The city of Minneapolis is set to borrow $108 million over five years to build an 11-story office building on 4th Avenue across the street from City Hall.
The building will go up on the site of the parking ramp just east of Government Plaza and will house staff from several heavily visited departments including the police, Community Planning and Economic Development, Regulatory Services and Public Works.
On Tuesday, the council's Ways and Means Committee adopted a five-year capital improvement plan and authorized issuing $108 million in bonds for the new consolidated office building and $47 million for a new Public Works storage and maintenance facility that will replace two buildings built in the 1940s.
"We're not going to need new property taxes to pay for the debt associated with this," Mark Ruff, the city's chief financial officer, told the committee.
The full City Council will take up the capital plan and bonding on Friday. If approved, the next step is for the council to award bids to construction companies.
When the new office building is complete, probably in the fall of 2020, the city will vacate offices in the Crown Roller Mill building, the Public Service Center just north of City Hall, and the City of Lakes building just north of that.
The city will save about $1 million per year on leases and operating costs, Ruff said. He said the city has not invested in the Public Service Center or City of Lakes buildings since 1999. Air quality is a concern in the service center, Ruff said, and neither building meets the city's standards for downtown density.
The new building will be 382,000 square feet — compared with City Hall's 900,000 gross square feet. It will reduce the downtown real estate footprint of city government, Ruff said. The Public Service Center and City of Lakes buildings will be sold for new development, and consolidating those offices "will minimize hopefully the confusion for people who visit and do business with the city," he said.
The offices for the City Council, mayor, police chief and fire chief will remain in City Hall. Ruff said the city is considering what to do with the fire station at the corner of Portland Avenue and 3rd Street and the First Precinct on 4th Street, where the city pays $30,000 per month for parking.
Demolition of the parking ramp on the new office building site is slated to begin in June. A demolition contract was awarded to Carleton Cos. in December. The new building will have publicly available meeting rooms and one floor below ground that will have space for city employees to store their bicycles.