Finance and Commerce –
The latest scrimmage around the site of the new $975 million Minnesota Vikings football stadium has begun: the battle to build nearby parking.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority drew three responses by its Monday deadline to a request for proposals for parking facilities from Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc., nearby property owner Basant Kharbanda and Minneapolis-based Vedi Associates Inc. According to its website, Vedi Associates has experience with parking facilities.
Ryan’s plans are part of a touted $400 million redevelopment proposal announced last week that calls for nearly 1.2 million square feet of office space, 300 to 350 residential units and a new park on land owned by the Star Tribune. For its part, the authority is saying little about the competing proposals.
“Until we have a signed contract, all proposals are private,” said Jennifer Hathaway, spokeswoman for the MSFA. “We’re negotiating. We don’t want to share that information with other proposers.”
The Ryan plan has already drawn significant attention.
“I think our proposal provides the authority a significant portion of the skyway-connected parking required by the legislation along with the skyways required to connect the project to the core of downtown,” Rick Collins, vice president of development for Ryan Cos., said Tuesday. “Our proposal provides a funding plan that allows for the creation of a two-block urban park.”
Representatives of the other two bidders could not be reached for comment by Finance & Commerce.
“We’re looking at the first week in June to do interviews, but we don’t have a date,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the authority, of plans to interview the three teams.
The RFP seeks 2,000 parking spaces within one block of the stadium, connected to the stadium by skyway or tunnel and an additional 500 parking spaces within two blocks of the stadium. The parking requirements were outlined in the stadium legislation approved in 2012.
In an interview last week, Collins made it clear that Ryan views the elements of its proposal — the office towers, residential buildings, parking ramp and new park space — as a package deal.
“It’s an integrated proposal. We’re not interested in just managing ramps that are built by someone else. We’re a construction company and a development company, not a parking ramp manager,” Collins said.
But there are other moving pieces in the parking puzzle.
The authority is negotiating to buy the underground Downtown East Ramp at 701 Fourth St. S., which is owned by Minneapolis Venture LLC, an entity connected to Minneapolis-based Alatus LLC.
“We are still negotiating, so we really can’t talk about it. We are in negotiations with the landowner,” Kelm-Helgen said on Tuesday.
Ryan’s proposal calls for building two parking ramps and managing those plus the Downtown East Ramp. Last week, Collins broke down Ryan’s $400 million proposal in “rough numbers” and estimated that the ramps accounted for about $50 million of the project’s value.
Minneapolis Venture LLC paid $65.1 million in 2007 for a portfolio of five city parking ramps, including the Downtown East Ramp, which is adjacent to the Metrodome under a light rail transit station. The Downtown East Ramp has an assessed value of $4 million, according to Hennepin County property tax records.
Bob Lux, principal with Alatus, declined to comment about the ramp.
Entities connected to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf paid $5 million in 2007 for three small parcels just to the north of the stadium at 300 Ninth Ave. S., 309 Ninth Ave. S. and 811 Third St. S. in Minneapolis. Ryan’s plan proposes building a smaller parking ramp with about 400 parking spaces on that site.
While plans have called for those sites being part of the stadium development area, it’s not clear yet that the authority will acquire the parcels, which total about 1.9 acres.
“That has been in our preliminary plans. Depending on the parking solutions that come out of those proposals, it could affect what we do,” Kelm-Helgen said of the Wilf sites. “While it is in our preliminary plans, we haven’t made any final decisions.”
Ryan Cos. is proposing a large 1,328-stall ramp on the so-called McClellan Block — bounded by Chicago Avenue, Park Avenue, Third Street South and Fourth Street South — which is owned by the Star Tribune. The site includes surface parking, the vacant three-story McClellan Building and a fleet garage. The block includes six parcels that have a current assessed value of $3.4 million.
Star Tribune spokesman Steve Yaeger said that the newspaper’s weekly TV booklet was printed there until the mid-1980s. The facility was later used a distribution depot, but that ceased in 2010.
City of Minneapolis leaders like the proposal from Ryan Cos. If the Ryan plan gains traction, the city is looking to issue approximately $65 million in general obligation bonds for the larger parking ramp and park projects. Ryan Cos. would cover the bond debt service for the first 10 years.
“The two projects work very well together in terms of just the synergy between them,” said Chuck Lutz, deputy director of the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development department, referring to the parking ramp and park. “It’s all subject to the award by the MSFA. We need to see how that process plays itself out right now.”
By: Burl Gilyard
Date: May 21, 2013 – 4:42pm CST
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