The selection of a developer for a major parking and skyway project that will be linked to the new Vikings stadium has been pushed back to late June.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said at a meeting of the city's Stadium Implementation Committee Thursday that the authority will probably hold a special meeting later this month to award the contract. She said the authority and the Vikings are continuing to negotiate the deal, initially expected to be decided by the authority's June 14 meeting.
Kelm-Helgen said that only one of the three firms that submitted bids for the work met all the criteria spelled out by the authority and team in their request for proposal (RFP). She didn’t identify the bidder, but given the buzz in recent weeks about Ryan Cos. big plans for a $400 million office, housing and retail development near the stadium, it’s almost certainly no mystery.
Ryan, one of the three bidders, has consistently said that the key to its five-block development deal is landing the stadium parking contract. The company has said in addition to building office towers for a major corporate tenant, envisioned to be Wells Fargo & Co., it would also develop one block for parking that could be used by office workers during the week and by Vikings season ticket holders and other fans on game days.
The 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.
Ryan’s plan calls for the city of Minneapolis to issue $65 million in general obligation bonds to fund the ramp and a 9-acre park leading west of the stadium to downtown. Parking revenues would go to pay off the bonds. Ryan also has said that it would assume the risk of any shortfalls over the first 10 years the ramp is operating.
Other firms that submitted bids for the contract were local real estate owner Basant Kharbanda and local developer Vedi Associates.