New downtown east "park" could be controlled by Wilfs, MSFA for months each year

Categories: Minneapolis
stribrendering1.jpg
This is the city's vision for how downtown east will look two years from now.
A crucial component of the new Vikings stadium plan involves a $400 million project to convert the property where the Star Tribune is currently officed into downtown Minneapolis's largest park.

But it turns out "park" should probably be placed in quotation marks. That's because, as David Brauer writes in the Southwest Journal, an agreement signed in February by the city, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, and developer Ryan Cos. cedes control over what happens in the space to the Wilfs and the MSFA for 86 days per year, or up to 118 days if an MLS team comes to town. (Former Mayor R.T. Rybak recently criticized city officials for approving the February agreement in a Star Tribune op-ed.)

See also:
Vikings unveil stadium design: Top 10 tweets

Council Member Jacob Frey is one of two Minneapolis City Council members (along with Barb Johnson) on a five-member authority that is currently negotiating ownership and use agreements pertaining to "The Yard," as the downtown east park has come to be known.

Asked whether the Wilfs and the MSFA having that level of control over the space is a problem, Frey replies, "Yes, it is a concern."

But much is left to be decided, Frey adds.
Jacob Frey

"I think most of us [on the authority] are in agreement at this point that the Park Board legally should be the owner, and then the question is, which entity is best suited to run the day-to-day activities and conduct negotiations?" he continues. "I am a proponent of a conservancy with Park Board members, council members, business leaders in the area, and community members, and it would be set up so the sole purpose of the entity would be operations and maintenance ensuring that the Yard is a living, breathing, green space, so you would need an entity to do work like picking up trash and mowing lawn."

Access issues aside, Frey says another concern is where the money for park facilities and programming will come from. So far the Vikings have pledged $1 million, but up to $5 million more is needed.

"We need to ensure the park has adequate investment," Frey says. "We can have a bunch of dead grass and pigeons flying around or we can have a lively, rocking space, and I think in Minneapolis what's essential to a lively, rocking space is moveable, transient programming. So an outdoor movie theater during the summer that you could break down and take away, an ice rink in winter, perhaps fire pits to stay warm... I don't think we can go with the 1980s anal-etentive model of throwing up concrete and calling it a day."

But who will pay for all that?

(For more, click to page two.)



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42 comments
Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

"...I usually like Aaron Rupar's articles." Don't hear that too often.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

Read the article, nothing is set in stone and Jacob Frey appears to have everything under control.

Jennifer Jackson
Jennifer Jackson

The additional $5M needed will, clearly, come from taxes. And, the number will, as always, inflate. Money that could be better spent on education. Pay teachers more and fix problems in our schools. This is big corporation and government friendship once again working together to both line their pockets. The Wilf's should pay the $5M. It's very simple.

Tiffany Sorenson
Tiffany Sorenson

Having a park space controlled by these entities sure as fuck beats what's happening in that space now

Kevin Jay
Kevin Jay

Let the Kenwood community run it.... I mean they know how to run things. LRT tunnels? yes.....Only available certain days for public? Well Kenwood understands that concept so.....

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

I am sick to death hearing about 'parks'.

Parks are a liberal shrine, just like LRT, bike lanes, high density housing, recycling,  and 'reinventing'  the Nicollet Mall every 20 years. 

Their small idea of Utopia.

Kate Chern Hanke
Kate Chern Hanke

Bad article: Wilfs, MSFA and MLS requires reader to go look these up or have prior knowledge in order to understand... Surprising as I usually like Aaron Rupar's articles.

Wohlfie
Wohlfie

Holy inaccuracies.


1. Its not a component of the stadium. Its part of the Downtown East development


2. 400 million is the cost of the whole project including two office towers, parking garage, apartments, etc. I have heard the 'park' is at best a couple million of the whole project and is privately funded!


3. Calling it the largest park in downtown Minneapolis is ridiculous. Loring Park is 33 acres. Gold Medal park is 7.5 acres.


4. The Vikings / Wilfs have kicked in a bunch of money to develop it beyond just the two blocks of grass Ryan budgeted for.

Andrew Berg
Andrew Berg

At first it said "controlled by Milfs". That wouldn't be so bad would it?

Damon Runnals
Damon Runnals

"Who will pay for that". Funny I would have been happy with my tax dollars paying for a park instead of giving a hand out to Wilf, the vikings and the NFL.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

So we buy these guys a stadium and then they get to control our parks a third of the time... makes sense.

littlefinger1984
littlefinger1984

@Truth_Teller_1 Yup, just another part of Obama's agenda to indoctrinate this once great nation's youth into those leftist ideals of playing outside, barbeques, and sunshine.  Seriously?

yoopie93
yoopie93

@Truth_Teller_1 Actually, my idea of utopia would be a comment board free from conservative troll mongoloids who think parks are a domain that exists only for liberals.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@littlefinger1984 Quote from a Prague newspaper: 

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.”

KennyX
KennyX

@littlefinger1984 I think his point is that Minneapolis has enough fucking parks. We sure as hell don't need another one, and certainly not a $400 million one. That money could have been used on more important things like, you know, Minneapolis' shitty public school system. 

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@yoopie93 Another - empty - ad hominem response.  Seems liberals don't have a logical argument.  

They want your money to what they feel is best.  It doesn't matter if the park is needed, a park is never bad.  Can't ever have too many parks.

Never mind that 16.6% of the city is parks - that is 1/6, with 58 miles of pedestrian / bike paths.  (Wikipedia)

How much more do we need?  When is it needless expense and reoccurring overhead (notice I didn't say investment)?

Oh, I know we'll never have enough parks!

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Yet another - empty - ad hominem attack.

How about the US Constitution?   Socialism works until you run out of OPM (other people's money).

So who's going to use this park?  Not the people who are residents of N / S / E / W Mpls.   You think they are going to drive to that park?   It's just a liberal Utopian fantasy.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1  And this - coming from people who supported Bush/Cheney. Just proves that there is stupidity all over the world. I can go out and find a hundred articles that would heap praise on President Obama and what he's done for America. "The follies of the Obama presidency..." Oh you mean getting affordable healthcare for the masses? Ending two unjust multi-trillion dollar wars? Turning the economy around so that we're creating jobs every month rather than losing millions of them?  (see Bush legacy for more info on that one).   As usual, no specifics, just mindless attacks from the right. Anyway, get ready for 8 years of Hillary - and as usual, there's nothing you can do about it but whine. Most Americans are smart enough not to believe the right's lies anymore and that means your party won't win the presidency again for quite some time. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@KennyX @littlefinger1984 Just because the public school system obviously failed you Kenny, it doesn't make it all bad, After all, you're an idiot. 

yoopie93
yoopie93

@Truth_Teller_1 I take it that "ad hominem" was the word-of-the-day on your desk calendar recently?  Try flipping to the next day, troll.  And when I need all kinds of factual information, I certainly go to Wikipedia, because everything there is always 100% accurate.


You're a troll.  Your numbers and opinions don't mean anything.  When you endlessly come here and blame liberals for . . . gasp! . . . parks, public transportation, and recycling (the horror!), all in the name of defending your precious tax dollars, it's such a waste of internet bandwidth.  People like those things.  People want those things.  It's part of what makes our state better than most of the others.  And guess what genius (there's that ad hominem working again!)?  Plenty of Republicans like them, too!  


The only kind of waste that concerns me is the time I just spent responding to a worthless troll like you.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 the park and its costs are insignificant, comparatively. 


what about the constitution?  what are you referring to?


please tell us where you are from... i bet 30$ its the hinterland

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 whoa, nice use of latin . we are all so impressed. 


you are the fucking idiot deriding parks and the idea of a "park" as something liberal and leftist


i would like 75% of the city to be parks...wouldnt that be pretty


im pretty sure the left isnt anymore excited about this park than the right. it is clear you dont understand basic concepts since you are attacking something so innocuous as a park


you are not telling the truth today, you are lying to yourself and your family. you ought to be ashamed. 

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Calling people names does nothing for a logical argurment

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol "the park and its costs are insignificant, comparatively. "

That's how we have gotten to 50% overall taxation, each 'insignificant' cost on top of the next.

As I said, who needs another park when the city is already 16.6% parks.

Everyone should be questioning this idea.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 You can't have a logical argument with illogical people. KennyX is as illogical as they come. He's a whiny little punk with nothing to say. Without parks, where would KennyX prey on little boys?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 what ought to go in that space instead? a skyscraper?


understand many buildings downtown have high vacancy.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol Yeah, throw in a park - with all the reoccurring maintenance that goes with it.

Those PB employees get a decent salary.  Then you need a big truck to get the lawn mower, and then .....

I bet it would cost over $100,000 a year to maintain that 'park'

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 banks dont respond well to mandates. that would never work. 


im not sure how anyone could have a problem with mpls parks and rec


pretty fucked up you are anti parks and rec, pretty fucked.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol "that will never work"  "how could anyone have a problem with parks and rec"  "anti-parks"

What an open mind!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 nice spin


do i have to explain why it would never work and that the city is the one to make concessions for corporations? it doesnt go the other way.


you are anti parks and rec, so you are an enemy of nature

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