Ryan development plan for Downtown East parking ramp advances

Ryan Companies
The Ryan project will include a 10-story hotel, topped by a 17-story apartment building.

Ryan Cos. won preliminary approval Tuesday for the air rights on top of a city-built parking ramp in Minneapolis’ Downtown East project, adjacent to the new Vikings stadium.

The company is proposing a 150-room Radisson Red Hotel topped by a 200-unit apartment building that will be built above the six-story ramp, which will have 1,610 parking spaces.

More than 800 developers expressed interest in the air rights, but it came down to a choice between two local companies. In addition to Ryan, Mortenson Development proposed a 300-room Marriott Hotel.

Ryan will pay the city $5.6 million for the air rights, with another $2 million for structural changes to the parking ramp needed to support the hotel and apartment development.

Mortenson had proposed paying $1 million for the air rights and also would have spent another $2 million for structural changes needed in the parking ramp.

“The proposal that best met the objectives of the city was the Ryan Cos. proposal of the hotel plus the apartment tower on top of the hotel,” said Bob Lind, senior manager of special projects for Minneapolis.

The Ryan project will include a 10-story hotel, topped by a 17-story apartment building. The structure will overlook a new city park and new stadium.

Cost of the Ryan project is estimated at $101.4 million, compared with $63 million for the plan offered by Mortenson.

“I was working for the City of Minneapolis back when the original Metrodome was built back in the early ’80s,” Lind told members of the City Council’s Community Development Committee. “One thing that’s really different, that’s encouraging to see, is there is some spin-off development occurring as part of the stadium construction.”

The Minneapolis Finance Department estimates that the hotel and apartment project will generate $876,000 in park-dedication and building fees with yearly city tax revenue of $1.24 million by 2029. That will include property tax revenue of $796,000, lodging tax revenue of $207,000 and entertainment tax revenue of $237,000.

The Finance Department also estimates that the Ryan project will return $4.6 million more to the city than the Mortenson proposal. The 25-year total for Ryan is $19.8 million, compared with $15.2 million for Mortenson.

The department also estimates that the project will create 975 construction jobs and 125 full-time jobs once the hotel and apartment complex open.

Construction of the parking ramp is expected to begin in the fourth quarter and be completed by the end of 2015. Construction of the hotel and apartment phase of the project should be complete in late summer of 2017.

The committee voted to accept the Ryan proposal. The full City Council will consider the matter March 28.

Ride-service regulation coming

They are called transportation network companies, and they are currently operating in Minneapolis without license or inspection requirements. But that is about to change.

Here’s how it works.

 If you own a car, you can arrange to pick up riders and drive them where they want to go for a suggested donation or fee. The payments are via credit card. There is no meter in the car, and it is not painted yellow with the word “Taxi” featured prominently.

If you need a ride, you can summon a car by using a phone app and reach agreement with the driver about the cost of the trip.

“This is a really big opportunity for our city to do this right,” said Council Member Lisa Goodman, who wants suggestions for regulating the services ready for discussion in four weeks.

Two companies, Lyft and UberX, are currently operating in Minneapolis.  Lyft also operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, St. Paul and Washington, D.C.

The Department of Regulatory Services has been studying the two companies and is being asked by the City Council to come up with a plan to regulate them and perhaps require licenses and inspections.

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