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Despite map, Star Tribune land not in latest Vikings stadium plan

A Star Tribune graphic includes a newspaper-owned block, but negotiators say that’s news to them

An expansive Dome-redo footprint

With the standing caveat that all Vikings stadium plans are for entertainment purposes until proven otherwise, a Star Tribune graphic of the latest Dome-area scheme grabbed my attention last night.

The Strib, as everyone knows, could profit handsomely with a new Dome-area stadium. A couple of days ago, Strib CEO Michael Klingensmith told me Vikings plans were “unlikely to result in much of a land transaction for us.”

However, Thursday night,  the Strib showed three blocks — north of the 4th Street Hiawatha LRT tracks — within the footprint of a new stadium plaza.

Though the story didn’t note it, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf owns two small blocks, and the Strib owns a full block, in the map’s upper left corner. (I’ve labeled them above, within Strib-outlined territory.)

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The Strib block — one of five near the Dome that the paper controls — has a market value of $3.3 million, according to Hennepin County property records.

I asked Chuck Lutz, who’s negotiating for the city of Minneapolis, if the Strib land was part of the plaza. “Not that I know of,” says Lutz, the city economic development authority’s deputy director.

Klingensmith agrees. “I am not aware of our block being in the new plan.”

As I’ve noted before, stadium plans tumble out like clowns from a clown car, and I think the Strib map was merely a rough, safe approximation of a still-evolving plan.

In a way, it’s too bad — a block in the southeast corner is owned by Hennepin County, whose board chair, Mike Opat, is adamantly opposed to the Dome site. (He favors the Farmer’s Market area by Target Field.) That would’ve been a fun land negotiation.

If the Dome plan somehow happens, there’s a pretty fair chance Zygi’s lots will be involved. Earlier stadium iterations pegged those lots for 2,5oo V.I.P. parking spots, which NFL rules require.