Archive

Minutes from November 29, 2016

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners on January 24, 2017

Attendees: Dave Albersman, Kathleen Anderson, Joey Betland, Kathleen Boe, Joan Campbell, Pierce Canser, Dan Collison, Thomas Dodds, John Dukich, Alice Eichholz, Meg Forney, Lucy Galbraith, Daniel Grady, Doug Harvey, Brad Henry, Tom Hoch, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Matt Hoy, Joanne Kaufman, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, Bruce Lambrecht, Peter McLaughlin, Ra’eesa Motala, Cathy Nordin, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Neil Reardon, Robert Rimstad, Peter Roos, Bob Salmen, Max Salmen, Jenai Sele, Erin Sexton, Dave St. Peter, Mark Stenglein, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Dale White

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

2. Parking Task Force Report and Discussion – Dave Albersman, Chair; Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. [PPT]
After providing some history and background (see Minutes from July 26 and September 27), Dave said the Parking Task Force has to date held two meetings to discuss parking issues in the North Loop, an area which continues to thrive and grow resulting in surface parking lots being eliminated. The Parking Task Force is recommending that 2020 Partners join with other entities to hire a professional transit/parking consultant to determine the current status of the parking situation in the North Loop and begin to formulate short- and long-term solutions to the problem.

The Parking Task Force has developed a draft scope of services that outlines issues they believe should be addressed by the consultant, whose work will be guided by the Parking Task Force. The cost is estimated to be $50,000, and the timeline would be six to nine months. Deliverables would include:

  • Sense of how people come and go from the area, whether it be by private vehicle, transit or other
  • Inventory existing available parking: on-street, off-street, privately- or publicly-owned
  • Management of parking, hours of operation and availability
  • Rates and revenue; where the money goes
  • Impact of proposed future development; parking spaces lost or proposed
  • Public engagement period with stakeholders: developers, businesses, residents and neighborhood groups, city, county and Farmers Market
  • Findings and conclusions, including next steps

In the discussion following Dave’s presentation several points were brought up by 2020 Partners members, some of which had previously been mentioned, including:

  • The politics around parking solutions seems to indicate that providing new parking discourages transit, and that changes in the way of eventually using Uber, Lyft and self-driving cars will determine the way parking is configured. The reality is that businesses in the North Loop are experiencing acute parking problems now which need to be addressed; business owners would like to see common-sense, fact-based discussion around the issue. Hiring a consultant is necessary to take a snapshot of the current parking problems, where people are experiencing these problems, and projecting out where development may occur in the near future. This baseline is needed to have a credible discussion.
  • Parking at meters became a problem after Minneapolis introduced its parking app which allowed people to restart their parking sessions remotely. Efforts to mitigate this problem – i.e. shortening the allowed time from four to two hours, and restricting extension of parking duration at designated meters – have been largely unsuccessful. In an informal survey business owners said that almost 100 percent of their business comes from outside of the neighborhood. Thus losing surface parking to development and ramps that are often full has become problematic and some businesses are actually leaving this area because of it.
  • Parking has been a hot issue at meetings of the North Loop Neighborhood Association (NLNA) this year, especially when apartment buildings were proposed that are taking up surface parking near Eighth Avenue and the Lab Theater. NLNA is concerned about building of parking-only structures, which is something the neighborhood has not wanted. One recent option has been proposed that has parking that is wrapped by micro-units. With proposed transit (light rail and rapid transit bus) terminating in the area it will be important to plan for the future when less parking is needed, while taking steps to relieve the parking situation in the interim. Implementing a circulator bus was one proposed option.
  • The Minneapolis City Council has yet to take action on three proposals for the Farmers Market area that were submitted earlier this year. It will be crucial and important to work with city experts and entities – i.e. Planning Commission, Traffic Division, and others – on policy decisions and changes, rather than working autonomously in moving forward. The City needs to be a partner in planning and involved in the conversation.
  • Hennepin County is not involved in parking, but Southwest LRT is moving forward; the County Board recently passed resolutions on vehicle design and right-of-way acquisition. Bottineau is ready to go but for the state’s ten percent share and negotiations with the railroad. In the eventuality of Uber and driverless cars replacing self-operated vehicles, they will still need road space and there will not be one solution. With the increase in mass transit and LRT in the past ten years, the focus should now be on increasing ridership by facilitating those who want to use LRT but have to do more than just commute to and from work.
  • Any new parking structure should look good and integrate well into the neighborhood.
  • Permitting could be changed to allow for night/weekend parking in existing structures and on surface lots in addition to the current nine-to-five only parking. That would make many more spaces available that are currently not used during certain times of the day.

In closing this discussion, Mark Oyaas suggested that there might be some confusion about the idea of advocating for something versus gathering facts. He compared it to the issue with the reconfiguration of the bike lanes, where the City claimed that First Avenue was the major artery for bike commuting in downtown Minneapolis, which with specific data turned out to be patently false. Eventually the City agreed to revert to having the parking lanes near the curb. Mark clarified that what the Task Force is recommending is finding a baseline of facts rather than dealing with the parking problem anecdotally. It is not recommending advocating for anything in particular – district parking, reconfiguring meters, changing permitting – at this point in time.

Nick invited 2020 Partners members to send their ideas and comments on this issue and others to Marsha Wagner (marsha@castlevisions.com), who will compile them for the Parking Task Force and for consideration by the Steering Committee in creating the 2017 Work Plan.

3. Welcome new Sponsor Mayo Clinic
Nick welcomed and thanked Mayo Clinic, represented by Erin Sexton, its Director of State Government Relations, for its support of The 2020 Partners. Erin said that Mayo Clinic looks forward to engaging with The 2020 Partners in making this a great neighborhood. Mayo Clinic’s logo has been added to our website.

4. Welcome to the Neighborhood Hewing Hotel
Nick introduced Jenai Sele, Director of Sales with the Hewing Hotel (300 Washington Avenue North), and thanked her for the swag bags of local products she provided for everyone in attendance. Jenai invited us to visit Tullibee, its restaurant and bar that pays tribute to the area’s strong Scandinavian roots with a focus on locally sourced food and beverage. Executive Chef Grae Nonas has been a recent James Beard award nominee and finalist, and in 2015 was named Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef.

The hotel has 124 rooms, 14 of which are suites. It was originally built in 1897, and they retained most of the original brick and timber throughout the building. ESG was the designer. The guest rooms have furniture from Blu Dot and throws from Faribault, both local companies. Later this month they will open a rooftop bar, lounge, sauna for 25, and small pool that will be converted to a hot tub during the winter. The rooftop area will be open to the public.

5. Heywood Campus Projects Update – Robert Rimstad and Cathy Nordin, Project Managers, Metro Transit [PPT]

Cathy began by stating that Metro Transit’s Master Plan looked at the growth of the organization, integration into the neighborhood, and operation needs. Two major projects came out of the Master Plan. Cathy said the police building, which will be attached to the existing office building, is 60,000 square feet on four floors. It is used as a home base for officers, most of whom are deployed on foot to light rail and other areas downtown. The bus/squad entrance/exit will be widened to three lanes. The main entrance will be moved to Sixth Avenue North, and the building and landscaping will be on street level instead of below grade. The exterior will be dark gray metal panels.

Robert reported that the new Minneapolis bus garage, located northwest of the existing Heywood Bus Garage, will have storage space for more than 200 buses. They will do basic maintenance and minor repairs at this facility, which serves as a home base for buses and drivers. There will be two levels, with employee parking on the first level and bus parking and maintenance on the second level. Preliminary design renderings show the street entrance and car parking entrance along Tenth Avenue to enhance that corridor and entrance to the  North Loop. The main level of the bus garage will have bus parking in the middle, maintenance on the south side, and operations on the east side. The bus pull in/pull out will be on Eleventh Avenue. Two future additions are planned for the west side when funding becomes available. The façade facing North Seventh Street will offer views of the interior and with 24/7 operations will shed illumination outside of the building at night.

Both projects are currently in the design phase. Construction on the police building will begin in 2017 and last two years. After demolition of existing buildings on the site the new garage construction will begin in 2018 pending acquisition of additional funding. With that schedule it will be completed in 2019.

6. Target Center Improvements Update – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx [PPT]
Brian reported that the demolition of the exterior at the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street is going very smoothly. Re-skinning the exterior with metal panels will begin this winter, starting at the Target Field corner and working around the building to finish at First Avenue and Sixth Street. Brian spent most of his time talking about the interior updates. The existing executive suites on the premium level have been completely redone with new millwork, seats, carpeting, and ceilings and the restrooms have been refreshed. They also have new furniture and televisions, and have been consulting with David Fhima on new food offerings. Club TI (Treasure Island) has an expanded footprint with a larger bar and new food options. One new product at Target Center are the Chairman’s Suites along one entire side of the building. These suites provide access to the exclusive Chairman’s Club that overlooks center court with floor-to-ceiling glass, and offers all-inclusive food and beverage. Another new product are TCL Theater Boxes which can accommodate four to six people per box. Each box has its own reserved dining room table, larger chairs overlooking the court, and they also offer all-inclusive food and beverage.

7. “Open Mic” Discussion about Neighborhood Issues to Address in 2017
[Note: These are listed in the order in which they occurred to maintain flow of discussion.]

  • Ralph Strangis, advisor to the 2020 Partners Steering Committee, addressed the topic of parking by saying that the Work Plan is all about the Farmers Market and North Side, connecting all of these pieces together. Since 2020 Partners has limited resources the Steering Committee has to look at the extent to which resources are available to participate in the parking conversation while at the same time staying true to the Work Plan that has been under development. The Steering Committee is trying to find a better way to be more effective so when they bring items to the collective group there has been more input and opportunity at that level to vet them and bring them in a more complete form. Plans are underway that are not ready to be presented, but look for some interesting and positive information about this at the next meeting.
  • Joan Campbell thought the parking conversation made it sound like the city would be the audience, not a participant. She said there are really good minds at the city and they should be included in the discussion. Parking is considered a revenue source so changing policies could affect that. As a city council member she was always concerned when a group would get way out ahead of policy makers. She added that if someone from the city is participating in the planning or brainstorming effort they have more ownership. There are examples around the city of shared parking which usually happens in neighborhoods, one example being the Seward Co-op which shares space with a church and a bar.
  • Mark Stenglein, lending historical perspective, said Hennepin County has been involved in this neighborhood with Target Field, Northstar Rail, current and future LRT. Every train line has its nexus at this point, so our energy should be put into bringing big attractions to the city. Nick added that at the genesis of this group its purpose was to make this a welcoming neighborhood and be a partner with Hennepin County in developing infrastructure.
  • Bruce Lambrecht said that although there is a high percentage chance Major League Soccer will go to Saint Paul, the deal has not yet been finalized. One thing that is being done around the world is building soccer stadiums so they can appear for game days and disappear when not in use. He wondered about the possibility of building a soccer stadium on a piece of land that would be free and you’re only paying for air rights. He mentioned several options where an 18,000-20,000 seat stadium could be built: between the B and C parking ramps, near the Convention Center by I94, and connecting US Bank Stadium over 35W linking with the University of Minnesota.
  • Brad Henry said that it has been announced that Minneapolis is in the bidding for Expo 2023, a World Fair in the State of Minnesota. [link] Nick said that a bid committee led by Mark Ritchie met with senior officials from the United States Department of Commerce. Last week [November 23] they made an announcement that they were forwarding a recommendation to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who will in turn forward it to President Obama, to hold the 2023 World Fair in Minnesota.
  • Mark Oyaas reiterated a point he made earlier about the parking issue. He said that the Parking Task Force realizes that with the parking problem being so acute there are many stakeholders who could each come up with $2,500 or $5,000 to contribute toward hiring a consultant. It was and is not the intent of the Parking Task Force to ask the 2020 Partners to consider using existing funds. What the Parking Task Force is seeking is for 2020 Partners to endorse and steer this fact-finding mission; they are not at this point considering coming up with a plan or making recommendations. The 2020 Partners offers the perfect forum to have this discussion. Parking Task Force member and North Loop resident Timothy Bildsoe has been actively working with Council Member Jacob Frey on this issue, so that could be a good place to start. Absolutely connections is the fundamental goal, specifically connecting back to the Near North so positive developments in this area push forward in that direction.
  • Alice Eichholz said that the Near North is her interest as well, and that making that connection was the whole reason to place the soccer stadium in the Farmers Market. It would have made Minneapolis a much more cohesive, cultural, and interactive city, which is going to be essential in moving forward with understanding diversity and inclusion of other cultures. She also announced that Great River Landing has been fully funded. Organized by Better Futures, it will offer 72 units of supportive, affordable housing for ex-offenders, most of them family men. Affordable housing is another strong issue for the North Loop as it offers another way to be better connected to Near North.
  • Brian Kimmes said that with the Super bowl and X Games coming to Minneapolis, we should work to make sure that people visit our neighborhood. With the X Games coming next summer (2017) we need to start planning now.
  • Doug Harvey, speaking on behalf of the Minneapolis Farmers Market and Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, requested help with a road construction issue. Last month [October] they were notified that I94 north and south, from Hennepin Avenue to I694, would be resurfaced beginning in May 2017. They will also be making bridge repairs, so parking under the freeway will not be available for use by Farmers Market vendors and customers for the duration of the project, estimated to be one year. Border Avenue will also be closed while the City of Minneapolis reroutes utilities in preparation for Southwest LRT. The Farmers Market will lose between 360 and 600 parking spaces. The City has made it clear they will not provide financial support to secure parking. Doug is seeking advice and input on how the Farmers Market can increase awareness of this issue, raise funds for private parking in the neighborhood, and help lobby the city to provide financial and other assistance.
  • Ending on an upbeat note, Nick thanked everyone for coming, and toasted Fulton Brewing for providing the very well-received and much-enjoyed beer for the meeting. HGA provided other food and beverages.

8. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, from 5:00‑6:30 pm.

 

Minutes from September 27, 2016

2020 Partners Membership Meeting

HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners on January 24, 2017

Attendees: Dave Albersman, Tim Bildsoe, Josh Brandsted, Pierce Canser, Alice Eichholz, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Brad Henry, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, David Loehr, Peter McLaughlin, Ra’eesa Motala, Mark Oyaas, Marilyn Porter, Neil Reardon, Kit Richardson, Rick Rud, Max Salmen, Dave St. Peter, Mark Stenglein, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner

1. Call to Order and Introductions – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:13 pm.

2. Approval of Minutes from 2020 Partners Meeting on July 26, 2016
Minutes were APPROVED and have been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

3. Transit Development Update

a. Southwest LRT – Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Board
Nick introduced Peter by thanking him for his courage and tireless support. Peter began his remarks by thanking members of The 2020 Partners for consistently and vocally supporting funding for Southwest LRT (SWLRT), and added that the Governor and his staff also appreciated our letters of support. Governor Dayton played a pivotal role in putting funding for SWLRT on the table as a standalone item, holding a three-hour public meeting attended by mayors and city council members, labor unions, and business people. Both proponents and opponents of the project had a chance to speak. At the conclusion of the meeting Governor Dayton said we cannot let this project go. He asserted his leadership in taking responsibility for allowing the use of certificates of participation by the Metropolitan Council to close the funding gap, something they had earlier said they would not use in order to get legislative approval.

Ultimately, the $144.5 million gap to fund the project completely (representing 10 percent of the total cost, 90 percent of which was funded by the federal government) was met in this manner: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority each contributed $20.5 million; Metropolitan Council used a quasi-debt instrument called certificates of participation (COP) to contribute $91.5 million, representing debt service on the COPs; and CTIB agreed to service the remaining $11.75 million of the Met Council’s share. The funding needed to be resolved quickly to allay layoffs of project staff and meet the deadline to apply for the full funding grant agreement with the federal government. While they will attempt to change this funding plan during the next legislative session, that will not have any bearing on the federal government’s decision to fund the remainder of the project. Because we have our funding lined up we will receive a high ranking on our local financial plan.

Regarding the Bottineau light rail line, Peter said that the corridor has been approved by all of the cities involved. Thirty percent of the engineering has been completed, and the federal government has issued its record of decision (approval) on the environment studies. This project is right behind SWLRT and will be submitted for federal funding soon. Two problems remain with the Bottineau Line: working with Burlington Northern Railroad to get the right-of-way we need from them, and $148 million in state funding.

The Orange Line on 35W still needs state funding ($37 million), but funding has been acquired for the remaining $150 million plus $25 million in road improvements.

b. Metro Transit – Marilyn Porter, Director, Metro Transit [PPT]
Metro Transit, Minnesota’s largest transit provider, was the recipient of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2016 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, or Transit System of the Year. The award was presented at the 2016 APTA annual meeting in Los Angeles in September. It is in recognition of the successful launch of the Green Line; 85.8 million rides in 2015; and recent improvements in safety, vehicles and facilities. A special employee recognition event was held at Target Field Station on September 24. Attendees included transit staff, retirees, customers and partners, along with special guests State Senator Scott Dibble and Adam Duinick, Metropolitan Council Chair. On behalf of Metro Transit and Brian Lamb, its General Manager, Marilyn thanked The 2020 Partners for supporting transit as a group and as individuals.

4. Minnesota Twins Update – Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club
Dave announced that the Twins are getting close to finalizing the search for new leadership, and hope to introduce him in the near future, perhaps even bringing him to a future meeting of The 2020 Partners.

In terms of the ballpark, one offseason project—changing stadium lights to LED—will feed into ongoing sustainability efforts within Target Field, and they are hopeful that it will be a positive improvement from a neighborhood perspective in terms of spillage from lights. Dan Kenney, Executive Director, Minneapolis Ballpark Authority, said it builds on Target Field’s LEED certification for operations. New lighting will also be installed on the underside of the canopy. It will be flexible in terms of colors, allowing them to change it for holidays and special events.

Dave concluded by announcing that the Downtown Improvement District recently completed its award season relative to all things green. Target Field Station received more recognition as the best active green space in downtown, which speaks to the programming and other things they are doing to activate the space.

5. Target Center Improvements Update – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx [PPT]
Brian began his presentation by announcing that the Lynx, with 28 wins this season, received the first seed in the playoffs allowing them to bypass the first two rounds. They play their first two playoff games against the Phoenix Mercury, their biggest rival, at Xcel Center in Saint Paul due to a scheduling conflict at Target Center. If the Lynx continue to win the rest of their home playoff games will be played at Target Center.

The Timberwolves held their first day of training camp today [September 27] with a lot of buzz surrounding their new coach and president of basketball operations, Tom Thibodeau, and new general manager Scott Layden.

Brian presented a slide showing road closures and traffic impacts surrounding Target Center. Skyway renovations include doubling the width of the public walkway and tripling the number of entrance doors on the skyway level. The new premium level, which will be substantially completed by October 3, features the addition of thirteen Chairman’s Suites with all-inclusive food and beverage; it is attached to a new club overlooking center court. Theater Boxes, another new feature, are smaller boxes for four to six people. They offer all-inclusive food and beverage, improved seating and reserved six-person dining tables. The suite level is closer to the action than at Xcel Energy because Target Center has more seats in the upper level than the lower level.

The construction schedule has three phases. Phase One was the bowl and suite level. The bowl work finished the end of August with the unveiling of the new center-hung scoreboard which is three times the size of the old one. Four additional scoreboards were hung in the corners of the arena, creating in total seven times the amount of digital square footage. The lighting truss surrounding the center-hung scoreboard is on a separate hoist so it can be moved independently, lowering it down below the scoreboard to give the fans a special experience during team introductions.

At the end of Brian’s presentation, Nick took time to thank our supporting organizations, including the Minnesota Twins and Timberwolves | Lynx, and said this organized actually got its start when Target Field was being built. Our newest financial supporter is Mayo Clinic.

6. Property Development / Neighborhood Updates

  • Cooks of Crocus Hill recently opened in the North Loop.
  • Hewing Hotel (Third Avenue North and Washington) is scheduled to open before the end of the year.
  • New restaurants: Red Rabbit, an Italian restaurant (Second and Washington); Jun, Asian restaurant (730 Washington).
  • A new building is going up across the street from the Lab Theater.
  • Webster School received a visit by the Undersecretary of Education who ate lunch with the students last week. This year Webster enrolled three full kindergarten classes.
  • Greco has a project under construction at 315 Seventh Avenue North: 144 units; 14,000 square feet of retail; planned opening August 2018.

7. North Loop Parking Concerns: Parking Task Force Update – Dave Albersman, Chair; Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. [PPT]
In the discussion following the presentation by Joanne Kaufman and Josh Brandsted at the July meeting, a task force was formed to study parking in the North Loop area. The Parking Subcommittee met for the first time immediately prior to this meeting. They discussed organizational issues, short- and long-term solutions, and the ultimate end product. They plan to meet an additional four to six times. The task force would like to incorporate the issue of parking into the 2020 Work Plan.

One of the things the task force discussed was the tension between parking and transit. Moving briefly through his PowerPoint presentation (originally created nearly ten years ago), Dave called out a couple of slides of particular interest. Slide 7 showed the number of available parking spaces in Minneapolis for employees, which was not much different than in Portland and Seattle, two cities that are often touted for their transit systems. Slides 8 and 9 were overhead views indicating the number of parking decks and surface parking lots in 2005 and 2016. It was clear that the number of surface lots has dramatically decreased due to development, especially in the North Loop, while the number of parking decks has not increased to keep pace with demand.

Looking at the transit mode split, Dave compared data from a study done in 1990 with numbers from 2007. The numbers did not change significantly in the four modes studied: transit, drive alone, car pool, and walk/bike. While transit ridership is increasing, it is difficult to get people out of their cars. Parking is needed if the city and North Loop continue to grow; we need to plan for both parking and transit. Even if transit ridership is doubled, there is still a need for six thousand new parking spaces by 2025, and ten thousand or more by 2030.

The task force will continue to meet over the next few months. They plan a robust use of the 2020 Partners’ work plan as a forum for continued discussions. Task force members were asked to stand up to be acknowledged and thanked for their efforts.

Mark Oyaas added that the task force will dovetail its work with the efforts of the North Loop Neighborhood Association (NLNA), which is already underway, to ensure that they are starting to row in the same direction. Fundamental thinking is that no matter what happens there is going to be a parking crunch. They want to do a better job of identifying all of the various problems and working out short-term (“low hanging fruit” i.e. changing meter times and pricing) and longer-term solutions. The task force will use the data in Dave’s PowerPoint presentation and replicate it for the North Loop, updating the figures hopefully with the help of 2020 Partners’ resources.

Tim Bildsoe reported that the NLNA met with Council Member Frey several months ago to identify some of the issues in the North Loop, one of which was parking. Businesses and residents both complain about the lack of parking, and with more developments underway it will become more of a problem in the near term. NLNA met with CM Frey and Public Works to discuss solutions to the problem. Changes have been made recently in the vicinity of the Itasca Building; there are unintended consequences when a solution for one area causes problems for another area. NLNA has begun a conversation with the city about finding solutions, made difficult because the city does not own the land in the area so there are not a lot of options.

In the ensuing discussion, the following suggestions and points were made:

  • The task force would have a more compelling case moving forward if they could quantify the problem from a business case sense, i.e. what is the problem and how can it be resolved. (One of the takeaways from the task force meeting was to put all of the issue items on the table and come up with a strategic approach.)
  • Looking at the genesis of the 2020 Partners, its constituency and support of business, government, neighborhoods and residents, it is ideally situated to collaborate with NLNA and the Warehouse District Business Association.
  • Parking and transit have a close linkage to the economic vitality of these areas. Rochester has a similar problem, and is solving the problem of where employees park by building parking ramps up to twenty stories high. Grand Avenue in Saint Paul recently faced an issue with linkage between parking and economic vitality by putting parking meters on the street. In those cases it was not a well-thought-out planner solution but more of a political hot potato. Examining those communities and how they solved their issues might be insightful in how we look at our parking issues.
  • At the July 26 meeting Lucy Galbraith from Metro Transit talked about district parking. That could be a useful reference as it includes a benchmark study of what other cities around the country are doing in terms of district-scale parking, and it also included cost and financing.
  • City permitting of surface lots was also mentioned as a problem at the July meeting. Dave said that the Parking Subcommittee will invite David Frank, Beth Elliott and possibly others to attend one of their next meetings. Integration with the city and neighborhoods is important.

8. 2020 Work Plan Update – Nick Koch

Ralph Strangis reported that the Steering Committee invited Tawanna Black, Executive Director of the Northside Funders Group (NFG), to attend its September meeting to discuss how our groups could collaborate. NFG arranges for or facilitates grants from major corporations and their foundations for development projects on the north side. The Steering Committee is looking for a partner with nonprofit status that could provide us with some financial resources or access to same, and other areas that we could partner on since we often talk about connections on the north side. There was a good conversation, but there was not a precise ask from us or a commitment from her.

Dan Collison, Director of East Town Business Partnership (ETBP), was also invited to attend the September Steering Committee meeting. ETBP has a model that is different from ours; it is funded in part by the Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC), and Dan is the full-time, paid coordinator. Our Chair is a volunteer position without remuneration. Ralph suggested that members of the Steering Committee have a discussion with Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the MDC, about bringing resources together to deal with transit, connection and parking. With those resources we would be able to hire a contract specialist to lead our efforts.

Nick noted that it is interesting that in the history of this group supporting Target Field and vicinity, this area has not been under the umbrella or interest of the MDC or its Downtown 2025 Plan. It was clarified that the North Loop is not a part of the Downtown Improvement District (DID), which is a function of the MDC and funded by property owners. With the density of residents, office space and hotels there might be impetus to move the boundaries of the DID to include the North Loop.

9. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 5:00‑6:30 pm.

Copyright © The 2020 Partners. All Rights Reserved.