2020 Partners Membership Meeting
Be The Match, 500 North 5th Street
Draft Meeting Minutes – Approved by the 2020 Partners Steering Committee on April 19, 2017
Attendees: Tim Bildsoe, Josh Brandsted, Joan Campbell, Dan Collison, Raymond Dehn, Thomas Dodds, Tim Drew, Michael Dwyer, Alice Eichholz, Tod Elkins, Chelsey Falzone, David Fields, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Thomas Hayes, Brad Henry, Tom Hoch, George Holden, Denise Holt, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, Andrew Leith, Tom Lincoln, David Loehr, Sherman Malkerson, Peter McLaughlin, Diane Merrifield, Maureen Michalski, Pat Nelson, Todd Peterson, Sara Joy Proppe, Keith Prussing, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, Bob Salmen, Max Salmen, Dave St. Peter, Mark Stenglein, Ralph Strangis, Carletta Sweet, Marsha Wagner, Dale White
1. Call to Order and Introductions – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm. He thanked Be The Match for hosting the meeting, and introduced Todd Peterson, Senior Director of Development at Be The Match Foundation, new Steering Committee member and financial supporter of the 2020 Partners. Todd welcomed everyone and said they are looking forward to being more involved with our group and with the neighborhood.
Nick announced two other new Steering Committee members and financial supporters: Sara Barrow, Manager External Affairs, Xcel Energy (not present), and Tim Bildsoe, President, North Loop Neighborhood Association. David Frank, Director of Economic Policy and Development, will remain on the Steering Committee as a representative of the City of Minneapolis.
2. Approval of Meeting Notes
Meeting Notes from the January 24, 2017, Membership Meeting were approved and are posted on our website.
3. Executive Director Report – Dan Collison
Dan began his report by thanking the Steering Committee – especially Nick Koch, David Frank and Bob Pfefferle – for spending time to inform him of the history, priorities and strategies of the 2020 Partners. In addition Chuck Leer, Dave Albersman and Mark Oyaas were instrumental in providing the broader history and narrative of the group. Dan also spent time with and offered his thanks to: Pat Nelson, Bonnie Dehn and Scott Barriball from the Farmers Market and Annex; Joanne Kaufman from the Warehouse District Business Assocation (WDBA); neighborhood association representatives Tim Bildsoe, Karen Rosar and Alice Eichholz; Bruce Bahneman and Joni Bonnell with the West Market Business Association; and David Fields, a consultant for the City of Minneapolis
2020 Partners now has three social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and members are encouraged to follow, like, share and begin posting on them as a means to stay connected. The 2020 Partners is about connecting institutions and understanding what is going on in our neighborhood; cross-connecting is an important piece of that.
Dan said the work plan is a living document which is constantly evolving and being updated. He articulated the historic commitments of the 2020 Partners:
- Act as a well-organized, consistent and stakeholder-supported source of substantive information on projects and ideas affecting areas proximate to Target Field
- Public Realm Surrounding Large Scale Projects
- Urban Agriculture
- New Vision for Urban Livability
- Connectivity to West Market/Glenwood, North Minneapolis, Downtown West and Central Business District
- Communication with officials and press to express views on projects and initiatives
The projects currently in front of the group are focusing on the following:
- Farmers Market District Concept
- LRT Line Expansions, BRT Lines, and TOD Corridors (Create multi-year work plan recommendations)
- Glenwood Avenue and Olson Memorial Corridors Into More Walkable Human Scale
- Metro Transit Heywood Campus Expansion
- Leverage City of Minneapolis Street Improvements into Improved Pedestrian Realm
- Explore the breaking up of ”Super Blocks”
- Leverage Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Study to envision new Green Spaces and a Potential Park and Park building
- Parking Task Force
Engaged work plans for some of these will be created in the next thirty to sixty days, and invitations will be extended for members to participate. The City has done extensive planning in our area, and that framework is the North Loop Small Area Plan. Dan has been and will continue to do outreach to our members and their organizations, but also the Harrison neighborhood and the partners who are doing work on these corridors, including institutions and neighborhood organizations.
Dan said that as he has conducted meetings with 2020 Partners members to know and understand strategies of their organizations and companies, he came across two surprises. David Fields and Beth Elliott reminded Dan that the history of the area before it became the Farmers Market was a neighborhood called the Oak Lake Addition. Originally platted in 1873, diagrams show how it was going to be parceled off to include the Farmers Market as a semi-exclusive and progressive residential neighborhood with a lake and a bandshell in the late 19th century. It transitioned into hosting the Farmers Market clearing and sheds, and eventually shifted to a completely industrial framework. The shifting priorities of the Park Board were the key driver; they drained the lake and shifted resources away from this being a desirable neighborhood. Images created and put forth by UrbanWorks, West Loop, and North Loop neighborhood plans replicate this kind of density surrounding the Farmers Market.
The other surprise is that while on a half-day tour of the Glenwood corridor, Dan met Jackson Schwartz, the creative director of Hennepin Made located at 144 Glenwood Avenue near the Farmers Market annex. Hennepin Made is a custom blown glass company with Room and Board as a key client and they have outfitted Zelo downtown with custom blown glass. They are building out an office incubator space, will be opening an event center and café, and they will develop the parcel in front of the building into an outdoor patio with activities, with a long-term goal of building out a retail shop. It will become a destination spot that will bring a lot of amenities to the area.
4. 2020 North Loop Access Task Force Update – Tim Drew, Parking System Manager, City of Minneapolis Public Works; Max Salmen, Chair of 2020 North Loop Access
Max Salmen, Chair of the 2020 North Loop Access Task Force (formerly known as the 2020 North Loop Parking Task Force), said that parking in the area is a very stigmatized issue, one that the group has been hearing a lot about from the business constituency. They are trying to address the problem with a forward-thinking perspective. Max referenced a map of current City of Minneapolis metered street parking, and another map showing the area adjacent to Target Field that has become a huge problem. Meters have been switched back and forth from two hours to four hours, and since the introduction of the parking app people are able to remotely add time to their meters using their phones. The Task Force has come up with three main action items:
- Press the City to put out an RFP for a convertible parking structure that will be built now as part of big district parking plan with a vision for fifteen to twenty years from now it could in segments be taken from parking as the need for cars dissipates. This would allow the tremendous velocity of growth and development to continue in the neighborhood without creating huge monoliths of cement that will eventually be outdated.
- Getting a commuter circulator (“North Looper”) to serve the North Loop. North Loop residents believe they are paying a lot in taxes but are not seeing any changes or improvements from ten years ago. The circulator would connect travel down Washington Avenue, connecting East Town with the North Loop. Different stakeholders have said there is not a tremendous shortage of parking; the problem is the distance that the parking stalls are from the places where people want to be.
- Social media visibility to make this an issue so those in a position to make changes understand that people – residents, visitors, businesses and consumers/customers – in the affected area care about. Visual posters will be placed in North Loop businesses that wish to participate. People will be able to take a picture of the poster and use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media to communicate their frustration with lack of parking or having received a parking ticket. With the upcoming mayoral campaign, the intention is to make this an issue that is being acknowledged and discussed by city leadership.
The 2020 North Loop Access Task Force will be putting out an open call to anyone from the 2020 membership but also the North Loop Neighborhood Association and others who are interested in getting involved. The objective is to get the city, county and major stakeholders involved to think about what they want the user experience to be for people coming into Minneapolis twenty years from now.
Tim Drew works in the parking division of Traffic and Parking Services in the City of Minneapolis. He has been a big part of putting in much of the on-street infrastructure from meters that took quarters to the pay stations now being used. The pay stations give the City flexibility to make adjustments and do various things throughout the city.
Several years ago a group met to discuss how street parking should be handled in the North Loop area. The group determined that metered parking should be enforced mostly seven days a week with a mixture of two- and four-hour time limits. It was almost unilaterally agreed that the Warehouse District and the downtown core should have two-hour time limits for on-street metered parking. Long term parkers were encouraged to park in ramps, with about seven thousand spaces in the A-B-C Ramps and the Hawthorne Transportation Center.
The area on the northwest side of Target Field used to have free street parking, and cars were parked there for long periods of time. The parking meters in this area are fairly inexpensive much of the time, but event rates are charged when there are Twins games at Target Field or other events like concerts. The Farmers Market area has two hour parking at a quarter an hour when the market is open on Saturdays and Sundays. Event rates are changed at night and on weekends when the Twins are playing, and during the day parking is free if there are no events.
For quick, convenient uses the City tries to limit meter parking to two hours. With the parking app there is a way to get around that time limit by paying through the parking app, then continuing to feed the meter using the app. The City is exploring ways to combat that but is finding there are not good alternatives available due to software issues.
In the question-and-answer period following this presentation, these topics were discussed:
- There are some areas where there are currently no parking meters. If anyone observes that parkers are using these spaces all day and they are not getting turned over, they are encouraged to contact Tim (Drew@minneapolismn.gov; 612-673-2152) so the city can look at the area and come up with the correct solution.
- The pay stations warn people in advance of upcoming events that a higher rate will be charged. At any point you can push the button on the pay station and it will tell you whether or not event rates are being charged at that time. The Minneapolis parking app also has that information.
- When looking at solutions to people re-upping their time on a meter remotely, it is difficult to create one that works for everyone. People have found ways around this by using different credit cards or false license plate numbers for the extension of time. One problem with prohibiting adding time using the app is that if someone had fed the meter for a half-hour in a two-hour zone, they would be unable to use the app to add additional time even though it would be within the two hours.
- During cold weather the pay stations operate more slowly. The reason for that is the sensor is LED and cannot keep up with the electronics. The company selected provided meters that were much faster than others they tried.
5. Transit Development Update – Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
Peter McLaughlin said that “the sky is falling” is a fair description of what is happening with transit, and those who care about it out to be worried. The Minnesota House of Representatives is proposing to stop Southwest LRT by four or five different ways. Although Peter said he does not know of an example where a legislative body has dismantled a joint powers board that local governments have put together and dictated the terms, they are trying to forcibly dismantle the County Transit Improvement Board and dictate the terms so that the money goes to Dakota County to build more roads. They are also introducing a variety of other restrictions like a reverse referendum if the county wants to make a quarter cent increase in the sales tax for light rail transit. Those who are concerned should contact any Republicans in the House of Representatives, thank Governor Dayton for his help and urge him to hang tough, and if they belong to a business association – i.e. chamber of commerce or Minnesota Business Partnership – urge their leadership to take action and stand up to the anti-transit, anti-Minneapolis sentiments that are running rampant at the Capitol.
President Trump has proposed in his budget that there be no new full-funding grant agreements, the contractual commitments that the federal government makes to fund its share of these projects, and Southwest and Bottineau do not yet have these grants. Although Congress has yet to address this, it is a problem and Peter is traveling to Washington in an attempt to determine what strategies people are putting together. The South LRT project may be coming to a screeching halt. When asked about contractual agreements on the Southwest process that might lend some legal standing to prevent shutting it down because of all of the money spent to date, Peter replied that the federal government can decide that they are no longer going to fund this. In the absence of a full-funding grant agreement, they can shut it down and spend the money elsewhere. Some federal money has already been spent or appropriated on Southwest LRT, which is potentially a good thing. Projects that have gone as far as Southwest LRT have not been denied a full-funding grant agreement in the past, so to abruptly stop it would be unprecedented.
At the state level, the House has a bill that says certificates of participation cannot be used. They also want to cut Metro Transit’s basic operating budget by tens of millions of dollars causing a financial crisis in the organization so they would not be able to support LRT.
Nick said that 2020 Partners has written letters in support of Southwest LRT in the past, and offered to do so again. By consensus of the members present, 2020 Partners will draft a letter to send to the Congressional delegation as well as state elected officials. Nick then read a Resolution of Appreciation adopted by the 2020 Partners at its September 27, 2016 meeting, thanking Peter for his tireless and effective advocacy for transit projects to enhance the Metropolitan area and with particular benefit to the North Loop. Following a round of applause Peter expressed his appreciation for this timely resolution.
6. Minnesota Twins Update / Target Field Station Programming –Dave St. Peter, President and CEO, and Chelsey Falzone, Ballpark Operations Assistant, Minnesota Twins Baseball Club [PPT]
Dave St. Peter said they are excited about the 2017 season, with opening day on Monday (April 3) at 3:10 pm against the Kansas City Royals. They expect a sellout and hope to get off to a better start than last year. Dave is incredibly excited with the new leadership of the Twins; they are moving in the right direction, and he is grateful for the support of many in attendance. An exciting year is planned. In addition to 81 home Twins games they have other special events planned including Heart Walk on April 29 and two major concerts: Billy Joel on July 28 and Florida George Line on July 29.
Regarding Target Field Station, Dave said the Twins played a role in partnering with the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and Hennepin County to create a dynamic space and transit hub, negotiating and accepting the responsibility around programming of that space. At that time they identified 2020 Partners as the logical group to have some input into the programming plan and offer pseudo-approval on behalf of the County.
New features at Target Field Station to more clearly delineate the intended vehicular route include introducing planters in the center to prevent cutting through the roundabout, staining the concrete darker, adding ceramic directional pavement markers, and modifying the parking stalls at Caribou.
Chelsey Falzone, who oversees all of the efforts around Target Field Station programming, provided a recap and showed some great photos of 2016 events, and gave an update on what to expect in 2017. The Minnesota Twins, in addition to broadcasting 81 away games at Target Field Station, have a number of events planned in 2017. Go 95.3 and 96.3 are planning a concert series and nightly music, and local organizations are sponsoring events, a good number of them repeating from last year. Events are featured on the Minnesota Twins website, and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis with Major League Baseball events having priority of use on home game days. The Master Calendar for programming at Target Field Station is operated and updated by Chelsey. You can contact her at 612-659-3669, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following Chelsey’s presentation, Nick offered his thanks to the Twins and Hennepin County by reading the following statement:
The 2020 Partners Steering Committee recognizes the excellent community outreach, diverse use and activism of Target Field Plaza by the Twins in 2016 and endorses the 2017 Target Field programming as presented by the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have been collaborative with Hennepin County by assuring broad community availability and use of the Plaza since its original construction.
7. Target Center Renovation Update – Brian Kimmes, Facilities Project Manager, Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx [PPT]
Brian Kimmes reported that before the beginning of the season the entryway doors on the skyway level of Target Center were moved back about twenty feet to increase the width of the skyway. Ceilings and lights have been replaced and finishing work is now being done on the floor. The TCL Six One Two Lounge, the new membership lounge that will open next season, is serving as the temporary construction headquarters. The skyway will remain open throughout the duration of the renovation.
The new two-level lobby is being built. Structural steel is in and the concrete floor has been poured. The ground level will contain the box office and lobby. The second floor will be the main concourse level, and above that will be a three story glass atrium that goes up to the premium level and concourse, with overlooks from the premium and two hundred level concourses.
Seventh Street has been rerouted to create space for additional loading docks and on the south side the loading dock is enclosed. They have added loading docks so it is now a three-stall loading dock in addition to a pull-through, so a total of four trucks can be unloaded at once. A new event-only skyway directly connecting Ramp A to the level one concourse at Target Center will be open during Timberwolves | Lynx games, and possibly other events at the discretion of Target Center and AEG. Target Center will be shut down at the end of the Timberwolves season, and the Minnesota Lynx will play their 2017 home games at Xcel Center in Saint Paul. Renovation will be substantially completed by the beginning of the 2017 Timberwolves season. The new exterior skin will be installed from May through November.
8. Schafer Richardson Development Proposals – Sara Joy Proppe, Project Manager, Schafer Richardson; Tod Elkins, Managing Principal, UrbanWorks Architecture
Schafer Richardson (SR) is a developer with over twenty years of real estate development expertise including new construction (multifamily, mixed-use and commercial), historic rehabilitation/preservation, property repositioning, commercial leasing/property management. SR has a deep commitment to the North Loop. It has developed eleven properties and owns eight operating buildings in the neighborhood, holds five development sites totaling 343,000 square feet, and has its office in the Gurley Building at 900 North 3rd Street.
Sara Joy Proppe said the two sites they presenting are on Tenth Avenue and Third Street North. The proposed office site is currently the Zuccaro Produce Exchange, and across the street is a surface parking lot owned by SR. On the Zuccaro building they intend to remove the stucco and restore it to the original red brick. On the surface parking lot they are planning to build a parking structure that would serve both the Zuccaro building and the Bassett Creek Business Center across the street along with other properties in the area. The parking structure would add a first floor commercial liner space with 4800 square feet for an office tenant.
Tod Elkins said UrbanWork’s office is in the Bassett Creek Office Center so they are very excited about additional parking in the neighborhood. In their twelve years of being in the area the surface parking lot serving their building has gone from forty to almost a hundred percent full.
The existing Zuccaro building has a floor plate of approximately 10,000 square feet. They are adding elevators, vertical circulation, stairs to the north side of the building, opening up the floor plate and adding three more additional floors on top of it to get roughly an additional 50,000 square feet of office space. The goal is to re-open the old window openings, and add a modern interpretation of the building on top with a possible roof deck for the office residents to use.
The parking ramp will contain approximately 350 parking stalls, adding 264 net parking stalls. (The current surface parking lot contains 84 parking stalls.) The height will be six levels, similar to the Zuccaro building across the street. They are considering adding bump-outs along Tenth Street in an effort to create traffic calming which would make the area more pedestrian friendly. SR is considering converting part of the parking lot serving the Bassett Creek Office Center into a park, so this ramp could be part of a district solution to help alleviate some of the parking challenges that exist in the North Loop both on- and off-street. Sara Joy added that this is a good location for a parking ramp considering that it is an industrial area on the edge of the neighborhood. While details remain to be worked out, they are thinking about offering contract parking during weekdays for business tenants but want to consider opening it up to evening and weekend use for residents and visitors to the area.
For the exterior of the parking ramp they are considering perforated aluminum mesh in a basket weave three-dimensional pattern. There have been conversations about doing some illumination from the exterior onto the face of the ramp to make it more active in the evenings and minimize the glare from internal fluorescent lighting. The public entitlements process is underway, they will be submitting land use the middle of May, and they are hoping to begin construction in 2017.
9. Neighborhood Updates / Announcements – Tim Bildsoe, President, North Loop Neighborhood Association
Dan introduced Tim Bildsoe, new president of the North Loop Neighborhood Association (NLNA), former city council member for the City of Plymouth, chair of a government-appointed board on the state level. Tim works on Insurance and State & Local Government Service at Wells Fargo Insurance, and is a resident of the North Loop. Much of the work of the NLNA matches and complements our work, along with that of the WDBA. Dan welcomed Tim to the Steering Committee.
Tim Bildsoe began by thanking David Frank for his past leadership with NLNA, and thanked members of 2020 Partners for their investment in the North Loop. The efforts of individuals and businesses involved in the 2020 Partners have made the neighborhood what it is today, and the role of NLNA is to keep businesses successful, make the North Loop a good place to live, and encourage more activity.
On the parking issue, Tim said that part of the parking solution in the North Loop is partnering with and encouraging developers to build more parking. 2020 North Loop Access/NLNA also want to inform people on where to find parking. In the summer of 2016 NLNA met with Council Member Frey to discuss several issues including parking and the condition of roads in the North Loop. Through the last quarter of 2016 NLNA put pressure on Council Member Frey to add Fifth Avenue North, Third Street North and a couple other streets to CIP, the city’s funding plan. The pressure paid off, and those streets are added to CIP…in 2019. The next push along with light rail is to get that moved up. North Loop residents and businesses pay a lot in taxes and expect some of that money back to alleviate some of the parking and street problems in the neighborhood.
Since this is prime time for elections, NLNA is going to host a forum for Ward 3 council member and Park Board commissioner. They will be asking them difficult questions about the North Loop: what will you do to fix our roads, add a park and other green space. Capital improvements that other neighborhoods have will be requested for the North Loop.
At a recent retreat the NLNA Board developed some modified priorities:
- Neighborhood safety – Currently active in that area working with the Minneapolis Police Department
- Parks and beautification – The parcel of land where I-394 enters downtown at Washington Avenue North and Third Avenue North is owned by NLNA will be enhancing that parcel starting this spring, adding landscaping, trees and a monument saying “Welcome to the North Loop,” partially funded by MnDOT. They need to raise $100,000 to fund the project. The city is also proposing to fix the intersection at that location, adding a left-turn lane coming off of I-394 and making the crosswalk ADA compliant.
- Engagement – Attending neighborhood events, hosting aforementioned candidate form, Earth Day neighborhood cleanup (April 22)
Tim invited everyone to visit NLNA’s website, maintained by Diane Merrifield, to find out more about activities and events in the North Loop. The website also contains a link to resources, including parking, under the heading “Transportation.”
In closing, Nick thanked Dan Collison, Marsha Wagner, and financial supporters. He acknowledged the unique relationship 2020 Partners shares with NLNA and WDBA, which goes to our roots with Hennepin County and Target Field in making this neighborhood a more welcoming place. Last, he thanked the members for showing up at meetings and the work done between meetings.
10. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, from 5:00‑6:30 pm.
2017 Membership Meeting Schedule: July 18 (pizza party followed by Minnesota Twins vs. Yankees), September 26, November 14
2020 Partners Membership Meeting
HGA, Ford Center
Meeting Minutes – Approved by The 2020 Partners at the March 28, 2017, Membership meeting
Attendees: Dave Albersman, Tim Bildsoe, Dan Collison, Thomas Dodds, Alice Eichholz, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Brad Henry, George Holden, Tricia Holden, Denise Holt, Matt Hoy, Joanne Kaufman, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Rick Kreuser, David Loehr, Ra’eesa Motala, Kelly Nelson, Tod Norgren, Robert Pfefferle, Peter Roos, Bob Salmen, Max Salmen, Mark Stenglein, Gordy Stofer, Albert Swintek, Marsha Wagner, Marcell Walker
1. Call to Order and Introductions – Nick Koch, Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:10 pm.
2. Approval of Meeting Notes
Meeting Notes from September 27 and November 29, 2016, Membership Meetings were approved and are posted on our website.
3. Introduction of Dan Collison as Executive Director
Nick announced that the Steering Committee entered into a one-year contract (January 1 – December 31, 2017) with Dan Collison to be the Executive Director of the 2020 Partners. Dan is also serving as Executive Director for the East Town Business Partnership and Director of Downtown Partnerships for the Minneapolis Downtown Council-Downtown Improvement District.
Dan acknowledged that the 2020 Partners is comprised of a deeply invested group of landowners, institutional leaders and neighborhood leaders who have acted together to advance their “enlightened self-interests.” Dan has met with Steering Committee members David Frank, Bob Pfefferle and Nick Koch to get a sense of the institutional memory of the group, and has reviewed all of the content posted on our website. Leveraging his experience and strong relationships with Minneapolis Council Members and area business leaders, Dan’s goal in this one year pilot is to be a navigator between the interests of the 2020 Partners and other people and happenings around Downtown, representing our group and making connections with others. He will serve the interests of the Steering Committee and Task Forces in a way that brings vibrancy, energy and a sense of direction in achieving our goals.
Dave Albersman commented that with all of the time and energy Mark Oyaas has put into the 2020 Partners since its inception, he does not understand why Mark was not given a chance by the Steering Committee to apply for this position and he wondered what the reasoning was behind that decision. He added that it would be nice if membership got a say in decisions like this; many members have volunteered their time and efforts to the organization and that is worth money, too. Nick responded that Ralph Strangis and Dave St. Peter had some thoughts and opinions on this decision but unfortunately were not present at this meeting to articulate them. Joanne Kaufman said she was not aware of or included in any conversations that were taking place or decisions being made until after it was a done deal. David Frank said that he has worked from the beginning with Mark, Mary deLaittre and Chuck Leer and this decision is not intended to be disrespectful towards Mark. The Steering Committee looked at the great energy and success of East Town and wanted to work with Dan. There is precedence for the Steering Committee to enter into contracts for outside help as they did with Mary deLaittre and Vincent James (VJAA).
Joanne Kaufman said the Board of Directors of the Warehouse District Business Association has concerns that Dan’s work in East Town might conflict with some of the goals and objectives of their organization and the 2020 Partners. Max Salmen also expressed two concerns that had been expressed to him by others: the potential for conflicts of interest between East Town and the North Loop, and the lack of transparency in the process of contracting with Dan to act as 2020’s Executive Director. Nick invited anyone who has additional feedback and thoughts on this to email them to Marsha. He added that the 2020 Partners has always operated by consensus, granting authority and responsibility to the Steering Committee to make decisions and take action on behalf of the group.
Dan Collison thanked everyone for their questions and concerns. He said that while the structure of the arrangement does not involve a lot of money he acknowledges that the investment needs to be fully realized and valued and said he will provide detailed reports of his activity to the Steering Committee. His challenge is to leverage the development muscle and vision in all of Downtown, integrating resources and assets rather than entering into competition.
4. MnDOT Resurfacing Project (I-94 Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center) – Dave Aeikens, Communications and Engagement, MnDOT Metro District Public Affairs; Marcell Walker, Project Manager for the 2017-2018 I-94 Resurfacing and Bridge Project [PPT]
Marcell Walker said the project, which stretches from Minneapolis to Shingle Creek Parkway in Brooklyn Center, will run from March 2017 through July 2018. From May through October, 2017, I-94 will be reduced to 2 lanes in each direction between Nicollet Avenue and Highway 55 for under-bridge repairs, and it will be reduced to 2 (possibly 3) lanes in each direction north of Highway 55. In August it is anticipated that there will be four weekend directional closures of I-94 (one direction closed, the other remains open) required for asphalt overlay. Some of the parking under the freeway bridges in the Glenwood-Lyndale area will be restricted for bridge repair. Ramp closures throughout the project area will be required for pavement repair. Closures are expected to last two weeks, and the goal is to have no two consecutive freeway ramps closed at the same time. Intermittent lane closures will be required throughout the project.
Moving north to the Brooklyn Center area, there will be impacts to the Highway 252 / I-94 area. Both Southbound Highway 252 to Eastbound I-94 and Westbound I-694 to Eastbound I-94 will be closed for approximately two months to resurface roads and repair bridges. Traffic will be detoured to Highway 100.
On the south end of the project area, work done on the Lowry Tunnel will be staged construction. When work begins in the eastbound Lowry Tunnel, traffic will be shifted to westbound lanes; two reduced (10-foot wide) lanes in each direction separated by a concrete barrier. When that is completed, the traffic will be shifted to the eastbound lanes while work is down on the westbound lanes. This phase is expected to take about 14 weeks, and truck traffic will be restricted. To reduce traffic in this area the Northbound I-35W to Westbound I‑94 ramp will be closed during Lowry Tunnel work for about 70 days. Traffic will be detoured to Highway 62 to northbound Highway 100.
This project is only for maintenance and preservation of the roads and bridges. Additional capacity or sound barriers are not included, but there will be new highway lighting. The estimated cost of the project is $57 million; MnDOT will be opening bids on February 1. As far as mitigation plans during road closures, Marcell said MnDOT can only detour traffic onto roads they maintain, and they cannot restrict traffic from using other roads.
Individuals interested in updates can check the project website for I-94 Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center, and sign up for email alerts. They can also check Facebook, Twitter or 511 (real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota). Marcell also provided project contact information: Dave Aeikens, Communications & Engagement: email@example.com; 651-234-7511; and Marcell Walker, Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org; 651-234-7712.
5. Neighborhood Updates
David Frank invited everyone to attend the Annual Meeting of the North Loop Neighborhood Association, Wednesday, January 25, from 6:00 – 8:30 pm at T3, 323 North Washington Avenue.
6. Property Development Update: 729 Washington – Gordy Stofer, Vice President of Office Development, United Properties [PPT]
United Properties has developed several properties in the North Loop, including Ford Center and the Loose Wiles project where Freehouse is located. This new development – which they are calling Nordic House – is on the surface parking lot next to Freehouse and is being built as a modern interpretation of a historic warehouse-type building with Scandinavian-inspired design. It will include primarily office space with some retail and up to three restaurants, including an outdoor restaurant adjacent to a 50,000 square foot plaza which will be activated year-round by the Musicant Group. From December 1 through March 31 underground cooling coils will be used for winter sports like curling. The office building will have a rooftop terrace. The design and height of the building compliments adjacent historic buildings. United Properties has been working with a neighborhood group and will be making contributions to the neighborhood for historic preservation and public art.
An adjacent structure, connected to the office building by a canopy over the alley, will provide 270 above-grade and 130 below-grade parking spaces. There will also be 59 micro‑units (400-square-foot efficiency apartments) along the Third Street side of the building, and retail on the street level. They plan to break ground this summer and complete the project by Fall of 2018. Restaurants and major tenants will be announced within the next 30-45 days.
7. Parking Task Force Report – Max Salmen, Task Force Chair; Dan Collison
Max said that the Parking Task Force has been collecting funds to replicate a study that was done ten years ago. That included requesting funds from the Steering Committee, but primarily due to some confusion in communication that was not granted. The Task Force has assembled a massive amount of information about what people – retailers, office workers, tenants – are upset about with the current parking situation, but they lack a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. In the next four to six weeks the Task Force will work to develop a vision of where they want Minneapolis to be and how it will be perceived by people who are coming to this area to work, shop and recreate. The Task Force will then determine how they can make it happen by tying into the user experience and the future of transportation, integrating more people into mass transit by broadening the scope of mass transit users. They will then ask for a commitment of money, time and connections to achieve their vision.
Dan said he has an appointment set with Tim Drew, a senior engineer with the City of Minneapolis and Director of Parking and Traffic in the downtown sector. They will look at the City’s basic data and information on the City’s assets and commercial lots. At the Steering Committee meeting there was a discussion on accessory lots, and the conclusion was that changing the policy on accessory lots would not be a fruitful conversation largely because there are not enough lots that would be impacted in the North Loop. Also, effecting the planning process and the City Council’s understanding of surface parking lots would involve a five-year effort and the buy-in does not currently exist for this undertaking.
Max added that the Task Force is looking at areas where the City might be flexible and identifying other players who can add influence to guide this discussion into the future. The Parking Task Force was highly involved in connecting the Farmers Market people with MnDOT when they faced losing 100 percent of their parking during the I-94 resurfacing project. That connection and conversation resulted in MnDOT changing its plans in favor of the Farmers Market.
Bob Salmen, apologizing for being late to the meeting, wanted to make an additional point about transparency of the decisions and actions of the Steering Committee. Several months ago [March 2016] Bob sent by email a letter expressing concern about Ralph Strangis remaining on the Steering Committee due to what he perceived were conflicts of interest. Nick thanked Bob for his comments. While Nick admitted he does not know what the next step would be, expressing these thoughts out loud in this room is a first step.
8. 2017 Work Plan – Nick Koch, Dan Collison
Nick referred to the November 29 membership meeting where ideas for the Work Plan were put forward by members. Other ideas were submitted following the meeting, including one that arrived via email this morning [January 24] from Bruce Lambrecht. Bruce proposed an idea for a soccer stadium in Minneapolis that could be considered if negotiations with Saint Paul for the Midway site fell through. In a spirited exchange, Dan Kenney stated that the parcel of land under consideration in Minneapolis contained in Bruce’s proposal is not controlled by Minneapolis or Hennepin County. It is controlled by the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and leased to the Minnesota Twins, and a soccer stadium on this site will never happen. Bob Salmen averred that it is merely an idea, a perspective that could be considered if siting the soccer stadium in Saint Paul is determined to not be feasible. Nick said the document would be acknowledged as a suggestion without taking further action at this time.
The remaining meeting time was spent discussing the 2017 Work Plan. Maps of the area and a draft document of priorities for the 2020 Partners were provided to aid the discussion. A key point from the discussion included revisiting UrbanWork’s West Loop Plan that included information on publicly and privately owned land in the area of the Farmers Market, and exploring the possibility of leveraging the entire area by expanding the digital footprint of the 2020 Partners.
Dan Kenney suggested that to the degree there are projects currently moving forward that connect the North Side into the North Loop, it would make sense for 2020 Partners to identify those projects and focus on the next steps of connection to expand the improvements so that development happens within an increasingly bigger footprint. A main consideration is pedestrians and connections, investing in amenities that make it a comfortable space for people to be in. A high priority should be moving forward with existing property owners to break up superblocks, making better connections to transit and amenities, and creating opportunities around the Southwest platform. Dan Collison added that the boundaries of our area should be permeable.
In closing, Nick read a text from Peter McLaughlin who was not able to attend the meeting: “Urge people to keep the faith and tell legislators not to impede efforts to solve transit capital problems of LRT and BRT.” Nick said we will keep the faith, and focus on the Farmers Market and development opportunities that tie in with transit.
9. 2020 Partners Meeting Schedule
The next meeting of the 2020 Partners will be on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, from 5:00‑6:30 pm.
2017 Membership Meeting Schedule: May 23, July 18 (pizza party followed by Minnesota Twins vs. Yankees), September 26, November 14