Judge denies a delay in the Downtown East project


A Hennepin County judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the $400 million downtown Minneapolis East development project.

The Star Tribune reports it was the last legal challenge in a lawsuit that was filed against the city and its Park Board by a former City Council president and two previous candidates for mayor.

The suit challenged the way the project was being financed. The plan involves the city issuing up to $65 million in bonds to help pay for a parking ramp and a park.

Judge Mel Dickstein had already thrown out four of the five counts in the lawsuit. City Attorney Susan Segal told the Star Tribune she was pleased with the court's ruling.

Dickstein said it's too early to rule on the controversy over the park, according to a report in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Business Journal.

"If the city continues to work with the Park Board, and the Park Board eventually takes over operation and control of the Downtown East park, there is no apparent reason for the court to intercede – only time will tell whether the plaintiffs or the Park Board have good reason to seek injunctive relief," Dickstein wrote.

The lawsuit also maintained construction of a parking ramp alongside the new Vikings stadium should be considered part of the stadium project. It claimed that funding the ramp with city money would put Minneapolis over its legal limit of $150 million in stadium costs.

Last week the city council voted unanimously to move forward with the project, which calls for two Wells Fargo office towers, two blocks of public park, parking ramps, apartments and retail space to be built near the Vikings stadium.

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