The following article by Sarah McKenzie was published in the Southwest Journal on August 25 and updated on September 1, 2015.
Downtown East Commons Clears Another Hurdle
An illustration of the Downtown East Commons.
A City Council committee has approved the concept design for the Downtown East Commons — the new park slated to go next to the Vikings stadium.
The Council’s Development and Regulatory Services Committee also authorized agreements Tuesday with Greening Downtown Minneapolis and Ryan Cos. to move ahead with work on the 4.2-acre park.
Greening Downtown Minneapolis, a nonprofit conservancy, is overseeing the fundraising for the project, and Ryan Cos. will work on the buildout of the park and complete as much as possible by July 1, 2016.
Park planners recently announced that $7 million has been raised for the project — about a third of the goal. The initial funding includes $2 million from the City of Minneapolis and contributions from Wells Fargo and Ryan Cos.
Initially the city was going to be reimbursed for the $2 million, but that will no longer be the case, according to the project update presented to the committee.
City Council Member Jacob Frey (Ward 3) lauded the project and said the park “will be a kitchen table for our entire city.”
Hargreaves Associates presented its design concept to the public in May — a proposal that includes a great lawn area for large gatherings, a water plaza feature and pavilion with a café.
The full Council will vote on the committee’s actions Sept. 11.
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