Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, February 11, 2003
800 LaSalle Avenue South, Suite 131

I.          Land Use Committee Projects

In deference to three LUC projects that recently came before the board seeking approval for Class A liquor licenses, Tom adjusted the agenda to allow Andy to introduce the following:

Applebee’s.  Evelyn Whitson announced the opening of Applebee’s newest restaurant in downtown Minneapolis at Block E across from Border’s Books on April 28, 2003.

Le Meridien Hotel.  Bob Bormes distributed brochures and announced the opening of the Le Meridien Hotel currently under construction at Block E on April 16, 2003. They are seeking approval for a Class A liquor license for the following areas within the hotel:  Cosmos, a restaurant with a seating capacity of 88, and lounge with a seating capacity of 40 to be located on the 4th floor; Infinity, a lounge to be located on street level with a seating capacity of approximately 120; the banquet facility on the 5th floor with a seating capacity of 500; and the mini-bars within the hotel guest rooms.

Escape.  Charles Gilbert announced the formation of Escape, a new venture (80 percent minority ownership) to host corporate events, dancing, and live music opening June 1, 2003 above the Hard Rock Café at Block E.

II.        Call to Order

Thereafter, with a quorum present, Tom Hoch called the meeting to order at 6:45 p.m.  Other board members present were:  Dee Cotten; Andrew Hauer; Leslie Hirsch; Mark Moller; Kim Motes, Vice Chair; Gene Nessly, Treasurer; and Carletta Sweet, Secretary.  Nonboard members in attendance included:  Bob Bormes, Le Meridien Hotel; Charles Gilbert, South Beach; June Harmon, financial consultant; David Harstad and Paul Merwin, Great River Energy Bicycle Festival 2003; Natalie Johnson Lee, 5th Ward Councilmember, and Kathy Span, Administrative Assistant; Barb Lichness, NRP staff; Ellen Nigon, Skyway News; Mike Rollin, CCNP Restorative Justice; Evelyn Whitson, Applebee’s.

III.       Q&A with Councilmember Natalie Johnson Lee

Natalie explained that since she has classes on Tuesday evenings (and was not given a choice for the dates when the schedule was originally drawn up), on evenings she is unable to attend DMNA’s board meetings, her assistant, Kathy Span would be able to do so.

When questioned about the budget, Natalie advised that everything is still on hold until they find out what LGA cuts there will be, but in the interim they are collaborating with other cities and assessing strategies in order to present a unified voice to the legislature.

IV.       Visitor Presentations

Great River Energy Bicycle Festival/Nature Valley Grand Prix 2003

Paul Merwin distributed the press kit related to the professional bike racing event from the conference with Mayor Rybak and explained that they’re trying to meet with downtown residents, groups and associations to make them aware and to solicit participation, donations, and sponsorships ($2,500-10,000).  Now in its 5th year, the GREBF has grown from a 1-day race to a 4-day race with five separate stages beginning in the Iron Range at Gilbert on June 12th and finishing in Stillwater on June 15th.  The third stage of the race will be held in downtown Minneapolis on Friday evening, June 13, 2003, 6:00-9:00 p.m., with an “Alive After 5” concert at Peavey Plaza, food, entertainment and expo area.  Proceeds from the GREBF will benefit the Cancer Fund at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

For additional information or questions, Paul suggested directing them to Dave LaPorte, Director of  GREBF, at 612-625-4983.

Central City Neighborhoods Partnership Restorative Justice Program

Mike Rollin advised that due to the recent expansion of the original CCNP (Citizens for a Loring Park Community, DMNA, Elliott Park Neighborhood, Inc., and Stevens Square Community Organization) to include three additional neighborhoods (i.e., North Loop, Whittier, and the West Bank), a new logo was desired.  Three samples of the proposed new logo were left for DMNA board members to vote upon and provide feedback.

Neighborhood Revitalization Program

Barb Lichness distributed the NRP Primer, a map of DMNA’s boundaries, DMNA’s Action Plan dated November 2001, NRP’s 2001 Affordable Housing Reserve Fund RFP, and charts of First Step expenditures and action plan status.  Thereafter, for the benefit of new board members, Barb gave a brief background of the program and a status update. 

Since DMNA is now positioned to implement its affordable housing fund, Barb instructed the board (at the suggestion of Cynthia Lee, Manager of Multifamily Housing Development at MCDA) to use the RFP she distributed as a guide.

Barb also advised that since Public Works has pulled out of contract #4421 (skyway signage, kiosks, 911 phones) and the Downtown Council has declined to take the project on, that she be allowed to cancel the contract and return the funds to the strategy line so that they can be redirected to another use.  Tom moved and Mark seconded to approve the cancellation of the contract and redirection of the funds.  The motion was carried unanimously.

Barb clarified that DMNA currently has the following funds that will need to be redirected:  the $300,000 returned from the Hennepin Avenue Streetscape project; $50,000 from the word mural project; and $159,600 from the skyway signage, kiosks project.  These funds can either be redirected to projects that the downtown neighborhood prioritized at a community meeting held in October 2001 or to totally new projects the neighborhood may deem important.


V.        Minutes from November and December 2002, January 2003

The minutes from November and December 2002 as well as January 2003 were all approved unanimously.

VI.       Financial Report from January 2003

June submitted the F2003 Budget vs. Actual as of January 2003, and the Wells Fargo check register from January 1-31, 2003.  These financial documents were received and filed.  June also submitted and explained the “interim” F2003 Budget (versus the “Planned”).  Consideration of the 2003 Budget was deferred to the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

VII.     Land Use Committee Motions

Andy distributed a 13-item Conditions document submitted to and agreed by management of Empire Concepts LLC, then moved to approve its Class A liquor license contingent upon these conditions.  The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

Andy also moved to approve the Class A liquor licenses applied for by Appleby’s, Le Meridian Hotel, and Escape.  The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

VIII.    DMNA Committees

As a follow on to previous discussions, Tom reiterated that Gene and Leslie are charged with the Finance Committee and are interfacing with June on finance and budget related matters, and that Andy is chairing the Land Use Committee.  Subsequent to more detailed discussion Tom suggested that the following committees be retained/established:  Crime and Safety, co-chaired by Tom and Dee; NRP Implementation, chaired by Kim; and Marketing (to be configured at a later date).

IX.       Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:56 p.m.

Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2003.

_______________________________                      _______________________________
Chair                                                                            Secretary