The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the June 30, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune, prior to the July 1, 2015 Park Board meeting.
Proposal at Park Board May Authorize Park Development by Graco
Proposal would have park staff try for a deal without seeking proposals from other developers
A proposal to enter negotiations with Graco Minnesota Inc to lease to it part of a planned riverfront park – without taking other proposals – will come before the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Wednesday evening.
The staff proposal, to be discussed in a board committee, would allow park officials to negotiate with Graco for six months on a development agreement to lease 3.5 acres of the former Scherer property. That’s just upriver from the Plymouth Avenue Bridge in northeast Minneapolis.
Graco has submitted a proposal with developer Ryan Companies for two office buildings of about 50,000 square feet on that parcel. A lease of 99 years is being discussed. They propose a first building for Graco headquarters, to be built by 2017. A second building for a single undefined tenant would be added by 2019.
The proposal is already drawing criticism from the Above The Falls Community Advisory Committee. It’s an influential neighborhood-based group that advises the city and Park Board on upper riverfront plans.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune