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Continued: $400 million plan would reshape Minneapolis' downtown east

Retail is expected to be service-oriented to support residents and office workers, as well as restaurants, Collins said.

Wells working on concerns

Several contingencies also need to be worked out with Wells Fargo before it commits to the site, spokeswoman Peggy Gunn said. “These could include things like cost issues, market conditions, environmental factors, city and county approvals and design challenges,” she said. “We intend to work through any challenges that arise to determine if this is the right project for Wells Fargo.

“At the same time,” she added, “we are excited about the potential opportunity to participate in this project that will transform the east side of downtown Minneapolis.”

Ryan has a purchase agreement to buy the land from the Star Tribune by year’s end. Terms were not disclosed. The company would relocate to leased space downtown, and its Depression-era headquarters would be torn down.

“The Star Tribune has aspired to move our headquarters to a new space in Minneapolis that more properly reflects the mission and capabilities of a 21st-century news organization,” Star Tribune CEO Mike Klingensmith said. “But it has also been of paramount importance to us that we do so in a way that confirms our commitment to the future of this city.”

In 2012, the Star Tribune editorial page strongly advocated building on the Metrodome site during the contentious Vikings stadium debate. Klingensmith said Tuesday that “our commercial development did not drive the editorial page’s view on the stadium. But I think that the subsequent stadium plan and development plan basically reinforced why we thought this would be such a good idea.”

He added: “It’s possible for something to be good for us and also good for the city.”

The Ryan proposal isn’t the first pitched for the Star Tribune property by developers. A previous deal calling for the Vikings to buy four of the blocks for $45 million fell apart in 2007 due to uncertainty in the credit markets.

Janet.Moore@startribune.com  612-673-7752

Eric.Roper@startribune.com 612-673-1732

Richard.Meryhew@startribune.com 612-673-4425

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