Minutes for July 28, 2015

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners on September 22, 2015

Attendees: Kathleen Anderson, Bruce Bahneman, Eric Best, Joey Betland, Josh Bransted, Peter Bruce, Peter Callaghan, Joan Campbell, Pierce Canser, Matt Clark, Peter Dahl, Ehsan Dehbashi, Raymond Dehn, Jim Diley, Dan Duffy, Michael Dwyer, Alice Eichholz, Brent Erickson, Chelsey Falzone, Sandy Forberg, David Frank, David Galey, Doug Harvey, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Bob Iwaskeayez, Joanne Kaufman, Karen Keeney, Dan Kenney, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, Gwen Kurvers, Bruce Lambrecht, Joe Leyba, David Loehr, Andy McDermott, John McDermott, Peter McLaughlin, Pat Nelson, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Marilyn Porter, Kit Richardson, Jonah Ritter, Duke Rodda, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, Anders Rydaker, John Saunders, Tracy Schmidt, Marcy Schulte, Dave St. Peter, Ralph Strangis, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Karlee Weinmann, Andrew White

1. Call to Order – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:08 pm

2. Introductions

3. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on March 24, 2015
Minutes were APPROVED and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

4. Property Development Updates

  • Bob Pfefferle, Director, Hines – Hines acquired the site a few years ago. Dock Street Apartments was completed in 2014, and T3 (timber, transit, technology) is the second phase. It is an innovative urban office building that is connected to the neighborhood and transit. They plan to create more activity at the pedestrian level. The building includes 12,000 square feet that can be used for a restaurant or retail. It will open in September 2016.
  • Nick Murnane, Senior Manager Real Estate Development, Opus Development Company – Opus is the developing partner and general contractor in redeveloping 314 Sixth Avenue North as a 143-unit market rate apartment building with 160 parking spaces on two levels of underground parking. (The project is currently named ABC Industrial Development.) The lobby and parking entrance will be on Seventh Avenue. It will contain alcove/studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom apartments with some walkout units, and one three bedroom penthouse. Amenities include retail and/or a restaurant along Sixth Avenue, a deck on the second level with additional space on the roof, and 9,000 square feet on the ground floor which might be used as a gym. The design will complement the historic warehouse district. The exterior will be a single material (white brick, being selected with the help of ESG), and have gridded windows. Construction will begin on January 1, 2016, and is expected to take 14 months. Greco is the managing partner on the project.
  • Josh Brandsted, Greco Properties – Greco has teamed up with United Properties for a development at 729+753 Washington Avenue North (the surface parking lot between Freehouse and Bunkers). The ten-story post-tension concrete building will contain 139 units, 10,000 square feet of retail and 6,000 feet of green space. A unique feature is that it will use three colors of brick on the exterior: traditional red, buff, and dark brown. Floors 2-7 will contain market rate apartments, floors 8-9 will have 1500+ square foot two bedroom apartments, and the top floor six 2500+ square foot units. There is space for an 8500 square foot restaurant, with an additional 14,500 square feet of amenity space and a 2,000 square foot outdoor patio. The building fits within the fabric of the neighborhood, with 8×8 foot windows. They will break ground in March 2016, with an 18 month construction phase. An informal hearing with the Heritage Preservation Commission has been held; a final hearing is scheduled for August 11 with a determination expected by the end of October.

5. Metro Transit’s Heywood Campus Master Plan Update – Marilyn Porter, Director, and Pierce Canser, Associate Planner, Engineering and Facilities, Metro Transit
Marilyn said that with the Heywood Campus Master Plan they are looking at two projects, with an aim to consolidate staff at one location: Heywood II, the new garage and maintenance facility, and Metro Transit Police Station.

Pierce explained that the Master Plan is being developed to address growth of the organization and increased numbers of staff, integration into the neighborhood, and fleet maintenance and operations. He led us through a PowerPoint presentation [link] showing existing properties and planned development in the Target Field/LRT Station and Tenth Avenue zones. The gateway to the campus will be along Sixth Avenue North. The new Transit Police headquarters building will be constructed first, with construction beginning in 2016. Next steps include continuing conversations with the city of Minneapolis and neighborhood associations, prioritizing recommendations for implementation.

6. Target Field Station Programming – Chelsey Falzone, Ballpark Operations Assistant, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
Chelsey gave a very positive mid-season report on activity at Target Field Station (TFS). So far this season 37 events have been held at TFS, with an additional 33 planned between now and the end of September. In addition to events booked almost every weekend during the baseball season, Minnesota Twins road games are shown on the large screen. Partnerships with more than twenty organizations have made the space more lively. One extremely successful event was the Women’s World Cup Viewing Party; hundreds of spectators filled the great lawn. [Link to Photos, website] Anyone interested in scheduling events at TFS should contact Chelsey at 612-659-3669 or ChelseyFalzone@twinsbaseball.com.

7. Major League Soccer Update – Ralph Strangis, Kaplan Strangis Kaplan, Advisor to The 2020 Partners
Ralph began by reviewing what has transpired over the past few months, beginning with Major League Soccer (MLS) awarding the franchise to the McGuire Group in March. MLS imposed a July 1 deadline which has not been officially extended, but MLS wants to move on this issue quickly. While the ownership group stepped up financially, stating their intent to buy the land and build the stadium for $150 million, their efforts at the legislature and city for a real estate tax exemption were not successful. In recent weeks the city of Saint Paul has entered the conversation and MLS appears willing to meet with them to see what they can offer. Minneapolis and Saint Paul recognize the imperative of acting now, with the city of San Antonio hot on the trail.

Mr. Strangis, answering a question from the audience, added that the Mayor is not in favor of a real estate tax exemption. He said that collaboration among the mayor, city council, Hennepin County and others is necessary to get it done.

Spirited discussion ensued about what more The 2020 Partners can do to further this cause, beyond being the first to issue Statements in Support of a soccer stadium at the Farmers Market Site and in support of Minnesota United FC, unanimously affirmed in September 2013 and April 2015, respectively. Key points addressed or made included:

  • Since the Mayor has taken a negative stand, what pressure can be put on her to bring her around?
  • Council Member Frey has expressed strong support.
  • The working group established by Minneapolis currently includes City Council members and city staff. Since this a public/private partnership others should be added.
  • Increased investment by the ownership group in positive public relations would help counter negativity from the media and elected officials.
  • The legislative calendar was not conductive to getting this done during the last session, especially considering contention between and among the Governor, Senate and House. It might be helpful if MLS sat down for a meeting with the governor. The city and county should work out an agreement before the start of the next legislative session.
  • It’s important to understand the difference in government structure. In Saint Paul the mayor has more power. In Minneapolis we just need nine city council votes.
  • No specific timetable has been set by MLS, but they’re not going to wait. The next franchise added will be the 24th in the league, and they will be expected to play by 2017-2018. A decision on where to locate the new franchise will be made soon, and there will not be another opportunity anytime soon.
  • The option on land expires at the end of August.
  • Soccer is important to residents of Minnesota. There was a four hour wait at the border for Minnesotans going to Canada for the Women’s World Cup.

At the end of the discussion, it was suggested that the great lawn at Target Field Station be used to host an event showing support for MLS. It was also suggested that we direct a resolution or letter to the Mayor, City Council members, Hennepin County and others, indicating support of The 2020 Partners and representing them as a large, diverse group of interested persons. By consensus (show of hands), the members present affirmed this action. Mark Oyaas offered to draft a message stating that it is imperative that the working group established by the City Council be expanded to include State Representative Ray Dehn and Hennepin County, and that they all be at one table. The message will be directed to the Mayor as well as MLS, communicating to them that Minneapolis wants them here. MLS owners are currently gathered in Denver for the All-Star Game [July 29] so time is of the essence.

8. Transit Development – Southwest/Bottineau/Royalston Station – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
Peter reported that Southwest LRT’s $340 million “problem” is being addressed by cutting a quarter billion from the budget plus conducting a pledge drive among the suburban cities. Hennepin County contributed an additional $8 million plus it donated land. The project is entering a new round of municipal consent, and no huge problems are anticipated. The project is back on track and in good shape.

Peter then addressed the MLS soccer stadium issue, noting that Hennepin County’s name has been bandied about in the discussion. He stated that the owners group is proposing a better deal to the city of Minneapolis than has been seen before on stadium development, essentially donating to the city a $150 million asset. In addition the city will receive more liquor tax revenue. He added that a lot of infrastructure improvements are needed for the stadium and other real estate development in the Farmers Market area. By legislative mandate the tax collected for Target Field debt service cannot be touched or expanded to include other uses, even though they are nearly a decade ahead in repaying the bonds. Hennepin County has proposed using a small portion of that tax, reducing bond payments to make infrastructure investments, to “create a place” similar to what has been done with Target Field and the area surrounding it. Questions were raised by members about why this proposal was not sold properly at the Capitol, and why the mayor was not embracing this proposal because it meets many of her criteria for supporting development: connections to the near North and other neighborhoods, jobs, and social equity.

9. North Loop District Energy and Development Potential – Ehsan Dehbashi, HGA
Due to time constraints, this item was tabled and will be presented at the September 22 meeting.

10. Neighborhood Updates and Announcements

  • Schafer Richardson recently began construction on the Cameron Building. It was requested that they give a detailed report at the September meeting.
  • We were saddened by news of the recent death of Duane Petersen, Stark Electronics. He was a long-time member of the 2020 Partners who attended most meetings, and will be missed.
  • Everyone in attendance was invited to enjoy pizza, cookies and beverages, followed by attendance at the Minnesota Twins game that evening. Appreciation for their generosity was extended to Dave St. Peter and the Minnesota Twins for donating tickets to the game, and Jim Diley of Fulton Brewing for providing several cases of beer. We also appreciate and thank HGA staff George Parrish and Thomas Dodds for their excellent customer service.

The meeting was adjourned by Nick Koch at 6:37 pm.

11. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, September 22, from 5:00-6:30 pm, at HGA.

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