Minutes for November 17, 2015

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

HGA, Ford Center

Draft Meeting Minutes – Approved by the 2020 Partners Steering Committee

Attendees: Bruce Bahneman, Peter Callaghan, Joan Campbell, Pierce Canser, Ehsan Dehbashi, Thomas Dodds, Michael Dwyer, Brent Erickson, David Frank, Brad Henry, Denise Holt, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, Bruce Lambrecht, Chuck Leer, Andrew Leith, David Loehr, Sherman Malkerson, Peter McLaughlin, Darin/Joanne Mercil, Tyler Morrison, Mark Oyaas, Neil Reardon, Jonah Ritter, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, LJ Rotman, Rick Rud, Max Salmen, Dave St. Peter, Mark Stenglein, Ralph Strangis, Beth Sweeley, Albert Swintek, Jodie Unger, Marsha Wagner

1. Call to Order – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:11 pm

2. Introductions

3. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on September 22, 2015
Minutes were APPROVED and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

4. Courts at Mayo Clinic Square/Target Center Improvements Update – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx [PPT]
As announced at a news conference last month, the schedule for Target Center improvements has been pushed back one year. In the summer of 2016 construction will start after the Timberwolves season ends. Phase 1 will add a new scoreboard and new technology. During the one-month break for the summer Olympics, renovations will take place on the suite level. Suites will be closed for the Lynx season.

Phase 2 will take place in 2016-17, when they will begin work on the loading dock, exterior work to the building, and marshaling the yard. During Phase 3 in the summer of 2017, the building will be completely shut down while they work on a new lobby, locker and dressing rooms, public restrooms, concourse improvements, additional club space, and food and beverage improvements. They will find another venue for the Lynx to play in that season.

Following several questions from members present, Brian clarified that the scoreboard would be larger than the one in Xcel, they are working with consultants to comply with ADA standards so railings in the arena might be added, and parts of the building’s external façade will be re‑clad. When Target Center was built it was pretty much one-sided facing First Avenue North; now it is a 360 degree building.

5. Transit Development Updates: Southwest/Bottineau/Royalston Station – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
Peter began by thanking the Minnesota Twins, Target, and Minnesota Ballpark Authority for partnering on programming for Target Field Station, which has become a destination.

Ridership on the Green Line is ahead of schedule by 15 years, with 40,000 rides per workday. The Hiawatha (Blue) Line has 34,000 rides per workday. Almost half of the funding is in place for Bottineau (Blue Line Extension). The cost, estimated at $4.88 billion, includes a cushion so the price will not go up again. They need to get engineering done and get Bottineau into the next stage by the summer of 2016.

The next legislative session will be big for transportation. They are close to building out the entire transit system: Southwest, Bottineau, Gateway, 35W Bus Rapid Transit, and Mall of America. The State’s 10% has been the most difficult to get. The Federal government recently approved long-term transportation funding for six years, and full funding of grant agreements. The Rail Authority is ready to go, and there is still a lot of desire for the Transportation Bill. Southwest LRT is short $135 million, and the State’s share for Bottineau is $150 million. They would like to identify additional revenue sources in the metro area to take up the State’s 10%.

The 2016 legislative session starts on March 8, and has to be done by Memorial Day. Since the government buildings in Saint Paul are still under construction, a lot of the work will be done in January and February. Transportation and tax bills will be handled in conference committees, with a floor vote up/down on conference committee recommendations.

There is no action necessary right now by 2020 Partners, but Peter asked that we be nimble and ready to weigh in at the appropriate time. The 2020 Partners are already on record as being in support of transit legislation for funding LRT, and we will voice our support again as and when necessary.

Peter concluded by announcing that Hennepin County was recently named as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Hennepin County is the only rated county in the state, and no other county nationally has a higher rating.

6. Minnesota Ballpark Authority Update – Dan Kenney, Executive Director, Minnesota Ballpark Authority [PPT]
Dan began by providing some background on public realm improvements around Target Field. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) was created as part of the 2006 Ballpark legislation to oversee the design, construction, and long-term operation of a Major League ballpark for the Minnesota Twins. The legislation provided specific definitions for public infrastructure improvements and streetscapes:

  • “Public infrastructure” means all property, facilities, and improvements determined by the authority or the county to facilitate the development and use of the ballpark, including but not limited to property and improvements for drainage, environmental remediation, parking, roadways, walkways, skyways, pedestrian bridges, bicycle paths, and transit improvements to facilitate public access to the ballpark, lighting, landscaping, utilities, streets, and streetscapes.
  • “Streetscape” means improvements to streets and sidewalks or other public right-of-way for the purpose of enhancing the movement, safety, convenience, or enjoyment of ballpark patrons and other pedestrians, including decorative lighting and surfaces, plantings, display and exhibit space, adornments, seating, and transit and bus shelters, which are designated as streetscape by the county.

In April of 2008 the MBA Board adopted a resolution which created the Ballpark District Enhancements and Public Art Incentive fund. The purpose of the fund was to allow the MBA to work with other government agencies and other interested parties to encourage the coordinated development of amenities that would serve both the long-term interests of the ballpark and this emerging area of the City.
MBA has partnered with a number of organizations and public entities to deliver public realm improvements outside of Target Field’s gates. MBA provided $200,000 for the development of the Urban Design Guidelines, $1.5 million for plaza construction costs and $300,000 for public art projects. The Minnesota Twins and Target have provided $9 million in funding that went toward the following enhancements to Target Field Station: video board, light wands at the LRT waiting area, iconic signage, programming and support, and operations and maintenance.

Over the years improvements have been made in various directions leading out from Target Field. The most recent is the City’s proposed reconstruction of Sixth Avenue North, a $4 million project that will provide an important pedestrian connection from Washington Avenue and a direct link to transit and the ballpark. Pedestrian lighting was not included in the City’s plan so MBA’s Board authorized staff to negotiate a cost participation agreement with the City for the installation of pedestrian lighting on 6th Avenue North at a not-to-exceed amount of $300,000. Funding will be provided through MBA’s Capital Projects Fund.

7. Minnesota Twins/Target Field Station Update – Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
Dave said that programming at Target Field Station really does take a village. They learned a lot in 2015, and programming has continued to evolve. He requested that 2020 Partners members continue to bring their ideas since they are just beginning to build the 2016 calendar. He expressed his appreciation for support provided by the North Loop Neighborhood Association and Target.

Dave then talked about remaking Center Field, the newest project inside Target Field funded by the team to the tune of $5 million. The concourse area (below Minnie and Paul) will be improved by adding signature food and beverage service and providing better viewing. The bar-restaurant will provide shade and radiant heat. “Catch” will memorialize great Twins’ catches. It will be a mini version of the Legends Club, providing 120 seats to season ticketholders. The ticket price of $75-$85 per person will include all food and beverages. The space will also be available to rent. The project is designed by Populous and is being constructed by Mortenson, both of whom worked on Target Field.

8. Major League Soccer Update and Discussion – Chuck Leer, North First Ventures
In the months since the 2020 Partners took a position supporting Major League Soccer (MLS) in the Minneapolis Farmers Market area, Saint Paul has gained a lot of momentum with its proposal. At its September meeting members of the 2020 Partners agreed to appoint and empower a subcommittee to continue to pursue MLS for Minneapolis.

Chuck said that looking out HGA’s window across Fifth Street, Target Field is the center of the universe, and we [2020 Partners] still believe that Minneapolis is the right place for MLS. While it appears that things are moving forward with Saint Paul’s Plan A, we need to formulate a Plan B and be ready to move if the Saint Paul plan falls through. Having MLS in the Farmers Market area would be a win/win for everyone involved: city, county, state and MLS. It would improve the infrastructure in the area and would also benefit and serve the area across the freeway into North Minneapolis.

A group of stakeholders—comprised of representatives of the City, Legislature, MBA and others—met at UrbanWorks to discuss our options. Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, who was unable to attend the meeting, sent a message for them to carry on. We know that nothing will happen until the legislature convenes in March 2016. Saint Paul may be asking for tax abatement among other things. While we do not want to undermine their efforts, it would strengthen the case for MLS in Minnesota to provide an alternate plan. While some have expressed concern about the demise of the Farmers Market, David Frank provided assurance that the Farmers Market is not going away, with or without a soccer stadium.

9. Property Development Updates

100 Hennepin – Carl Runck, Director of Development, and Tony Barranco, Vice President of Development, Ryan Companies US, Inc. [PPT]
Tony said that the 222 Hennepin Project, which provided a key connection point at Washington Avenue, was a success and led to a good working relationship with Shorenstein and this new development project. Carl added that partners in addition to Shorenstein include ESG Architects, Laramar and Wells Fargo.

100 Hennepin is situated between Hennepin Avenue and First Avenue North, and First and Second Streets North, on the former site of the Pierce Opera House. It is adjacent to and will connect directly with Shorenstein’s existing six story parking ramp on First Avenue.

It will consist of 179 units, a small retail space and have a coffee shop on the north side with free parking. Two-story live/work loft units facing Hennepin Avenue will have a buffer of landscaping for privacy. It will be built in an “E” shape to take advantage of good views of the River and Downtown. The design will be more contemporary than 222 Hennepin, with a charcoal and light gray color scheme. The First Avenue side will have 2000 square foot walkup townhomes, each with two garage stalls, and a terrace on top overlooking the North Loop.

Taking some cues from Dock Street Apartments, there will be space for working and entertaining. There will be two courtyards with outdoor living rooms and games, and a 3000 square foot fitness studio. The top floor will provide indoor/outdoor gathering space with a sky lounge and a kitchen. Bathrooms in the units will have tile from floor to ceiling. Dog amenities include a dog washing area.

They are not seeking LEED certification, but will provide organic waste disposal. They will make use of the exiting parking structure, constructing the new building so that each floor will have direct access to the parking garage, but also plan to add 50 stalls of heated and enclosed parking on the first level of the apartment building. They play to break ground and begin construction in December, with planned move-in by January 2017.

10. Neighborhood Updates and Announcements
Nick welcomed Be the Match to the neighborhood. He thanked Fulton for providing beer for our meetings, and the Minnesota Twins for providing tickets to a Twins game last July.

11. 2015 Year in Review
Nick showed several pages from the 2020 Partners website and encouraged members to spend some time reviewing the presentations we have seen and the great body of work we have accomplished. He especially noted our financial sponsors and thanked them for their generosity.

12. Work Plan and Schedule for 2016
Looking forward, Nick said we can marshal our human, intellectual and financial resources to develop a work plan for 2016. He received several suggestions/topics from members present:

  • Attend a Lynx, Timberwolves and/or Twins game
  • Support a North Loop Community Center for families
  • Support creation of a dog park in the North Loop; Schafer Richardson owns the land that is currently being used and now has plans to develop the site
  • Improve connections to Loring Park area; currently it is not very friendly to get there
  • The North Loop needs more local green space; along the river does not count

2020 Partners members are encouraged to send their ideas for a 2016 Work Plan to Marsha (marsha@castlevisions.com).

2016 Meeting Schedule (Fourth Tuesday in alternate months, except November)
January 26, March 22, May 24, July 26, September 27, November 15

13. Thank you to sponsors and members
Nick ended the meeting by thanking the Steering Committee, elected officials and staff, 2020 Members, Fulton and others for all they do to make our meetings and organization a success. The members in turn thanked Nick for his leadership and HGA for its generous hospitality.

14. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, from 5:00‑6:30 pm, at HGA.

The meeting was adjourned by Nick Koch at 6:32 pm.

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