Minutes for June 25, 2012

2020 Partners Membership Meeting 
HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by 2020 Partners on 10/23/12

Attendees: Dave Albersman, Ian Alexander, Chuck Ballentine. Susan Braun, Jackie Cherryhomes-Tyler, Matt Clark, Raymond Dehn, Mary deLaittre, Alice Eichholz, Brent Erickson, David Fields, Jamil Ford, David Galey, Becky Greco, George Holden, Denise Holt, Barb Johnson, Dan Kenney, Nick Koch, Bruce Lambrecht, Chuck Leer, Bill Madden, Peter McLaughlin, Cory Merrifield, Diane Merrifield, Dennis Meyer, Bruce Miller, Mark Oyaas, Lynn Regnier, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, LJ Rotman, Bob Salmen, David Spillman, Dave St. Peter, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Marsha Wagner, Dennis Wellner, Jeremy Zoss

1. Welcome and Introductions – Chuck Leer

2. Approval of Minutes from March 20, 2012 2020 Partners Meeting Draft minutes were approved and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3. Interchange Project Update
– Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commission; Chuck Ballentine, Interchange Project Office

Last Tuesday (June 19) the Hennepin County Board Public Work’s Energy and Environment Committee voted to approve the recommendation from the Interchange Design-build Selection Panel: Knutson Construction will be the Design-builder. The full Board will affirm that decision on June 26, 2012. Other key dates: July 9 – Interchange Groundbreaking; July 19 – City of Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole; July 30 – City of Minneapolis Planning Commission / Public Hearing.

Mr. Ballentine distributed a handout showing Knutson’s proposed design, and explained some of the features: i.e. retail and green space, and existing structures. After the vote on June 26 more images will become available. The plaza will be heated by HERC. A cistern will be installed to collect rainwater and snow melt to be recycled, reducing water consumption. There will be a 250 stall parking garage.

Hennepin County has made a commitment to fully fund the project; the Metropolitan Council and Met Transit have not committed yet. The final budget is more than $79 million, with $72 million in construction costs. They will seek LEED Certification, trying for Silver.

Commissioner McLaughlin added comments about other rail transit developments. He started by mentioning that June 26 is the eighth anniversary of the opening of the Hiawatha Line. It is outperforming projections; its operating system was second best in terms of subsidy/investment per rider. There’s a long way to go on other projects: voting on Bottineau alignment, which will connect Brooklyn Park to the Mall of America; Central Corridor is 55 percent done, on time, on budget; Southwest is in preliminary engineering. He said the recent legislative session was a rough one. Southwest Corridor has slowed down; need $120 million, 10 percent from the state.

Discussion following these remarks centered on educating legislators, showing them what is happening at the Interchange to engage them. Commissioner McLaughlin said that many legislators were given that presentation. There seems to be a perception that transit is a bad thing. For some cars represent freedom, rail represents collectivism. To not be in favor of transit is making a geopolitical decision that we want sprawl. There’s a misconception that roads pay for themselves, when in fact they are subsidized by taxes. It was suggested that 2020 Partners host a series of meetings with legislators after Labor Day. Commissioner McLaughlin offered that since September is part of election season, rather than try to change minds we could change some of the people.

On a topic related to Hennepin County, Chair Leer mentioned that Hennepin Energy Recovery Center will be presenting at a future 2020 Partners meeting on Covanta’s application to modify its Air Permit to burn more waste at HERC.

4. Dock Street Apartments Update
– Dave Spillman, Hines

Having faced numerous challenges along the way, Phase 1 has been approved! Phase 1, $39 million (North Loop Green Development Area, between 5th and Washington) will have 185 units on 6 levels, with 2 levels of below grade parking. There will be 3000 square feet of retail fronting Washington Avenue. Mr. Spillman showed a couple of renderings of the project, which have been posted on the 2020 Partners website: Hines Dock Street Renderings.

Onsite amenities will include a lounge, pool deck with grills and gathering places, fireplace, coffee shop, exercise facility, bike access and storage (one per unit, which is 100 percent over code requirement), and pet friendly (there will be a dog park across the street which will be accessed solely by residents of Dock Street Apartments). There will also be retail; Bob Pfefferle is responsible for marketing.

To get approval for this project, they met with many different people and looked at many different options for accommodating future high speed rail and the Cedar Lake Bike Trail. Moving the building 5.5 feet provides clearance for rail, and if that happens – necessitating a move of the bike trail – the Cedar Lake Trail would move from Fifth to Third, going under Washington Avenue at the same spot.

5. Target Center Revitalization
– Ted Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves

Ted Johnson said the Timberwolves have made a lot of progress in the past 12 months, with a good legislative session and meetings with the City of Minneapolis. They still need to negotiation the term sheet. Target Center is 23 years old, and in much need of a $150 million renovation. They looked at other arenas around the country, and decided to renovate instead of tearing it down. They will seek LEED certification.

The upgrades will affect all amenities, for all events; currently the Timberwolves and Lynx account for 33 percent of the events. Some added amenities will be “fancy”, like clubs. Other improvements more ordinary, like elevators. Currently there is only one that services both audiences and food service; there is no freight elevator to the top floor. The Timberwolves have a global audience, with their games being broadcast to 254 countries around the world.

The rough timeline calls for a term sheet in the next month or so, with contracts being let after that. Nine to twelve months of planning will be followed by 14 to 18 months of construction. The building will stay open during construction, and there will be a series of grand openings as phases are completed. They are hoping to break ground next year.

Areas currently being considered for improvement include the sound system; seating; sustainability; better streetscape/skyway/transparency, adding glass and signage. Right now it’s a big concrete box, and there’s no way of knowing what is going on inside at any given time. Target Center is not just for entertainment; they’re creating a neighborhood, which will evolve and change. They want the renovation to last 20 to 30 years. Target Center will fit within the same footprint, which is the smallest in the NBA. They will capture space from the cantilevers around the perimeter.

Mr. Johnson spoke to the importance of the 2020 Partners in engaging in dialogue and providing ideas. While there isn’t much we can do at this point, he is hoping that by the end of the summer they will be ready to engage the 2020 Partners in discussions.

Mr. Johnson concluded his remarks by saying that Ricky Rubio is recovering well, and the Lynx are 12-1!

6. Vikings Stadium Update
– Barb Johnson, Minneapolis City Council President Council

President Johnson was not able to join us in time for the presentation, but gave permission to post her presentation on the 2020 Partners website: Vikings Stadium PPT. City Council Member Don Samuels was in attendance, and gave a brief overview.

The Metrodome-site Viking Stadiums stadium was approved by the City Council on a 7-6 vote. They are in the process of selecting a stadium commission, comprised of council members and citizens. They must negotiate the features of hiring women and minorities. A lot is in play but not resolved. We should be hearing more details soon.

7. 2020 Partners Mission and Priorities – Discussion

The Vikings stadium discussion segued into a lively discussion on the mission and priorities of the 2020 Partners. Chair Leer informed the members that at the March 20 meeting we discussed what 2020 Partners should be doing regarding the Vikings stadium, if we wanted to be involved in some fashion in developing that area. He queried the members about what the next step is for 2020 Partners: is there a future for 2020 Partners to be involved in this [previously defined geographic] area and the Metrodome site? Nick Koch put the question to Elliott Park and Downtown East neighborhood residents who were present, as well as other members, stating that this group brings it all together: neighborhoods, committees, Twins, transit, development.

In the ensuing discussion several points were made:

  • When 2020 began there were funds to hire Mary, architects, etc. Do we have the resources to take on both projects? There might need to be another group that does that, supported by people who have an interest in that area. There is still much to do in this area: Dock Street, Target Center, a lot of impact on businesses. The real challenge is how to do both.
  • It was suggested that since the model is in place, 2020 Partners could expand a little bit in cope. In a couple of years the Interchange and Dock Street will be built. We could get neighborhood groups involved and get folks from the Vikings at our meetings. Several present supported the involvement of 2020 Partners in the Metrodome site.
  • One member of the neighborhood group in the Elliot Park neighborhood has they have been involved: conducting studies, creating a master plan, zoning. The issue they faced was nobody was developing. They would like to have 2020 Partners down there. They have been envisioning and planning for many years. This is a chance to unite the two ends of the city. Suggested that this group be in advisor to Downtown Eat.
  • Is there a difference between helping and making this our mission? Currently 2020 Partners doesn’t have the resources. We care about the whole city but who supplies resources? Finding resources will be a challenge.
  • The work accomplished through DAG 360 was brought up, and we were reminded that DAG 360 started with the premise that design was important. Mark Oyaas mentioned that he sent the report to the city implementation people to help inform their decisions. Development of the stadium site is more about how it connects than how it looks. City leaders are smart and see that. Other members also wondered if there’s a case study that could be shared with them.
  • One primary 2020 Partners funder offered that we still have a tremendous amount of work to do in this area. This group was formed to support this area; he believes the downtown east neighborhood should form their own group, getting the Vikings involved. There are stakeholders in that area—Guthrie, Hospital, University, restaurants and other businesses—that could fund it. Everything done on the east end takes focus from this area.
  • In conclusion it was decided that the Steering Committee would explore this topic further.

8. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule

Given that the rescheduled May meeting took place very late in June, it was decided that we would forego the July meeting. The Steering Committee will determine and communication the meeting schedule for the remainder of the year.

9. 2020 Partners Leadership
– Chuck Leer

Chuck Leer announced that due to some recent health issues he will be stepping down as chair for the time being. Ralph Strangis, an advisory member of the Steering Committee, lauded the terrific job done by Leer, and said that if it is temporary they will appoint a chairman pro tem until he returns. Alternately, the Steering Committee will form a nominating committee to select a new Chair.

The meeting ended with the presentation of a thank-you card and gift to Chuck Leer: “Chuck—Thank you for your 2020 vision, for your mind, your heart and your advocacy. You are our #1 guy!” The Minnesota Twins generously donated four Champion club all-inclusive tickets to an upcoming Twins game, accompanied by peanuts, Cracker Jacks and the Minnesota Twins’ commemorative book, “Target Field.” Mark Oyaas reminded us how Chuck stepped up to manage this community effort, behind and in front of the scene. Leer received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the presentation.

10. Next meeting: Tuesday, September 18, 2012


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