the Central Corridor connection- basic framework is in place-work to start next spring.
Nick thanked everyone who contributed to the North Star Opening event- those who got the tents, put together the exhibits, and got everything in place.
Dave St. Peter gave kudos to Peter McLaughlin and all partners in the community- “In some ways Target Field opened that day, too.”
Peter McLaughlin introduces Ed Hunter from Red Hawk Consulting who is the lead on the interchange work-bringing lots of experience and knowledge we couldn’t get anywhere else.
Hunter reports the team will be assembled beginning in February-then timelines will be worked out… Central Corridor trains could be arriving in 2014.
Peter McLaughlin suggests an extension to St. Cloud in 2012/2013, an extension to Duluth once the bridges are replaced (negotiations with railroad to happen also), passenger rail to Chicago unknown. Additional plazas, platforms, and development will be needed.
Attendees are reminded to NOT get discouraged by numbers, etc- it’s coming along. Finances are being positioned so we can continue to have the capacity to keep moving forward.
Ed Hunter reports lots of studies have been done and there is good information out there. Hunter continues that this area is under a “time crunch” to get these ideas planned for. Development will take place in phases and timely decisions are key-even immediate decisions at times. Baby steps will lead to 3 or 4 or 5 years down the road when the entire concept comes together.
Peter McLaughlin reminds attendees that this is not a 19th century train depot and that a great civic space should be associated with all of this development. “We need to plan for it now.”
An attendee asks if there is an opportunity to connect the two halves of the 5th Street Bridge. Hunter responds that there is an opportunity, but it depends on the timing and other factors.
The same attendee asks if the Hiawatha extension will align. Hunter explains that when planning for the North Star started-they were unaware the ball park was coming. Bus connections at the B Ramp, pedestrian access, and wayfinding will all have to factor in.
2010 Partners Retrospective-Chuck Leer:
Mary deLaittre presents a Power Point Presentation to remind the group of “where we’ve been and how we started.”
“City Building Doesn’t Just Happen” presentation regarding location, connections, and convergence
Design Advisory Group (DAG 360) formed and in a 45 day period created design principles and laid the foundation for development principles
HGA hosted an event for the North Loop group bringing all the stakeholders together; Winter Garden concept was created
2010 Partners was formed: “Creating a Transit Crossroads” was produced looking at initiatives, designs, connections; HDR completed a transit study in December 2008; Mary de Laittre produces “Creating a New Urban Center” addressing scale, connections, uses, identity, vision, implementation plan at end of 2008/ beginning of 2009; a steering committee is formed; Bill Moorish assisted the group in laying out a timeline and developing both a short-term (9-12 month) and a long-range (1-5 year) work plan addressing a transit hub, clean energy district, etc. in April 2009
“Creating a new Transportation Interchange” was created-a presentation by Peter McLaughlin with graphics by Mary de Laittre
2010 Partners helps people realize what’s possible, how it looks, and what assets are already there
Work is done to help inform the historic district merger
“…as great as it is, there still a ways to go…”
2010 Partners’ Future-Next Steps
Chuck Leer reminds the group that there are three scheduled meetings after the December 1 meeting. Three options remain for 2010 Partners:
The group dissolves.
The group continues as ad hoc.
The group becomes institutionalized.
Finance is a factor. To date, less than $200K was spent on the 2010 efforts. ($50K from Target for DAG 360, $140K from other funders.
Discussion regarding the positive results of 2010’s efforts lead to suggestions that the group should continue to meet and “kick around ideas” in a safe setting as a committee that supports great design through communication, connection, and collaboration.
The idea that the outcome can act as a catalyst for future (private) development is mentioned several times.
Having a deadline was an important piece in terms of accountability in getting tasks accomplished.
New focus/efforts/goals and associated timelines need to be established if group continues.
A name-change is in order as well. (2014 Partners?)
**No matter the decision, the involvement of the participants of the 2010 Partners was “stellar.” The outcomes were successful, and the story should be shared.