Three Twin Cities companies are in the running to build a parking and skyway development that would connect to the new, $975 million Vikings stadium.
Firms submitting bids to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority this week were developer Ryan Cos., Minneapolis real estate owner Basant Kharbanda and local developer Vedi Associates.
The authority’s request for proposal (RFP) called for 2,000 parking spaces within one block of the stadium that would be connected by skyway or tunnel and another 500 spaces to be located within two blocks with a dedicated walkway on game days.
The RFP also said that bidders can offer the facilities “in conjunction with a separate residential, commercial or other development.”
Early last week, Ryan Cos. announced plans for building a $400 million office, housing and retail development on five blocks near the stadium that are currently owned by the Star Tribune. Ryan and city officials have said that they envision Wells Fargo & Co. as the sole occupant and owner of two, 20-story office towers that would house up to 6,000 workers on part of the site.
But the key to the deal is landing the stadium parking contract. The Ryan proposal calls for the city to issue $65 million in general obligation bonds to fund a parking ramp and a 9-acre park. Revenues from the parking would go to pay off the bonds, but Ryan has said that if it won the contract, it would assume the risk of any shortfalls over the first 10 years the ramps are operating.
“We’re not interested in making a guarantee to pay the city’s debt service on a park if we are not building and developing and managing the parking ramps,” said Rick Collins, vice president of development for Ryan Cos.
Kharbanda said last week that he would build several parking projects around the stadum on land he owns, some of which already have existing parking ramps. Officials with Vedi Associates, which has been hired by HKS, Inc., the stadium architect, to provide project design work, could not be reached for comment.
Representatives of the VIkings and the stadium authority will interview bidders next week. Michele Kelm-Helgen, the authority chairwoman, said a final decision on awarding the contract will probably be made in early June.
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