$15M Needed for Park Features

The following article by Kristen Leigh Painter was published in the August 14, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.

$15M Needed for Park Features

Wells Fargo, Ryan and the city have given $7 million for amenities at park near stadium.

The campaign to make the new Commons park in downtown Minneapolis a destination instead of a plot of grass has raised about one-third of its $22 million budget, organizers said Thursday in hopes of pressing more donors to step up.

In a news conference on the two-block site, as participants struggled to be heard over the bellows of nearby construction and excavation machinery, leaders from Wells Fargo & Co., Ryan Cos. and the city said they’ve collectively pledged $7 million.

The city has spent about $19 million to buy the land for the park, previously owned by the Star Tribune, and cover the cost of demolishing the newspaper’s former headquarters. The Minnesota Vikings, principal tenant of the nearby U.S. Bank Stadium that is being built adjacent to the park, contributed $1 million for that.

Those funds were enough to create a basic park. Now, a coalition of public and private leaders are trying to raise $22 million to create features such as a contoured “great lawn,” a water “cloud” and seating and eating areas.

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Fundraising Committee Members

Collin Barr, Ryan Cos.

Joel Conner, Bellisio Foods

Jay Cowles, Unity Avenue Associates

Steve Cramer, Minneapolis Downtown Council

Richard Davis, U.S. Bank

Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council

Tom Hoch, Hennepin Theatre Trust

Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis mayor

Deb Hopp, MSP Communications

David Kvamme, Wells Fargo

Allen Lenzmeier

Chris Policinski, Land O’Lakes

Dean Phillips, Phillips Distilling, Talenti Gelato

Pat Ryan, Ryan Cos.

David Wilson, Accenture