Two architectural firms have been selected to design the $97 million renovation of Target Center, which will have more windows and an exterior design that will wrap completely around the building. (You can see more images here.)
“When Target Center was built, downtown ended at the back side of the building,” said Convention Center director Jeff Johnson, who will serve as renovation construction manager.
Back in the late ’80s, there was no need to worry about the north facing façade. But with the addition of Target Field, and the North Loop’s revitalization there is now a need for an exterior design that wraps completely around the building, Johnson said.
The renovation cost will be split between the City of Minneapolis, which will pay $48.5 million, the Timberwolves and Lynx, which will pay $48 million and AEG Facilities, which will pay $5.5 million.
“This is something we can afford,” said Council Member Lisa Goodman, who chairs the Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee and sits on the advisory board for the Target Center renovation.
“This will be a real transformation of what is perhaps one of the ugliest buildings in town,” said Goodman as the exterior drawings were released to the public.
The Architectural Alliance was established in Minneapolis in 1970 and has worked locally on the TCF Stadium, the Guthrie Theater and the Central Library in Minneapolis. Joining them will be the Sink Combs Delthlefs firm, which has worked on athletic facilities for the University of Michigan, the University of Colorado and Ohio State.
“This is step one of a multi-step process,” said Goodman, “but it does give the public a sense of what we’re looking at as it pertains to the exterior of the building.”
Most of the budget will be spent inside the center, with new dining and bar areas, more premium seating and new restrooms.
“This is a great asset and we’re looking forward to a great investment that will be on time and on budget,” said Council Member John Quincy.
Contracts with the architectural firms are expected to be signed by June 1 with construction beginning in spring 2015, after the Timberwolves have completed their season.
It is too early to determine if any basketball games will have to be moved to another venue, according to Johnson, but “the hope is that we don’t have to move.”
The renovations should be complete by November 2016.