MINNEAPOLIS—Ryan Cos. and the Star-Tribune have unveiled a deal that could create a $400 million mixed-use development over five empty city blocks in the city’s Downtown East neighborhood, near the proposed new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The companies held a press conference Tuesday.
The Star-Tribune owns the property, and the media company has said it is looking to move to other leased space in the city. The new deal would see a large portion of Star-Tribune’s space sold to Ryan, which would build more than one million sq. ft. of office in two 20-story buildings, 300 apartment units and 40,000 sq. ft. of retail. The development would overlook a 9-acre park that would lead into the new $975 million football stadium.
Ryan and the Star-Tribune signed a purchase agreement for the property, though the cost of the land was not disclosed. Ryan is reportedly in talks with Wells-Fargo to occupy some or all of the office space, but the bank has not yet agreed to a lease.
The only public funding involvement mentioned was to have the city reportedly borrow about $65 million to build a parking garage for the mixed-use development. The city would operate the garage, paying for the loan and also funding improvements to land to create the park.
Mayor R.T. Rybak said that the proposed project was just the type of development the city was hoping to get when it discussed the new Vikings stadium. “We shared a vision for how the stadium could spur development in the area and eventually fill in the only part of the downtown that’s truly underutilized,” he said in a statement. “Now just over a year after the stadium bill was signed – before ground is even broken on the stadium – we have a proposal that brings that vision to life.”
The Star-Tribune has said it hopes to be out of its 1930s-era buildings and into new office space by 2015. The mixed-use project would be built all at once, not phased, Ryan said, and would reportedly be finished at the same time as the new stadium in summer 2016.