Lawsuit seeks to put brakes on Minneapolis' Downtown East project

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A last-minute lawsuit aims to stop Minneapolis' plan for a major redevelopment of the five-block area leading to the site of a new Vikings stadium.

The Business Journal reports the plaintiffs include two former city council members who are challenging Minneapolis' role in funding the $400 million project.

The lawsuit, posted to the Web by the Business Journal, maintains construction of a parking ramp alongside the new stadium should be considered part of the stadium project. It argues that funding the ramp with city money would put Minneapolis over its legal limit of $150 million in stadium costs.

The lawsuit comes as the city council is poised for a final vote on the Downtown East project Friday. The Business Journal says a court hearing is set for Thursday morning on the plaintiffs' request for an injunction that would put the project on hold.

In addition to the parking ramp, the Downtown East project led by the private developer Ryan Cos., includes two 17-story office towers, retail and residential space, and a two-block long park in front of the stadium.

A week ago, it was a dispute over whether Wells Fargo would be allowed to put its name atop the office towers that threatened to hold up the project. Vikings management worried the rooftop signs would cut into the value of the naming rights for the new stadium, but the team withdrew its opposition over the weekend.

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