Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Minutes from Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Hennepin Center for the Arts
528 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 310, Minneapolis

I.              Call to Order and Introductions

Kim Motes, Chair, called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. 

Other board members in attendance were David Abele, Treasurer; Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Jodi Pfarr, Secretary; Gene Nessly; and Carletta Sweet, Vice Chair.  Board member absent was Tom Hoch.  

Others in attendance included:  Scott Harkin, Park Avenue Lofts; Christie Rock, DMNA coordinator; Jeremy Stratton, staff writer for Skyway News; Karen Swenson, Groundworks Minneapolis; Ward 2 Council Member Paul Zerby.

II.            Consideration of agenda and any additions to the agenda
Andy Hauer requested the opportunity to review the Mayoral Candidates Forum held at the Women’s Club.
Dee Cotten requested the opportunity to discuss her involvement in the new Restorative Justice Community Action, Inc. organization (formerly known as the Restorative Justice Program).
Gene Nessly requested the opportunity to discuss the proposed athletic complex at DeLaSalle High School on Nicollet Island to determine whether the DMNA should send a letter of support for the project.
Kim Motes expressed an interest in discussing the Stone Arch Bridge Lighting Project and revisiting the organization’s contribution of NRP funds to the project.
III.           Update from Council Member Paul Zerby
Council Member Paul Zerby gave the Ward 2 update.  Council Member Zerby discussed primary election night.  He believes there will be low voter turnout.  Zerby is not running for re-election.  He noted that he attended a Rotary meeting as a guest of DMNA board member Gene Nessly.  He spoke along with Pat Anderson regarding the Minneapolis pension plan.  Zerby mentioned that he authored a resolution that directs city employees not fly NWA until the strike is resolved.  The resolution failed.  He also co-authored a resolution that strengthens the weed ordinance.  Finally, he noted that the Chicago Avenue Advisory Panel appointees were approved by the city council. 
Andy Hauer asked questions regarding the neighborhood notification process for liquor license applications.  He noted several applications that the DMNA was not notified about.  Zerby indicated that he would look into this problem.  Dee Cotten asked whether any discussion had taken place at the council level regarding rental property owners transferring Section 8 housing into condominiums.  Zerby indicated that the city might consider a moratorium on conversion projects. 
The DMNA board thanked Council Member Zerby for his four years of service to Ward 2.
IV.           Consideration of August 2005 Minutes

Andy Hauer made a motion to approve the minutes from the August 9, 2005 board meeting.   Carletta Sweet seconded the motion.  Kim Motes called for discussion.  The minutes were unanimously approved.

V.            Consideration of August 2005 Financial Statements

Christie Rock distributed and explained the F2005 Budget vs. Actual as of August 2005 and the bank register for August 1-31, 2005.  Board Chair Kim Motes questioned the amount listed under consulting fees.  Christie indicated an increase in her time due to taking on the bookkeeping responsibilities from June Harmon, as well as managing several NRP contracts that are in process, and writing a grant to the Tree Trust.  These financial documents were unanimously received and filed.

VI.           Land Use Committee Update

LUC Chair Andy Hauer reviewed the following projects:

“The proposed development is new construction of two multi-family, owner-occupied residential buildings with commercial space on the first floor. There will be approximately 16,810 square feet of commercial space, 503 residential units and 908 enclosed parking spaces at completion. A landscaped plaza will be provided at the corner of Hennepin and Washington Avenues, and a green roof will occupy a large portion of the 5th floor.  Above the sixth floor, the two residential towers will be separated laterally by approximately 40 feet.

The project will be built in two phases.  Phase 1 is planned to begin construction this year and is anticipated to take 2 years to complete. Construction of Phase 2 will follow the completion of Phase 1.  Phase 1 is designed as a 458,733 square foot, 24-story building occupying 42,197 square feet of the 69,481 square foot site. Phase 1 will contain 180 residential units and approximately 6,610 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.  This phase will be served by 483 parking spaces occupying 253,294 square feet above and below grade. 166 of the parking spaces will be located below grade, and 317 spaces will be in an enclosed above grade on the first 5 floors of the building. The first floor will contain only commercial space and parking. There will be a combination of residential units and parking on the second through fifth floors, and floors 6 to 24 will contain only residential units. The 6th floor includes the majority of the building’s amenities such as the pool, community room, exercise room, putting green and meeting room.

Upon completion of Phase 1, the Dolphin Staffing building will be demolished and construction of Phase 2 will begin. Phase 2 is designed as a 788,790 square foot, 32-story building occupying the remaining 27,384 square feet of the site.  Phase 2 will contain 323 residential units and approximately 10,200 square feet of commercial space. The first floor will contain the commercial space and parking. Phase 2 will be served by 425 parking spaces occupying 188,510 square feet above and below grade. 250 spaces will be located below grade, and 341 spaces will be the sole use in floors 2 through 4.  Floors 5 to 32 will contain only residential units.

The exterior of both towers will consist mostly of curtain wall with tinted vision and spandrel glass, which will be uniform for both towers; both towers will also have consistent exterior stone accents with the Phase 2 tower having more exterior stone accent than Phase 1. The exposed two-story columns at the street level portions of the north walls at the base and accent bands on Phase 2 will be limestone veneer. There will be semi-recessed and protruding balconies with glass railings to match the curtain wall. The roofs will all be 'flat' with mostly EPDM roofing with the green roof at the 5th floor.  The main pedestrian entry for both residential towers will be on Hennepin Avenue and will be a curtain wall exterior with a two-story atrium. The commercial spaces will have their own entries at street level. Vehicle entry points will be off of Washington Avenue, 3rd Street, and through an alley off of 1st Avenue, and all truck loading and unloading activities will take place in the parking areas.”

·         Open Book (1101 Washington Avenue).  This business is seeking a sidewalk license and wine and beer license.  Andy requested that the board consider a motion to approve both the sidewalk license and the wine and beer license. 

Dee Cotten made the motion to recommend approval of the license applications submitted by Open Book.  Carletta Sweet seconded the motion.  Kim Motes called for discussion.  The motion passed. 

·         Foshay Tower (826 Marquette Avenue).  Andy Hauer reviewed a redevelopment project proposed for the Foshay Tower.  The landmark 32-story downtown Minneapolis office building will undergo significant changes if plans now under negotiation between its owner and several high-profile Twin Cities real estate players are successful. The following information was extrapolated from a article published in the Real Estate Journal:

“The redevelopment team, which includes Twin Cities-based Ryan Companies, indicates they are in the early stages of investigating a number of options for the tower, including a full-service hotel with retail space, with the possibility of condominiums on the upper floors of the historic building.  Construction at the building could begin next summer depending on how quickly plans take shape.

Basant Kaharbanda, a Minneapolis engineer, bought the Foshay in 2000 from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and underwent a significant restoration in 1992.”

Andy Hauer and Christie Rock will continue to monitor the redevelopment plans and bring any land use applications to the DMNA for review. 

·         Farmers’ Market proposed for Chicago Avenue Plaza.  This item will be discussed at October 2005 board meeting. 

VII.         First Precinct Update

Luther Krueger did not attend the meeting.

VIII.        Presentation from First Precinct Attorney Lois Conroy regarding new trespassing law

                Ms. Conroy did not attend the meeting as planned.  She is presenting on another topic with Restorative Justice in October.  It is anticipated that she will give an update on the trespassing law at this time.

IX.           Update from Karen Swenson regarding MWMO grant (Star Tribune parking lot project)

                Karen Swenson from Groundworks Minneapolis gave an update on the Star Tribune Parking Lot Project.  Essentially, the project is stalled until the Star Tribune can work out a licensing agreement between the city and the DMNA.  Christie Rock indicated that she has sent the agreement to Barb Lickness who forwarded it on to an NRP attorney for review.  Ultimately, the Star Tribune is concerned about liability and responsibility surrounding soil contamination.  The soil contamination occurred prior to the Star Tribune purchasing the lot for parking.  Ms. Swenson indicated that this is not an issue for the greening project. 

X.            NRP Implementation Update
Update on Washington Avenue Streetscape Project.  Christie met with Barb Lickness and Michael McLaughlin from the Downtown Council on Friday, August 19, 2005, to discuss the scope of service for this project.
The DMNA approved an NRP allocation of $40,000 from the Downtown Development strategy at its July 2005 meeting.
Update on SafeZone Camera Project.  Christie met with Barb Lickness and Michael McLaughlin from the Downtown Council on Friday, August 19, 2005, to discuss the scope of service for this project.
The DMNA approved an NRP allocation of $25,000 from the Downtown Development strategy at its July 2005 meeting.
Planetarium.  NRP is working to determine with whom the funds should be contracted with for this project.
November 2003 Plan Modification Update.  Kim Motes asked Christie Rock to prepare a report outlining the amount of NRP funds available after the recent allocations to the Skyway Senior Center, SafeZone Camera Project, and Washington Avenue Streetscape Project.  Christie indicated that she will prepare a report and distribute it to the board prior to the October board meeting.
XI.           Old Business / New Business / Other Business
Review of Mayoral Candidates Forum.  Andy Hauer gave a report on the Mayoral Candidates Forum that was sponsored by several Minneapolis neighborhood groups, including the DMNA, and was held at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis on Wednesday, August 24, 2005. 
Restorative Justice Community Action, Inc.  Dee Cotten reported that she is no longer the DMNA representative/liaison to Restorative Justice due to the organization’s restructuring.  The DMNA board thanked Dee for her work, and asked Christie Rock to find out who the new DMNA representatives are.  Christie said she would contact Gena Gerard, the organization’s interim director, regarding this question.
Consideration of support for the proposed DeLaSalle Athletic Complex.  Gene Nessly reviewed the proposed project and suggested that perhaps the DMNA should send a letter of support.  There was significant discussion regarding this idea.  Since the site falls outside of the DMNA’s boundaries, it is questionable whether the organization should take a position.  Everyone agreed that before a letter of support is sent, presentations from individuals on both sides of the issue should be heard.  Kim Motes noted that Park Board Member Walt Dziedzic appointed DMNA board member Tom Hoch to an advisory panel regarding this project.  Kim suggested that Tom give an update at the October board meeting prior to inviting opponents and proponents to speak to the DMNA board. 
Stone Arch Bridge Lighting Project.  Kim Motes noted that this project is now moving forward.  She reminded the board that the DMNA pledged $10,000 in NRP funds towards this project; however, the dollars were not put into a contract due to a lack of clear understanding as to the ownership of the bridge, i.e., MNDOT, Hennepin County, and City of Minneapolis.  Kim requested that Christie Rock contact David Fey in the Mayor’s office to determine whether the DMNA funds are still needed to complete the project and if they are, with whom should NRP contract the funds. 
Lights for trees on Hennepin and Washington Avenue.  Kim Motes suggested that the DMNA board consider providing NRP dollars to purchase white lights for trees on Hennepin Avenue and Washington Avenue for the holiday season.  Christie Rock will ask Tom Hoch to prepare a funding request for the October board meeting. 
DMNA November General Membership Meeting.  Christie Rock indicated that the meeting will take place at the NRP offices in the Crown Roller Mill building in the second floor atrium.  She is working to secure presenters, including Jack Byers from CPED; Brighton Development; Heritage Development; David Bernard Builders; Sherman Associates, and others. 
There was significant discussion surrounding DMNA board elections.  The board decided that elections should be held at the beginning of the meeting while there is a captured audience, and the outcome of the election should be announced at the conclusion of the meeting.  Christie asked the board which of them were up for election.  Since there was some confusion, Christie will refer back to last year’s minutes to determine.
XII.         Adjournment

Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2005.

_______________________________           _______________________________
Chair                                                                Secretary