Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In what is being compared to New York City’s Grand Central Station, Minneapolis is getting its very own transit center. The Target Field Transit Center will be an entertainment and sports hub where all things RAIL will connect.
On Thursday, Hennepin County Commissioners approved the deal the uses private and corporate funds to make it a reality. In a little more than 9 months, a new transit hub will breathe life into an already vibrant North Loop area.
The $79 million project got the go ahead and everyone involved, including new tenants to the area, are excited.
The up and coming area of Minneapolis, the North Loop is home to some of the city’s hottest rental properties and fine dining.
Soon, it will be the home of a new transit hub designed to draw thousands to the area.
“This is going to be the fingers reaching out from this new transit center right into the North Loop neighborhood it’s going to connect the two and it’s going to make it a place where people are going to want to live they are going to want to have businesses there,” Peter McLaughlin said.
The new Target Field Transit Center will feature retail, parking, green space and room for the public to hang out.
Metro Transit Police will move its headquarters there with private development above it.
“Coming into the North Loop we really hoped the area would continue with its revitalization and with the opening of the transit center will really solidify that for us, “ Josh Thoma, who owns the Smack Shack, said.
Thoma expects business to boom once the transit hub is in place.
“Anytime that it is easier to get to a particular area whether its freeway or transit hub I think it will bring a lot more guest to the area and it also makes it easier to get to the Twins game as well,” Thoma said.
The hub will be paid for with federal grants and money from private investors. But county taxpayers will be on the hook for about $22 million.
Soon this area will be where everything that runs on a rail will meet.
“Ultimately you got the four light rails coming in there, Hiawatha Central next year, we’re working on South West, were working on Bottineau they will all come together there. Northstar comes in already and the NLX from Duluth would come in there as well,” McLaughlin said.
The project should be done just before the grand opening of the light rail line that connects Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’s all happening just in time for the big All Star at Target Field in July.
McLaughlin says he loves it when a great plan comes together.