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Authority responds to property suit near Dome; pre-game plaza in peril?

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A lawsuit against the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority over a privately owned parcel that figures significantly into the Vikings stadium plans saw a couple new wrinkles Friday.

For starters, the MSFA said the price that Minneapolis Venture, which bought the land near the Dome's light rail transit station in 2007, wants for negotiation is "grossly inflated," according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

The valuations of the property, located between Park Avenue and Kirby Puckett Place and between Fourth and Fifth streets, are widely disparate, says the Biz Journal. Bob Lux, owner of Minneapolis Venture, wants some $25 million; the tax assessment in 2011 put the value at $4.5 million.

Much of the go-ahead for anything involving development around the stadium proposal is key, especially when it comes to different entities meeting parking space requirements.

According to Minneapolis Venture, part of Lux's Alatus LLC, owner of Block E, a use agreement allowing the public access to the plaza expires at the end of October, reports MinnPost.

Vikings fans' pre-game festivities on the one-block plaza in front of the Metrodome could cease Oct. 31 if the implications of a lawsuit filed by the owner of the land play out, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. No music, no food, no drink, no good times.

The MSFA on Friday responded to Lux's lawsuit, claiming he has an obligation to enter good faith negotiations with the state agency to extend its use rights.

The MSFA has used the plaza under a 2003 agreement its precursor organization, the Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission, signed with the city of Minneapolis. The agreement was transferred to Minneapolis Venture.

The Star Tribune calls it a "nasty dispute" and says that an appraisal shows the land and parking ramp are worth double the authority’s appraised value of $12.9 million.

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