Updated: 08/23/2013 7:54 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
Taxpayers will soon own a $45 million parking ramp next to the new Vikings Stadium, but there are a lot of questions about whether that's a fair price.
The Star Tribune and the developer, Ryan Companies, are negotiating the sale price for the land. Ryan Companies then sets the construction costs for the parking ramp between Chicago Avenue and Park Avenue on Fourth Street.
The grand total is $45 million. But, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned the city and the eventual owner of the ramp, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, have not been in on any of these negotiations.
That has one Minneapolis City Council member a little concerned. Cam Gordon tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, "We just have to make sure we do our homework and make sure the price tags on all these land and parking ramp deals are in the best interest of taxpayers."
Minneapolis is financing the construction of the $45 million ramp, and the MSFA will own it and be the steward for taxpayers.
The chair of the MSFA will not comment on any of these land deals while they are in negotiations between private parties.
Mayor R.T. Rybak was unavailable for an interview, but a spokesperson told us, in part, "If we believe the land price is unreasonable, we have the option of commissioning an appraisal."
For now prices are being negotiated and set, but taxpayers are not being represented in all phases of those negotiations.
Meanwhile, the groundbreaking of the new Vikings stadium could be later than first planned.
It's expected to be a hot subject at Friday's Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority meeting. While no official date was ever set, the group aimed for a groundbreaking sometime in October. They haven't said what the new date might be.
Click here for some highlights of the Vikings stadium contract.
Click here to view the plans for the Downtown East Development.