Minutes for March 19, 2013

2020 Partners Membership Meeting
HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by the 2020 Partners on May 21, 2013

Attendees: Dave Albersman, Kathleen Anderson, Mark Anderson, Tony Barranco, Matt Clark, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Brad Henry, Linda Higgins, George Holden, Dan Kenney, Nick Koch, Doug Maust, Michael McClimon, Peter McLaughlin, Carl Michaud, Cathy Nordin, Mark Oyaas, Karen Rosar, LJ Rotman, Sid Sampson, John Saunders, Stephanie Shimp, Dave St. Peter, Mark Stenglein, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Marsha Wagner, Dale White, Sue Williams

1. Welcome and Introductions – David Frank

2. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on January 15, 2013
Minutes were approved and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3. Transit Development Updates

Interchange Project – David Frank gave a brief update; information supplied by Commissioner Peter McLaughlin
The Central Corridor is 90% complete. Train testing will begin this summer. Governor Dayton’s proposal to pay for additional transit by expanding the sales tax (from .25 to .75 cents on an as yet unknown base) has been supported by The 2020 Partners. Members are encouraged to write or contact their legislators about this issue. A motion was made and seconded to send a formal letter from The 2020 Partners which will be crafted by members of the Steering Committee. The motion passed with unanimous consensus. [Letter to Governor Dayton]

Metro Transit – Cathy Nordin, Senior Project Coordinator, Metro Transit
When Metro Transit (MT) began a property search for a new MT Police facility, their top priority was that it be near a transit station. The MT Police Department has 100 officers, and plan to double that number as the Southwest and BRT lines are developed. Officers ride light rail, trains and buses, in uniform and not. They do foot patrols in downtown Minneapolis and at the Mall of America. The department has vehicles so they can quickly respond to calls from buses and LRT, and they have anti-terrorism and canine units.
MT approached Hennepin County because they thought the Interchange site presented an exciting opportunity; they want to be a positive force in the neighborhood. They are looking at a site owned by Hennepin County at Fifth Street and Sixth Avenue. They want to construct at least a two-story building with an option for 2-5 additional floors, and 100 secure parking stalls beneath it. Construction will start after the 2014 All-Star Game. MT will issue an RFP for a design firm this summer.

Nick Koch, HGA, suggested that they increase the number of floors due to the increased demand for density around transit.

5. Property Development Updates

Blue Plate – Stephanie Shimp, Co-Owner of Blue Plate Restaurant Company
Blue Plate (BP) started in 1993 with the Highland Grill, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. They have since added six stores: Groveland Tap, Scusi, Longfellow Grill, Edina Grill, Three Squares, and the Lowry. BP has 450 employees, and $20 million in revenue.
BP recently signed a lease for the annex space formerly occupied by HGA at 701 Washington Avenue North. They plan to open a 220-plus seat breakfast-lunch-dinner-brewpub, with a party room and an outdoor patio shaded by the honey locus trees planted by HGA. They have hired a brewer, and are waiting for brewing equipment. They are planning a late September-early October opening, and will be hiring 100 employees. The restaurant is still unnamed, and there are no drawings. Ms. Shimp send she would give a detailed presentation at the next meeting.

John Saunders provided clarification that the restaurant will occupy 8800 square feet, the annex portion of the building, and doesn’t carry into the historic building.

222 Hennepin Apartments/Whole Foods Market – Tony Barranco, Vice President Retail Development, Ryan Companies [PPT Presentation]
222 Hennepin, located at the intersection of Hennepin and Washington Avenues, is a joint venture of Ryan, the Excelsior Group, and Invesco Real Estate. It will offer 286 premium market rate apartments and a 40,000 square foot Whole Foods. They are nearing completion of sheet-rocking on the fifth and sixth floors, and the brick is now exposed on the first and second floors. Two towers mark the building entrance points at Second and Hennepin, and Hennepin and Washington. A model apartment opened on March 15; it is open weekends and by appointment for tours. The price point is $2 per square foot, with apartment prices ranging from $1,000 – $3,500 for penthouse units; all of the penthouse units are gone.
The Whole Foods store will have a 28-foot-high ceiling with a mezzanine level. Retail parking will have a separate entrance and will be separate from residential parking. The building will have a rooftop terrace with a pool.
The project will provide jobs for over 500 tradespeople, and construction will take in excess of 150,000 labor hours. LEED silver certification will be sought. The existing parking ramp will remain and will save more than 20 million pounds of concrete and 1 million pounds of steel rebar.

6. Minnesota Twins – Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
Everyone is ready for and excited about Opening Day, April 1. The Twins will be better on the field, more competitive, and contending. Two million tickets have been sold, and there are 19,000 season ticket holders, putting the Twins among the top 10 in Major League Baseball. The playing field is pristine, and they are now working on getting rid of snow and ice on the pedestrian walkways. Our climate is no different than that in Boston, Chicago and Detroit and they have dealt with less than ideal conditions for years; if it’s dry, the Twins are going to play.
There are been some changes made at Target Field. The right field bleachers have been removed, and a drink rail section created in its place. Fans will notice new, local food and beverage brands. They are actively keeping tabs on neighborhood development, looking forward to 2014 when Minnesota will host the All-Star game. The opening of the Interchange is eagerly anticipated, for people commuting plus baseball fans going to/from the Ballpark. They are working with Hennepin County on operations and programming.
On behalf of Northern Lights Broadcasting, Mr. St. Peter announced that KTWN 96.3 FM is now on-air from its studio in the Ford Center. Sam Elliott, the station manager, will join us at a future 2020 Partners meeting.

7. Neighbor Updates

Hennepin Energy Resource Company (HERC) – Carl Michaud, Director, HCES
HERC is currently burning 365,000 tons of trash, or 28% of its capacity—producing electricity (for Xcel) and steam (MN Twins and NRG)—and is requesting approval to burn an additional 40,000 tons per year. HERC is capable of burning more trash without modification, and requested an environmental review to burn trash at its maximum capacity. The Pollution Control Agency (PCA) is completing an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on HERC for the additional burning of waste. It is a complicated process due to new air-quality standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency, and changes in how to do measurements.
An estimated schedule is that in April or early May the PCA will publish notice, and public meetings will be scheduled for May – July. A citizen board will determine if the EAW is adequate. If it is not, an Environmental Impact Statement is needed. If the EAW is adequate, HERC will get the permit, and can then apply to the City for a conditional use permit. If the City does not grant that, the result will be another one year delay. David Frank mentioned that when this process began several years ago, The 2020 Partners strongly supported it. For background purposes, Mr. Michaud’s presentation to The 2010 Partners on February 9, 2010, is posted on our website. [PPT Presentation] Additional information can be found in more recent presentations: HERC Tour dated November 30, 2012; Board Briefing on Progress Implementing the Solid Waste Management Plan dated March 14, 2013.

Q: Does the City think that this is not a good idea?
A: Some say it’s a good idea, some not. It will produce more steam and water in the North Loop and Farmers Market areas.

Q: Is HERC the only one selling steam and electricity?
A: Minneapolis Thermal has several plants downtown. NRG has a cooling plant by Target Center. Its main plant is located at Eighth Street and Fourth Avenue South.

Q: What percentage of steam is being used?
A: Currently using 38-40% of all energy; 60% is lost to cooling towers.

Q: Why would anyone be opposed to this?
A: Possible health impacts.

North Loop Neighborhood Association – Karen Rosar
The North Loop Neighborhood Association (NLNA) has completed the North Loop Park Scoping Study, which was unveiled at its annual meeting. The NLNA Board set aside the issue of grinding out financing but wants to move forward. Ms. Rosar requested that the Steering Committee review the scoping study, host it on The 2020 Partners website, and consider adding some representatives from its member base to the Steering Committee, which will drill down details concerning location, financing, etc. It was noted that the Minnesota Twins generously donated a portion of the funding for the project. [NL Park Scoping Study]

Farmers Market – Mark Oyaas, Neerland & Oyaas
The presentation created by Dave Albersman, Don Armstrong and Mark Oyaas has been seen by the 2020 Partners Steering Committee and members, the North Loop Neighborhood Association, and on Thursday [March 21] will be presented to representatives from Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Council and Southwest LRT. It is stirring up some interest. Mr. Oyaas requested that the Steering Committee consider inviting Dewey Thorbeck, Director of the Center for Rural Design at the University of Minnesota, to present at the May 21 membership meeting. Mr. Thorbeck is an expert on farmers markets and rural/urban connections, and the Farmers Market proposal ties into his activities. He has a real positive interest in co-locating, not just the Farmers Market.
Mr. Oyaas also thanked the Steering Committee members and funders of The 2020 Partners for their continued involvement and commitment to keeping the group going; it is continuing because people want to be involved.

Nick Koch wrapped up the meeting by mentioning several other topics of potential interest to The 2020 Partners: streetcars in Minneapolis – Nicollet Avenue south to Central Avenue northeast; Metro Transit’s possible alignment with the Midtown Greenway, adding a streetcar line adjacent to that; Broadway Avenue.

8. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.
Other scheduled meeting dates in 2013 (third Tuesday of alternate months) are: July 16, September 17, and November 19. All meetings will be held at HGA’s office in the Ford Center, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted in the meeting notices.

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