Reporting Edgar Linares
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City Council has approved the conceptual plan for a five to seven block development around the new Vikings stadium site.
The $400 million-plus project, introduced to the council by Mayor R.T. Rybak, includes two 20-story towers, a park, space for residential housing and retail outlets.
“We want to do it in a way that represents the values of the people here,” Rybak said.
Ryan Companies, who has teamed up with the city for major projects in the past, will serve as the chief developer. Rick Collins, vice president of development at Ryan Companies, expressed his optimism for the project.
“This is an opportunity to make a significant transformation in a currently underdeveloped part of the city,” Collins said.
It’s been over 20 years since new office space has been built downtown, the last being the Capella Tower in 1991. Ryan’s plan calls for two 20-story buildings, which have already gained attention from Wells Fargo.
Dave Kvamme, CEO of Wells Fargo Minnesota, discussed his goal to purchase 12 stories in each of the towers.
“Our ability to move into owned space in the city of Minneapolis would be significant to us in terms of stabilizing our employment base here in the city of Minneapolis,” Kvamme said.
Ryan Companies has already been given approval to build the skyway spanning from the Hawthorne building, through the park and into the stadium.
In addition to the concrete, Ryan Companies made sure to include a park which has been dubbed “The Yard” by Mayor Rybak. This two block section would host stadium events as well as ones planned by the community.
As the meeting came to a close, council member Lisa Goodman said she feels the project is moving in the right direction.
“As the person who represents this neighborhood, this is the kind of development we should be doing,” Goodman said. “This is the kind of development we should be proud of.”
Though the council approved preliminary ideas, they have yet to decide on smaller details. If approved, leaders could break ground as soon as April 2014.