Minutes from May 24, 2016

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

The Courts at Mayo Clinic Square – Experience Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners on 7/26/16

Attendees: Bruce Bahneman, Pierce Canser, Raymond Dehn, Thomas Dodds, Alice Eichholz, Brent Erickson, David Frank, Stuart Goldenberg, Diane Hofstede, George Holden, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Ted Johnson, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, Bruce Lambrecht, Chuck Leer, David Loehr, Peter McLaughlin, Ra’eesa Motala, Pat Nelson, Kristina Nesse, Cali Owings, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Neil Reardon, Peter Roos, Bob Salmen, Max Salmen, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Karlee Weinmann

1. Call to Order and Introductions – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm.

2. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on March 22, 2016
Minutes were APPROVED and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3. Reports on Legislative Issues
a. Overview – Raymond Dehn, State Representative-59B
Representative Dehn reported that the state legislators did not get their work done by close of the session Sunday night. They did not pass a bonding or transportation bill, and among other things no action was taken on Real ID. There is no requirement that a bonding bill be passed. Without passage of a transportation bill, which would hopefully include Southwest LRT (SWLRT), federal funding is at risk, not just for this project but for future transit projects in Minnesota. He suggested 2020 Partners members contact Governor Dayton and legislative leaders to communicate to them that it is critical for the state to move forward supporting transit. There is a possibility they will return for a one-day special session, probably before July 4, if the Governor and legislators can reach agreement prior to that.

b. Major League Soccer – Ralph Strangis, Kaplan Strangis Kaplan
The City of Saint Paul and Minnesota United asked for three things from the Legislature for the major league soccer stadium to be built on a site in the Midway area: (1) exemption from real property taxes for the bus barn site, (2) standard exemption from sales taxes on construction materials, and (3) liquor license. They received numbers one and three. On number two, the Legislature deferred the sales tax exemption because the City of Saint Paul can provide essentially the same thing through a refund process. That means that contractors and subcontractors must pay the tax and file for a refund. There was not a lot of legislative opposition due in large part to the fact that the ownership group is putting in at least $150 million to build the stadium.

c. Southwest LRT/Transit Funding – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
At the last moment during Sunday night’s legislative session it was proposed that raising the cap for Hennepin County taxpayers from 10 to 20 percent of the cost of the project would keep SWLRT alive. It was the worst item on a bad list of last-ditch options, but in the absence of other options it was necessary. Fortunately, that plan collapsed. What it did was give Governor Dayton a significant amount of influence in advocating for a comprehensive transportation bill that would include SWLRT. Peter thinks it is likely that Governor Dayton will call a special session, and 2020 Partners members are again being encouraged to contact the Governor and key legislative leaders to say (1) we need a special session to move forward on a comprehensive transportation package, and (2) raising the percent contribution for Hennepin County taxpayers is not the preferred option. Another option for funding SWLRT is the proposed sales tax in the metropolitan area. With Bottineau coming online right behind SWLRT it is necessary to come up with a long term solution.

4. Farmers Market Development Strategies Report: Pre-Feasibility – Neil Reardon, UrbanWorks
David Frank, Director of Economic Policy and Development, introduced this segment. He said UrbanWorks has been leading a study that is now in draft form. Once it is complete and has been presented to the City Council, city staff intend to keep working with 2020 Partners and neighborhood groups to implement the recommendations, making improvements to the
city-owned land at the Farmers Market and also drawing in nearby property owners for
public-private development.

Neil reported that in the past few months they have conducted market review on the site and community engagement on the three strategies that the city had outlined for the Farmers Market and vicinity: (1) make the current market better, (2) expand the market horizontally and vertically, and (3) make it part of a new development. One of the most common things they heard was lack of connectivity.

(1) Some of the things that could make the current market better are signature market identification and artwork, enhancing the boulevard, and enclosing all or part of a shed. Some of the items on the menu of options are adding a drop off/pick up area, and a plaza with public restrooms.
(2) (a) Vertical expansion: Using only the current footprint, UrbanWorks considered what could be built including an indoor market, an adaptable indoor-outdoor market that would function in all four seasons, and other ancillary spaces. They did an economic analysis on each option. They also considered collateral development within the district.
(b) Horizontal expansion: After studying a variety of options they determined the best option to show in the report was to look at the city-owned property, the Traffic Control Building on Border Avenue. Using that property or another privately owned property they could build an indoor market but also create some links back to the other market. It could be done in conjunction with or following work done in Strategy (1). It also involved creating a linear public space facing west and south. If the Southwest LRT station is built, the construction impact would necessitate a connection between Border Avenue and Glenwood Avenue.
(3) This would make the Farmers Market more of a district and part of a new development in a mixed-use building as part of a public-private investment. Phase 1 would use only city land (and possibly the Traffic Control site). There would be a new Farmers Market as well as an indoor Farmers Market. In the interim the existing Market would continue to operate. Phase 2 involves requiring three adjacent parcels to create an outdoor market on a new block with creation of a new street to the north. It would include a public plaza with public art.

UrbanWorks provided a summary of the economic impact of each strategy, which included funds from property taxes and collateral development. David reported that Neil’s team will finish the final report after receiving comments from the city. It will be presented to the City Council, then posted on websites. Parallel to that, the city has put in a request for funds in next year’s capital budget to begin development on the selected strategy.

From the ensuing discussion period:
⦁ A question was raised about the cost to the city of each strategy. Strategy one would be a $4 million upgrade, primarily a public cost. Costs for strategies number two and three depend on the financial structure, and that has not been determined in this phase.
⦁ There is currently private property in the vicinity available for sale. The city does not currently have the budget for this and has not entered into any discussions with those property owners.
⦁ What is being done about parking concerns? There was nothing in the presentation about parking changes or structures. What percent of people coming to the Market are arriving by cars or bikes? Neil said they had heard a lot about parking concerns but it was not specifically addressed in a development scenario. About 90% of people arrive in cars; there are also pedestrians and space for 300 bikes on Border Avenue across the street. David added that there is not political support in the city to create additional parking in the area. Pat Nelson, manager of the Farmers Market, said there are currently 1156 parking spots that are utilized on the weekend, and on busy weekends it is not enough. Trying to find a nearby parking spot is a logistical nightmare. Neil said that adding a drop-off/pick-up area would be one small first step that would help alleviate that.
⦁ What is a realistic timeline? With properties for sale in the area and the possibility of Southwest Light Rail, will this development happen fast enough? David replied that the path will be determined in the next couple of months. When funds would be available to acquire property is too far in the future.
⦁ Was the Farmers Market Annex included in this study? If the city is not going to buy property what can it do to induce the kinds of changes it wants to see in this area? Neil said it is privately-owned and functions as a market on its own. It was not included in this scope of work. David added that this report is pointing towards development on adjacent properties, and 2020 Partners can be part of this public-private partnership.
⦁ City Public Works has said that in order for development to happen on the City-owned Traffic Building site, they would have to find a new home for the Traffic building.

5. Target Center Improvements Update [PPT] – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx
Target Center renovation will include the addition of a three story glass atrium on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street. The First Avenue elevation will have new windows and a video board. Seventh Street will be reconfigured and the Target Center footprint extended 50 feet to install a three-truck loading dock. Street redesign, which is a city project, will be done simultaneously with Target Center renovations.

The entire exterior will be redone with metal panels. Facing the challenge of having Target Center fit in with the neighborhood (it is located in the nexus between the entertainment district and the warehouse district) the architectural firm selected tones that reflect those of Target Field and the warehouse district with the material being more modern. The finish is matte with copper coloration. The renderings show what look like white lines; these are actually recessed light bars. The cost for the project is $130 million.

Inside the arena and event level there will be a number of changes. The Timberwolves | Lynx locker rooms will be redone. On the First Avenue side they are moving the box office lobby to the corner; in its place will be a new Courtside Club (for Courtside Club members only) with windows on First Avenue. On the skyway level they are expanding entrances, going from four to more than twenty doors along the corridor. The skyway will be widened allowing for better ingress/egress. Another new club will be added for members in the 10,000 square foot former office space of Timberwolves | Lynx management. On the main course they are refreshing all of the public areas, including restrooms, and polishing the concrete floor. There will be new food and beverage choices and new way-finding signage. Everything will be ADA compliant.

Work on the premium level will begin this summer. All of the suites are being redone on the First Avenue side, and a new all-inclusive Chairman’s Suite club will be added with a view of Mayo Clinic Square through floor-to-ceiling glass. Twenty four- to six-person theater boxes with plush chairs and dining tables will be added on the other side of the premium level. They will be knocking out walls to make it look more open, bringing downtown into the arena.

In the arena they are redoing the bowl and technology, changing how the floor and the courtside seats interact. The basketball floor itself will be replaced and expanded on all sides for player safety, and all of the seats will be reconfigured. During the Olympic break this summer the scoreboard will be replaced.

If any funds remain or become available during the construction process, the primary alternate is to add a skyway entrance from the southern end of the building from the skyway by Ramp A. Currently two-thirds of the people come from Ramps A, B and C through one skyway, and one-third come up through the main entrance. Ingress is not a problem, but they want to redistribute this so that leaving the building is not so difficult. This will also help to alleviate congestion at the north end of the building.

Construction/road closure schedule:
May 2016: Two lanes of Second Avenue closed down, making it a one-way street
June 2016: City starts work on Seventh Street
September 2016: First Avenue will become one lane in each direction (after Twins season)
October 2016: Work begins on entire exterior of building; one lane of Sixth Avenue will be taken over starting at 9:00 am each day
June 2017: Start to see work on exterior completed; Seventh Street reconfiguration completed
August 2017: Work on Sixth Street completed
October 2017: All work along First Avenue completed in time for Timberwolves season
November 2017: All work completed

At the end of this presentation Ted Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Development Officer for the Timberwolves | Lynx, expressed his appreciation for patience during the construction process. He invited anyone interested in being kept up to date to sign up through Marsha Wagner, marsha@castlevisions.com.

6. Property Development and Neighborhood Updates
Nick read from a list of recent openings and proposed developments that had been provided by David Frank and Bob Pfefferle:
• Two new taprooms – Modist and Inbound
• Opus is about to start construction at the ABC Electric site
• United Properties and Greco are bringing forward new buildings separately between Freehouse and Bunkers
• Cooks of Crocus Hill is opening in the Local D’lish space
• Pacifier is open
• Open Streets event on Washington & First Avenue in July – second year downtown
• HCMC clinic in Tractorworks coming soon
• Duffey buildings on Washington are being sold
• T3 is topped out and closed in – exterior corten steel cladding will be going up soon.
• Sex World – now known as The Washington – is under construction for repositioning to office and street level retail
• Hewing Boutique Hotel construction is moving along, expected to open in Fall of 2016
• Gardner Hardware – aka Maytag Building – is pursuing new leases for retail and office

7. 2020 Partners Work Plan for 2016: Long Range Planning and Funding – Nick Koch
Nick said the Steering Committee has been working on the scope of work to move us into the future, building on the principles and connections of the public and private sectors that were part of DAG 360. They are looking beyond the scope of the area outlined in UrbanWork’s presentation, seeking ways to connect to the West Market, Glenwood Avenue and North Minneapolis. Anyone with comments is invited to email them to Marsha.

Ralph Strangis, noting that Downtown East received grants from the City and McKnight Foundation, suggested we might have similar resources available for our work plan. One of the qualifications for receiving grant money is to be a nonprofit, so the Steering Committee is inviting Tawanna Black, head of the Northside Funders Group, to attend its next meeting to see if there are ways to collaborate on connecting to the North side.

8. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, from 5:00‑6:30 pm, at HGA, followed by a Minnesota Twins game courtesy of Dave St. Peter/Twins.
Other meeting dates in 2016: September 27, November 15.

Following a drawing for Minnesota Lynx tickets provided by the Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx (won by Max Salmen) the meeting was adjourned by Nick Koch at 6:33 p.m.

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