Credit: Rendering courtesy of Hargreaves Associates

Credit: Rendering courtesy of Hargreaves Associates

Green Minneapolis: Nearly half of Commons price tag has been raised

Updated: January 12, 2016 - 3:38 pm

City leaders announced Jan. 12 that they’ve raised nearly half the fundraising goal to build out the Downtown East Commons. 

Green Minneapolis, the conservancy tasked with fundraising for the two-block park planned near U.S. Bank Stadium, has raised $10.5 million thanks to an additional $2 million from the Minnesota Vikings and $1.5 million from several Minnesota companies. With previous commitments from Wells Fargo, Ryan Companies and the City of Minneapolis, the group is making headway toward its $22 million goal.

The additional funds bring the Vikings’ total to $3 million. Green Minneapolis also announced that Mark Wilf, the team’s co-owner and president, will join the Downtown East Commons Fundraising Committee as a co-chair.

The other contributions are coming from Target, Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation, Land O’Lakes, Thrivent Financial, Veit USA and Xcel Energy.

“The generosity shown by all of our corporate partners today is indicative of the city’s desire to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform a city block into a world-class green space. This support makes me feel even more confident that we will hit our fundraising goals,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges, who co-chairs the fundraising committee, in a statement.

The Commons will be a 4.2-acre park with a great lawn, a cafe pavilion, a water plaza and other amenities on the two blocks adjacent to the team’s new stadium. Ryan is currently developing two office towers for Wells Fargo, the Edition apartment buildings, a Radisson Red hotel and a new corporate headquarters building in the area. The stadium is roughly 85 percent complete.

The $22 million will go toward designing and building the Commons, along with covering some initial maintenance and operating expenses.

“The Downtown East Commons will not only be an integral part of the Vikings game day experience, but a place the community will enjoy throughout the year,” Wilf said. “We are proud to provide ongoing support to this endeavor, and I am personally looking forward to working with the fundraising committee to bring this project to fruition.”