Plans for downtown's largest park could be derailed by Vikings-Wells Fargo beef [UPDATE]

Categories: Minneapolis
stribrendering1.jpg
This is what the city and Ryan Cos. hope the eastern part of downtown will look like come 2016.
:::: UPDATE ::::

Vikings and Wells Fargo officials were able to come to an agreement over the weekend.

The AP reports that the deal, subject to City Council approval, allows Wells Fargo to place 56-foot signs on each of the new towers so long as they don't "conflict with surrounding property interest."

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley channeled former Purple coach Dennis Green in explaining the agreement to the media.

"We took the high road and did what we needed to do to get this done," Bagley said, according to a Pioneer Press report. "We're going to be neighbors."

Original post (December 6) -- In conjunction with the now-underway construction of the new Vikings stadium, Minneapolis officials are hoping to turn the Star Tribune property into downtown's biggest park via a $400 million redevelopment project that would also involve the construction of two 17-floor office towers, 300 residential units, and retail stores.

RELATED: Star Tribune likely moving into Capella Tower, report says

But those plans have hit a snag due to a beef between the Vikings and Wells Fargo, which is expected to own the two office towers.

The Vikings essentially have veto power over how the Star Tribune land is redeveloped, and team officials are taking umbrage with Wells Fargo's plan to place bright signs adorned with the bank's logo on the top of the aforementioned office buildings.

The Star Tribune's Eric Roper explains:
Wells Fargo... is demanding bright logos atop the buildings that would be visible during football game aerial shots. The signs would require a change in the zoning code and are fiercely opposed by the Vikings, who say the signs could hurt their efforts to sell naming rights on the stadium...

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Peggy Gunn warned that they have a contingency allowing them to withdraw from the project.

"We are making a $300 million investment, that's what's on the table here," she said. "And we think it's reasonable that some signs reflecting this investment be allowed."
Roper also tweeted out a rendering of the sort of thing Wells Fargo officials have in mind: Officials hope to bring the redevelopment project before the City Council for a vote during the final council meeting of Mayor R.T. Rybak's tenure on December 13, so time might be running short for the Vikings and Wells Fargo to hammer out an agreement.

:::: UPDATE ::::

An updated rendering suggests how Wells Fargo is trying to compromise with the Vikings -- by making the signs on the top of the office buildings smaller.

Compare this image with the one above and you'll see what we mean: -- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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