Minutes for May 21, 2013

2020 Partners Membership Meeting
HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by the 2020 Partners on July 16, 2013

Attendees: Ted Abramson, Michael Ahern, Dave Albersman, Mark Anderson, Nina Axelson, Peter Bruce, Brian Burg, Matt Clark, Raymond Dehn, Alice Eichholz, Jamil Ford, David Frank, David Galey, Derek Galey, Grady Hamilton, Brad Henry, George Holden, Denise Holt, Bob Iwaskeayez, Ted Johnson, Joanne Kaufman, Dan Kenney, Nick Koch, Andrew Leith, David Loehr, Sherman Malkerson, Doug Maust, Peter McLaughlin, Kelly Nelson, Mark Oyaas, Duane Petersen, Ron Ridgeway, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, Aaron Roseth, Anders Rydaker, John Saunders, Stephanie Shimp, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Katie Walker, Dale White, Christopher Willette

1.  Welcome and Introductions – David Frank

2.  Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on March 19, 2013
Minutes were approved and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3.  Transit Development Updates

Transit Sales Tax – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
Commissioner McLaughlin began by thanking everyone for their calls in support of the transit sales tax, which was not passed during the legislative session. What did pass was $37 million for Southwest, and $13 million a year ongoing. There is enough money for the state match to begin engineering; they will have to go after the additional $81 million next year. The Legislature also backfilled $46 million for Metro Transit plus Metro Transit’s operating budget.

The transit sales tax was part of the Governor’s narrative – first a .25% increase, then raised to .50% – but it was never part of the narrative in the House, and that’s where it fell apart. The Senate was kind of on board with the sales tax, and they added road improvements. The issue was still alive at noon on Friday (May 17), with Representative Frank Hornstein and Senator Scott Dibble fighting for it. This was a missed opportunity; now Hennepin County will have to use an incremental approach, one line at a time.

There was little reported on streetcars. The Legislature did approve a plan that includes a “value-capture” provision – an increase on property taxes on five properties – that gives Minneapolis authority to set aside taxes generated by improvements on a handful of parcels on a proposed streetcar route, from Surdyk’s to Kmart. There’s an application for federal funding, but the funding might be insufficient for the streetcar. The bonding request for Nicollet Mall did not pass. The city sought the authority to create this type of funding district as one of its priorities heading into the session.

Interchange Project and Central Corridor – The Interchange is on time, on budget. Central Corridor is 90% constructed, and they have pushed a train to St. Paul (the track is not yet electrified). The new cars are built by Siemens; the cars used on the Hiawatha line were built by Bombardier.

Southwest Corridor/Transitional Station Area Action Plans: Royalston – Katie Walker, Senior Administrative Manager, Transit and Southwest LRT Community Works

Ms. Walker distributed a station area profile on the Royalston Station, and said the entire 40‑page booklet can be downloaded from their website, www.southwesttransitway.org.

Funding for Southwest LRT is provided by HUD as a catalyst for redevelopment. The term “transitional” means it will change over time, and “action” indicates ideas for action steps: creating a plan for action items prior to opening of Southwest LRT in 2018. [Royalston PPT]

The area around the Royalston station has a half-mile radius. It is the closest station to the downtown core, is surrounded by low-rise industrial uses, is close to the Farmers Market and Target Field, and will transition over time. There will be no park-and-ride; instead it will be walk-up with a high level of transfers. A series of design charrettes were conducted to seek input and gather ideas on refinement of options to be considered.

Preliminary engineering considerations include dealing with the platform location – on Royalston Avenue close to Holden at grade, or across Holden Street over 7th – and whether the North 7th Street crossing should be at grade or grade separated. When evaluating the two platform sites, Royalston would be better for future development, and Holden would offer better connection with the Farmers Market.

Opening Day recommendations include Farmers Market connection, plaza/queuing area at the station, pedestrian facilities and connections, and bus interface at 5th and 7th Streets. A member of the audience mentioned the importance of a connection to the Farmers Market.

Q:  Are Royalston and Holden 50/50? When will a decision be made?
A:  The Met Council, City and County will decide. They will evaluate both on costs, ridership, etc. Public meetings will be held the last two weeks of June, and a decision will be made by September. Contact www.SWLRT.org to get on the list to receive meeting notices.

Metro Transit – Marilyn Porter, Director of Engineering & Facilities, Metro Transit (MT)
The new MT Police facility, on the northeast corner across from the Holiday Station and roughly kitty-corner from the Ford Center, will provide two levels of underground parking, two floors of office space for MT, and three floors for future development. The RFP is going out this week, design will take place from September 2013 to March 2014, and construction is expected to start in mid-2014.

4.  Minnesota Ballpark Authority: Public Art at the Interchange – Dan Kenney, Executive Director, Minnesota Ballpark Authority
Mr. Kenney showed renderings of three potential public art locations [Public Art PDF] and
the amount of development dollars for each:
#1 – Amphitheater Granite Walls ($190,000)
#2 – Cisterns near parking garage driveway ($60,000)
#3 – 70-foot-long bench/seating area near the Great Lawn ($25,000).

The RFQ is on the street and on the website: http://www.ballparkauthority.com/. The deadline for artists to respond is June 10. Meetings to select 6-9 finalists to receive the RFP will begin in June, with interviewing to select artists to take place on July 26. Art will be installed by March 2014.

5.  Property Development Updates

United Properties – John Saunders, Senior VP Acquisitions/Dispositions, United Properties
The second floor of the Loose Wiles building has been leased, so the building is now 50% leased.

Blue Plate – Stephanie Shimp, Co-Owner of Blue Plate Restaurant Company
Blue Plate (BP) has leased the annex of the Loose-Wiles building at 701 Washington Avenue North for its newest restaurant, Loose-Wiles Freehouse. They are developing a logo and branding, and working on the beer that will be served at the restaurant and sold in growlers and bombers. There will be seating for 220, a dedicated bar, a patio (with HGA-planted honey locust trees) with seating for 200, and a private dining room that will seat 30-40 for meetings. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, giving it the distinction of being a microbrewery offering breakfast to beer. They have hired a chef, promoting a general manager from within their company, will soon announce a brewer, and will employ 100 people. [Freehouse PPT]

The décor will be industrial but luxurious, with an “anything goes” ambience. BP collects bottle caps, and will use them to create a collage paying homage to the man who defeated Prohibition. The food will be similar to The Lowry on Hennepin Avenue. They will offer four house beers (also available for off-sale in growlers filled on premises or bombers bottled off‑site) and five or six seasonal beers. There will be ample parking, making it a great spot for morning meetings.

Loose-Wiles Freehouse will open on Tuesday, September 24, at 6:30 am. They expect to break ground in the next couple of weeks.

Junction Flats – Grady Hamilton, Trammell Crow; Aaron Roseth, ESG Architects
Mr. Hamilton opened by announcing that Junction Flats (JF) broke ground a few weeks ago, and the ground-breaking ceremony was held on May 21. The process for developing this project began 15 months ago.

Mr. Roseth reported that the project is under construction, and they have found terrible soils to deal with on the property. He said they are developing a marketing package for preleasing, and showed some renderings of JF [Presentation PDF]. In selecting this site, he said that nearby transit was a huge factor. They view it as an extension of the North Loop, a pioneering project to create a neighborhood on the western side of Fifth Street. Currently that neighborhood contains nothing but industrial, and blight beyond the Holiday station.

Due to significant grade change the building will be nestled behind the bus station. JF will feature one level of underground parking, a first floor parking lot wrapped with housing, and a pocket park. The second floor, above the garage in back, will contain an amenity terrace with fitness center, community room, pool, BBQ and fire pits. The top floor will have another community room facing the city. There will be a total of 176 units: alcove, one bedroom, one bedroom + den, and two bedroom.

Q:  On the back/south side, will there be passage from Seventh Street?
A:  The grade change of 11 feet prohibits that, plus pedestrians would also have to cross through the Metro Transit parking lot. David Frank had previously advised keeping Fifth Street as a good pathway for pedestrians, with parking entrances on Seventh Street.

Q:  What is the price point?
A:  There’s a lot of product emerging. Factoring in proximity to the Interchange and its amenities, price will be consistent with the market.

Q:  What is the size of the pocket park?
A:  Minneapolis Zoning standards were applied. The park, 50×50 feet, will be open to the public. It will be a hard surface with potted plants, benches, and seating areas.

6.  Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC): District Energy – Andy Leith, Hennepin County Environmental Services; Michael Ahern, Ever-Green Energy
Mr. Leith said that in 2009 they connected a steam line from HERC to Target Field. The Interchange, currently under construction, is being built around HERC. [Note: A fact sheet that was distributed at the 2020 Partners meeting and other information can be found here: http://www.hennepin.us/NorthLoopEnergy.]

Mr. Ahern followed up with a presentation [District Energy PPT] describing HERC’s North Loop Community Energy System (NLCES). He explained that normal waste heat recovery is a 33% efficient process while district energy is 65-70% efficient. It captures low grade heat, and a system has been designed for the Interchange Plaza to keep it free of snow.

This higher grade of heat is available for other uses as well. It could be used to heat restored cobblestone streets, for instance, avoiding use of salt and harsh chemicals. HERC is looking at the North Loop area to offer both hot water heat and cooling. The NLCES offers stable rates, and the energy cost is low.

Next steps include completing a technical and financial analysis for Metro Transit opportunities (police station and Heywood garage, current and future), completing integration of the Interchange project, and initiating planning with Public Works, CPED, and other economic development and infrastructure stakeholders (i.e., community groups and building owners). They have identified a 25-year vision, and will develop a business plan.

Q:  Can district energy be used in new buildings and existing buildings?
A:  In new developments, using district energy will offset additional capital costs. In existing buildings, it can replace existing systems, but they need to meet with building owners as they always see something new. There’s not a cookie-cutter approach. At Ford Center, the boiler could be integrated. There are different options for different properties.

At the end of the formal presentation, Mark Oyaas added that this is a fantastic system, but that the message isn’t being heard. Politicians need to know about it.

7.  Target Center – Ted Johnson, Senior VP-Marketing and Communications and CMO, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx
Mr. Johnson said he was hoping to make a formal announcement concerning funding and details on the proposed Target Center improvements, but things are still being finalized. By the next meeting an agreement between Target Center and the City of Minneapolis should be announced, and RFPs for architects and construction managers should be issued. A couple of pieces of legislation impacted discussions. That legislation came through, and Target Center now has the ability to speak with Xcel about joint operations. They can communicate and conduct a study, seeking to find a global approach and solution in managing arenas.

8.  Minnesota Twins – Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins, was not present to make a report.

9.  Neighbor Updates – There were no updates or announcements. David Frank invited 2020 Partners members to bring updates and announcements to the July meeting.

10.  New Business – The meeting closed with an optional viewing of Will Leer’s exciting finish in the 1500 meter at the Oxy High Performance Meet in Los Angeles on May 17. Enthusiastic cheers and a round of applause ensued. [Video]

11.  2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

Last scheduled meeting date in 2013 (third Tuesday of alternate months): 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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