Mpls unveils $400 million plan to convert Star Tribune land into downtown's biggest park

Categories: Media, Minneapolis
stribrendering1.jpg
If the city's plan comes to fruition, the property that is currently home to the Strib will look like this in three years.
Zygi Wilf isn't the only one whose wallet got fatter as a result of the Vikings stadium deal. Another big winner was the Star Tribune, as the paper stands to make a pretty penny selling the right-next-to-the-new-stadium property it owns for redevelopment.

SEE ALSO: New Vikings stadium design revealed [IMAGES]

This afternoon, Minneapolis officials unveiled a $400 million plan that would convert the Strib's property, which has a market value of more than $15 million, into downtown's largest park, two office towers, and 300 residential units and retail stores.

Wells Fargo is reportedly in negotiations to become one of major tenants in the office tower, which is projected to bring thousands of jobs to the eastern part of downtown. The contractor working on the project, Ryan Cos., already has a purchase agreement in place to buy the property from the Strib.

Speaking of the devil, the Star Tribune provides some of the financial details:
The city's end of the bargain involves borrowing $65 million to fund a parking ramp and an 8.9-acre park extending toward downtown from the stadium site, which would be the largest park in the heart of downtown. The bonds, contingent on City Council approval, would be tied to the full faith and credit of the city, but Ryan will guarantee payments for the first 10 years, providing some haven for taxpayers.

After that, the city says the money would be repaid by revenue from three ramps and potential dollars from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing the stadium development. Mayor R.T. Rybak's spokesman, John Stiles, said that if the ramps aren't used except on game days -- a worst-case scenario -- the property tax gains from the development alone would cover the obligation.
The project is still subject to City Council approval. If it gets the green light, it should be completed by July 2016, just a month or so before the Vikings play their first game in their new, architecturally controversial stadium.

Here's another rendering of what the Strib property project would look like upon completion:

stribrendering2.jpg

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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