Minneapolis: Big ideas for impound site

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER
  • Star Tribune
  • December 1, 2008 - 12:51 PM

The Minneapolis City Council is expected to consider a plan this week that would grant Ryan Companies exclusive rights to buy and develop a large area on the west side of downtown that includes the impound parking lot.

Minneapolis-based Ryan has proposed a mix of about 900 residential units and up to 1.6 million square feet of office space for most of the 55-acre site. It now holds the city's vehicle-impound lot and an adjacent parcel used for storage and concrete crushing by the Public Works Department.

An estimated timeline for the project calls for Ryan to begin work in 2010 and develop the project in three phases over about 10 years. Ryan would need to secure a large tenant for the office space, which would be developed as a corporate headquarters site.

The agreement would give Ryan exclusive rights to buy the property from the city for up to five years, based on the firm's progress in putting together a detailed development plan. Ryan would pay the city a $20,000 deposit. The agreement would allow either Ryan or the city to back out of the deal, with Ryan getting a full refund, during an eight-month research period.

The price for the land remains undetermined. Ryan has proposed buying 10 acres in 2010 for about $4.2 million and 14 acres in 2015 for about $6 million. The city would keep some of the land for public park and right-of-way purposes. City planners will get appraisals to determine whether Ryan's offers represent fair market value.

Neither the city nor Ryan has disclosed a total pricetag for the project. The city has said it would consider providing some tax increment financing. The agreement also has several other provisions, including requirements on diversity hiring and housing for low- and moderate-income residents.

Ryan was the winner among three firms that submitted proposals for the site last year. James Dayton Design, a Minneapolis architecture firm with work that includes the Bookmen Lofts and Stacks residential developments and the new MacPhail Center for Music, had proposed 1,600 housing units and up to 4 million square feet of commercial space combined with a town square. Investment Property Services, a commercial brokerage firm in Plymouth, had proposed a multipurpose facility with indoor swimming pools, an indoor water park, a restaurant, a spa and retail space.

KA gets Bemidji bid

The Bemidji City Council recently chose Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. as construction manager for the new Bemidji Regional Event Center.

The $54.5 million facility will be the home for Bemidji State University's hockey programs, and also will be used for conventions, trade shows exhibition events and concerts. The 185,000-square-foot facility's arena will seat up to 4,000 people for hockey games and up to 6,000 for concerts and shows. The convention will have 10,000 square feet of dividable ballroom space and 4,000 square feet of meeting rooms. The facility will also have an outdoor plaza next to the building.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723

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