Downtown East land deal delayed

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The purchase of five blocks of downtown Minneapolis property has been delayed.

The project did not close Friday as expected, according to a report in the Pioneer Press.

The purchase by developer Ryan Cos. would be for the planned $400 million mixed-use Downtown East development project that is intended to complement the new Vikings stadium being built on the site of the Metrodome.

The project includes more than 1 million square feet of office space, up to 400 residential units, retail space, a parking ramp and a public park.

The Pioneer Press reports the sale is waiting on the city of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to issue bonds that will pay for the property's development. Ryan's vice president of development, Rick Collins, said Friday that he expects the sale to be finalized within the next 30 days.

"It's a delay, but not entirely unexpected," Collins told the Pioneer Press. "They still need... to finalize that funding."

A number of details have been coming together quickly on the project. Earlier in the month, Wells Fargo committed to building two downtown office towers.

The city of Minneapolis has agreed to borrow up to $65 million to build a park and parking ramp that will be used by Wells Fargo employees, the public and stadium-goers. A judge also quickly dismissed a legal challenge that had been those opposed to the project.

Collins still expects ground to be broken in April and the first portion of the project is expected to open in late 2015, according to a Star Tribune report.

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