Metro Transit won’t open a new police headquarters in the $79 million rail hub near Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.
Hennepin County Commissioners Mike Opat and Peter McLaughlin said Tuesday that the negotiations got too complicated among the county, the Minnesota Twins, United Properties and Metro Transit on the configuration of the transit hub, public plaza, and office and retail space.
United Properties and the Twins envision the hub as an expansion of the Target Field experience, as well as a gateway to the North Loop area in Minneapolis. Twins President Dave St. Peter said it’s too soon to say what sort of development might replace the transit police headquarters. United Properties already had the option to develop the space above the headquarters.
The major points of the project’s development agreement have been ready for months. The county has scheduled a vote on the final deal next Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Opat and McLaughlin shrugged off the Metro Transit withdrawal, saying it isn’t a problem. McLaughlin also said it had “absolutely nothing” to do with the dispute over the Southwest Corridor light-rail line.
Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland said the site “would ultimately not meet the needs of all of the parties” and that Metro Transit is looking at other sites for a new police headquarters.
The transit police headquarters wasn’t part of the original plan for the hub, which will be called Target Field Station. The project arose from a need for a bigger transit hub, both for riders coming to and from Twins games, as well as an anticipated convergence of five rail lines — four light-rail and one commuter line. In addition to the Green (Central) and Blue Line (Hiawatha), Southwest and Bottineau are expected to converge at the site.
The deal has been the subject of closed-door negotiations for nearly a couple of years. The team and Metropolitan Transit still will be expected to divide operating costs for the plaza.
The station and plaza will open sometime before Target Field plays host to the All-Star Game in July 2014.