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“Sometimes the brand names create the idea that there’s a commercial relationship that exists with the name and the name presence,” Hopkins said. “Public amenities sometimes signal a connection to the community and the heritage of the community, so sometimes there’s more of a sensitivity to changing the name.”
The Met Council, which must sign off on the Gateway project, has established “identity and branding” guidelines: “The name must continue to have a clear link to a nearby landmark or regionally recognizable destination.”
“If a station name is sold, the sale should be for a period of at least 20 years and the price should be based on market exposure,” the guidelines read.
Weik says she has been approached by 3M Co. representatives about a possible deal to name the proposed “walk-up” station outside the manufacturing giant’s headquarters in Maplewood.
“Personally, I hear all the time that citizens want more private investment with local government and state government because of the fallout of the recession. It will benefit commerce and keep property taxes affordable and stable,” Weik said.
Libor Jany • 651-925-5033