Updated: 07/09/2013 9:24 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
There are still some sticking points to be resolved on the $400 million redevelopment project adjacent to the new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.
The city of Minneapolis and the developer would like to permanently close Portland and Park Avenues between Fourth and Fifth Streets to create a two-block, nine-acre park between the Hennepin County Jail and the new Vikings stadium.
But those are Hennepin County roads, and the bosses at the County Commission are not in favor of that idea.
Commissioner Peter McGlaughlin tells KSTP, "the county adamantly opposes closing those two main arteries. They are essential for emergency vehicles for the Hennepin County Medical Center and we would favor keeping them open."
If Hennepin County does not support closing the streets, it likely will not happen. That means there will probably be two smaller parks rather than a "mini-Central Park" in the redevelopment project.
The city of Minneapolis is also financing a new parking ramp connected to the project with the potential to develop six stories above it. City Council Member Gary Schiff tells KSTP, "The city would like to strike a deal with the developer to get in on the development money that will come in when tenants for the site are identified."
The developer would like to own all of the development rights, but the city is standing firm. Schiff says, "We are financing the ramp, and think it is only fair we get part of the money when it is developed."
And a third sticking point is the Star Tribune building. Schiff says the city thinks the building will be classified as "historically significant." Schiff says that leaves two options: save the buildings facade and use it on another building in the city or decline to have the building demolished. If the Star Tribune building is not torn down, it will create problems for the new park known as "The Yard" because it sits in the middle of what would be the new park.
Schiff says he does not think any of these issues will kill the project, but he says they have to be resolved before the ambitious project moves forward.
Click here to learn more about plans for the site from Ryan Companies.