Downtown East project backers scramble to nail down key details


The $400 million plan to develop a drab stretch of eastern downtown Minneapolis near the new Vikings stadium has hit a few snags.

City officials and project developer Ryan Cos. are rushing to nail down key details before a new mayor and seven new members on the 13-member City Council are sworn in about six weeks from now, the Star Tribune reports.

The project dubbed Downtown East aims to transform a five-block area near the planned $975 million stadium, with 1.2 million square feet of office space, two 17-story office buildings, about 200 residential units to start, a parking garage and a 4.2-acre park.

But the Star Tribune calls it a "complicated work in progress."

As the Pioneer Press notes, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission this week denied Ryan Cos. a permit to demolish the Star Tribune's downtown headquarters to develop the park. The panel called for a study of the 1919 building to determine whether it deserves status as a historic landmark. It's not clear what will happen next; the commission can appeal to the City Council and can submit disputes to “subsequent judicial review,” MPR News reports.

The Star Tribune is near a deal to move to Capella Tower downtown, the Business Journal reported.

Another dust-up that needs settling is a skirmish between the city and Wells Fargo, a possible tenant and thus likely key player in the project, which wants to put giant rooftop signs on both office towers. City rules would not allow the signs.

Meanwhile, the Council must approve a financing plan for the project and doesn't yet have one to consider, Council member Lisa Goodman told the Star Tribune. The panel OK'd a general financing framework in July.

The project leapt another key hurdle earlier this month when a key panel, the city’s Planning Commission, approved a conditional-use permit to Ryan Cos.

But one key detail that needs to be finalized is a plan centered on the city borrowing roughly $65 million to help construct the parking ramp and park. Ramp revenue would help pay back that debt, according to the proposal.

Developers still hope to finalize the deal in order to break ground in the spring.

See more project renderings here.

Next Up

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.


Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.