Minutes for January 15, 2013

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

January 15, 2013
HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by the 2020 Partners on March 19, 2013

Attendees: Paul Adelmann, Dave Albersman, Dennis Alfton, Kathleen Anderson, Mark Anderson, Don Armstrong, Terrance Bartlett, Matt Clark, Raymond Dehn, Brent Erickson, David Frank, Brad Henry, Linda Higgins, George Holden, Denise Holt, Dan Kenney, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Ron Ridgeway, Karen Rosar, Bob Salmen, John Saunders, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Erin Wendorf, and Dale White

1. Welcome and Introductions – David Frank

2. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on October 23, 2012
Minutes were approved and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3. Transit Development Updates

a. Interchange Project Update – George Fantauzza, Interchange Project Office [PPT Presentation]

  • Construction is underway at the Interchange site; they are driving piles 138’ deep; contaminated soil is being hauled offsite, and crash walls are being built. Excavated concrete is being crushed offsite, and re-used. Vibration is being monitored to protect the nearby Ford Building; highest reading to date has been .18 (.5 is the limit). Pile driving is 50% done for the bridge and buildings; they hope to be done by spring.
  • LED lighting (like that on the Lowry Bridge) may be installed under the 100-foot bridge. Bridges are being built so people won’t have to cross the tracks at any location. Waste heat from HERC will be used for snow melt, and possibly a year-round waterfall lit with LED lights.
  • The project will include 300 underground parking spaces and storage tracks for excess trains, and offer crowd control after events at Target Field and elsewhere. They are working toward green roofs, green lawns, public spaces, and ways to efficiently lead people onto trains. The design is being modified as money becomes available. Retail development is anticipated.

Q: When will it open?
A: Bridge and tail track will be done one year from now for training. By March 31 2014 most of the structure will be done, with landscaping added in May and June. There will be no construction during MLB’s All-Star week.

Q: Will it be a 24/7 operation?
A: Yes, although they are not sure about public restrooms. Safety is a factor to be considered, and they are not sure who will be responsible for operating them.

Q: Is there federal money involved?
A: Yes. One-third of the money is federal; the rest comes from state, county and private funding.

Q: It looks like most of this is outdoors. What is the plan for keeping people warm?
A: There will be shelters under the 300-foot-long roof structure. Also, the hoped-for private development: coffee shops, brew pubs, restaurants. Hoping to also have money for outside art.

b. Southwest LRT – Katie Walker, Senior Administrative Manager, Southwest LRT Community Works

  • The Metropolitan Council has authorized preliminary engineering, contracting with Kimley-Horn and AECOM. Municipal Consent Plan will be done by September – they will be going to the cities for the process of routing LRT by the end of 2013. The final Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be done by the end of 2014. Construction will start in 2015, and be done in 2018.
  • Work on Transitional Station Area Action Plans (TSAAP) is continuing. Starting in February Design charrettes and public open houses will be conducted to discuss platforms, parking, and other infrastructure as well as economic development. These will be done in tandem with engineering by the end of 2013. A Draft Plan will be presented in September-October, 2013.

c. Central Corridor, Bottineau – Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County

  • The first generation is almost done. The second generation will include Southwest and Bottineau. Interchange is on time, on budget, going well. Bottineau – the City of Golden Valley voted to allow the process to move forward. The next step is engineering. Central Corridor is 85% complete; what remains is hanging wire, building platforms, and testing – they have 45 train cars to test. They are on schedule to open in 2014, and on budget.
  • There will be a problem with the current method of funding if the federal share is lowered from the current 50% share or if we move forward with other plans.
  • A structural problem has emerged. Metro Transit has no revenue stream for operating Central and Southwest. The .25% sales tax assessed for transit is enough to build but not to operate. Last year Governor Dayton appointed a task force (which included Commissioner McLaughlin and Charlie Zelle, MN-DOT Commissioner) to address the gap in infrastructure funding. The task force recommended a regional sales tax (used in other locations) of .5%; $100 million was raised from the .25% tax; adding a regional tax of .5% would add $200 million, which would cover 100% of the operating budget. Resources would then be available to invest in other lines. The Federal government’s Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) has not been completely defined, but it does say we can put together a series of projects and link them together for financing purposes.
  • Governor Dayton will be releasing his budget next Tuesday. Transit investments are an integral part of his plan, and it is hoped that he will embrace the new regional tax in his bonding bill. After that it is up to the legislature, with transit-friendly people in key positions (Rep. Ron Erhart, Transportation Policy Committee Chair; Rep. Frank Hornstein; Sen. Scott Dibble). A gas tax increase is a long shot, but that could be in play at the Legislature.
  • The Counties Transit Improvement Board’s (CTIB) share of Southwest is covered. Hennepin County’s 10% share is covered. Transit was not included in last year’s bonding bill, but the Legislature created a $55 million pool of money to be used for transit; Southwest received $2 million. The state funding for southwest is short; we might need $35-40 million in the small bonding bill that is expected. If the regional sales tax is imposed, that could drop the state’s hare from 10% to 5%. On the federal level, transit-related development is being embraced.

Q: Is the business community stepping up to support Southwest and other transit?
A: Yes. The Minneapolis, Saint Paul and TwinWest Chambers have been supportive. Along the Southwest corridor, we won some elections: 4 seats went from opponents to proponents; all of whom ran on transit-friendly platforms.

Q: Which counties are involved in CTIB?
A: All seven metropolitan counties were eligible. Five opted it, and 2 opposed it: Scott and Carver. Those two counties make up 10% of the population in this region, and contribute 5% in sales tax revenue.

Q: Will the sales tax be ala carte, or rolled together?
A: State Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans promotes a broader based, lower rate.

Q: How can 2020 Partners help?
A: If Governor recommends the .5% regional tax increase, show our support by thanking the Governor, then contacting legislators. Commissioner McLaughlin will let us know the appropriate actions and timing.

Commissioner McLaughlin concluded his remarks by adding that ridership on the Hiawatha line is more than 30% higher than predicted for the year 2020. He also suggested that David Frank present at a future meeting on the volume of development along Hiawatha and the Central Corridor.

4. Property Development Updates

a. United Properties/HGA – John Saunders

  • Ford Center is now 99% leased.
  • 701 Washington (HGA’s former office building) will soon be announcing a restaurant tenant in the annex.
  • Joe Tarlizzo, HGA’s Sustainability Coordinator, announced that the Ford Center has been awarded the LEED Gold Certificate by the U.S. Green Building Council. This is especially noteworthy given that Ford Center is a historic building, one of few to earn the upper echelon of LEED certification. Criteria cited for the award were energy (30% reduction in energy usage), flexibility (i.e., raised access flooring so that heat/AC come up through the floor instead of overheard, and are controlled by each individual), changing out all systems (replacing windows; large windows allowed lots of light in so lights could be turned off during the day); and being connected to transit. HGA is moving forward with LEED certification for its office space.

b. Hines Update – Bob Pfefferle  [link to photos]

  • Construction is underway on Dock Street Apartments, a 185 unit market-rent apartment building with studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, retail along Washington Avenue, and parking. The hole has been dug, the foundation poured, and footings are in. The site is on an old river bed; the number of feet to bedrock varies from 15-90 feet from one side of the lot to the other. The biggest risk has been what is below the ground, and so far there haven’t been many surprises. They did find sandy loam, which has been good re-usable fill. The tower crane will arrive in the next couple of weeks, and concrete work should be finished in mid-February. Preleasing will begin in June, and the building should be open in late November or early December of this year.

5. Target Center Improvements Update and 2020 Partners Statement – David Frank
Discussions are underway pertaining to what will happen, and who will pay. The Steering Committee thought it was important for the 2020 Partners to weigh in on Target Center, so they put together a statement expressing our views. The statement was unanimously approved by the members present. It will be forwarded to involved parties including Minneapolis Mayor Rybak, Minneapolis City Council Members, Target Center Implementation Committee members, and the Timberwolves. The Statement will also be posted on our website.

6. Farmers Market 2.0: Another Look at a Farmers Market Master Plan  – Dave Albersman and Don Armstrong, Albersman and Armstrong; Mark Oyaas, Neerland & Oyaas   [PPT Presentation, Part 1 and Part 2]

  • For the past couple of years, 2020 Partners has focused on having the Vikings Stadium situated on or near the site of the Farmers Market. When that didn’t happen, the property became available for some other development opportunities, as outlined by the presenters.
  • The Dag 360 Principles informed this project, as it did the construction of Target Field. Mr. Oyaas quoted Populous as saying that the DAG 360 Principles informed the Target Field project more than any other stadium project they have worked on, anywhere. The five principles are: green and sustainable, connections, transportation hub, identity, and vitality.
  • Looking at the assets of the site (including Southwest Corridor, Royalston station, energy, Interchange, Sports District and Cedar Lake bike trail), and building on the vitality of the existing Farmers Market, they developed a plan to transform the area into a year-round destination which could include a stadium for the Minnesota Stars professional soccer team.
  • Granville Island in Vancouver was presented as being similar to this site: near downtown; old industrial site; roughly the same size geographically; mix of new and repurposed buildings; public market where 50% of traffic is from out of town but 77% of business is from local residents; accessible by foot, public transit, car.
  • Others are interested in the site for potential development: Garden Fresh Farms with an aquaponics facility (indoor warehouse urban farming agricultural system); Fred Haberman with an organics branding project.

Following the presentation, the response from the members was extremely positive: This is the next step for 2020 Partners. They liked the progression from DAG 360 to 2010 to 2020. Timing is good – this is a good way for connection to North Minneapolis.

When asked if the group needed to take any action, Chair David Frank said that when the Steering Committee saw this presentation in November, they wanted to have it presented to the 2020 Partners. Given the supportive response, it will go back to the Steering Committee which will decide what action to take.

7. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Other scheduled meeting dates in 2013 (third Tuesday of alternate months) are: May 21, July 16, September 17, and November 19. All meetings will be held at HGA’s office in the Ford Center.


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