Downtown Minneapolis Residents Association

Board Meeting Minutes, December 19, 1995

Churchill Apartments--7:00 to 9:45 p.m.

Called to Order: 7:00 p.m. by Chair George Rosenquist (GR).


1. Secretary's Report--Paul Barber (PB)

a. Roll Call:

i. Directors Present: Donald Hicks (DH), Andy Hauer (AH), Eunice Roo (ER), Mike Olson (MO), Bob Saginaw (BS), Paul Barber, George Rosenquist, John Lavine (JL).

ii. Excused: Dolores Cotten (DC).

iii. Staff: Bill P. Stark (BPS).

iv. Guests: Billie Binder, Council President Cherryhomes' Office; Bob Shrier, MCDA; Luther Kruger from CCP; Arne Gregory; Dan Hunt; Tom from MCI; Peter from the Area Lake Paper.

b. Minutes from September 1995 and October 1995 were approved.

c. Minutes from the Annual Meeting were approved with the correction that the minutes accurately reflect that the meeting was the Annual Meeting and not a Board Meeting.

d. PB noted the updated DMRA roster.

2. Treasurer's Report--AH

See attached from AH. Approved.

Endorsement Presentations:

1. Midland Square-Exterior Changes

Tom from MCI informed the Board that MCI was seeking a conditional-use permit to convert one-third of a floor at the Midland Square building. MCI will add a generator, which will be enclosed. The request for the conditional-use permit was approved on December 13, 1995.

The DMRA Board approved the plan unanimously.

2. Tension Envelope-Residential Conversion (located at 129 North 2nd)

Arne Gregory presented the plans that his company wishes to follow in completely remodeling the Tension Envelope building. The underground garage will be redesigned to facilitate 36 parking spaces. The first floor will have 10,000-12,000 square feet of commercial space. This area will probably be used for a restaurant or office space. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors will be lofted-one-bedroom apartments ranging from 760-1450 square feet.

The project will be financed by a tax exempt bond--approximately 4.05 million dollar bond and a total cost of 5 million dollars. 80% of the apartments will be priced at market rate rent. 20% (approximately 7-8 units) will be priced at a reduced rent at about $400-500 per month. The projected start date is mid-February and the project will take 7 months to complete.

The DMRA Board approved the plan unanimously.

Arne Gregory also informed the Board about another project that is being planned. The project site is across from the Itasca building and Southeast of the Star Tribune building.

The plan is to create an urban neighborhood at this site. 650 units will be owner occupied. The units will sell for a moderate price--approximately $100,000-150,000 each. There will be 420 townhouses and 4 condominium towers. DMRA asked Arne to bring up the projected plan when it is available. He will keep us informed of the project.

3. Crime Statistics Report--Luther Kruger from CCP/SAFE

a. Luther distributed crime-statistics maps of downtown Minneapolis. The time period of maps spanned from July to October. Luther compared downtown to the suburbs by mathematically equating them and reported that downtown had better or comparable statistics than many surrounding areas. Luther wanted to explore how we can demonstrate this favorable comparison to people. He stated that reducing the fear of crime in people that visit and live in downtown is a primary mission.

b. Luther also stated that CCP/SAFE had two other goals in 1996. The first is to reduce bike and skateboard traffic. The second goal is to determine and evaluate the impact of adult entertainment on the community.

The bike "problem" on Nicollet Mall and sidewalks was then raised by Billie Binder. The Board had many different opinions about this subject. Donald Hicks volunteered to chair a committee concerning the bike "problem." CCP has a pamphlet available about bike safety. Additionally, Loring Park neighborhood has a similar problem and has developed a task force about this concern. Someone suggested that we see what they have done about this.


GR opened the elections by stating that any Board member could nominate hermself or another and that a silent vote would be taken.

Chair-PB and MO were nominated and PB was elected as the new chair.

Vice Chair-MO and DH were nominated for Vice Chair. MO was elected as the new Vice Chair.

Treasurer-AH was unanimously elected as treasurer in a voice vote.

Secretary-GR was unanimously elected as Secretary in a voice vote.

Old Business:

1. Employment Committee Update

a. AH introduced Bill Stark as the new Executive Director. He also explained that the Employment Committee had elected to change the position to Executive Director because this type of position more accurately reflects the more encompassing duties and responsibilities that Bill will encounter. The Employment Committee had also agreed to eliminate the bonus plan and elected to give straight pay.

b. Bill presented the Board with some of his background and observations.

c. AH reported that DMRA has $2,225 from MCDA, $8,800 from the C.I.P. grant, and $4,000 from the Minneapolis Foundation Grant. AH also stated that DMRA received $8,222 from NRP which is kept in a separate bank account--we have spent $300.00.

d. AH made three motions.

i. Motion to approve the Executive Director's job description. This motion was unanimously approved.

ii. Motion to approve grant writing for general operating expenses because DMRA only has money for a few specific grants. This motion was unanimously approved.

iii. Motion to approve $107 and wages for BPS to attend four seminars about grant seeking and advertising. This motion was unanimously approved.

2. Peavey Plaza Skating Rink

PB informed the Board that the skating rink is open but there is no warming house or weekend maintenance now. PB also stated that the broomball tournament has elected not to use this facility.

PB made a motion to write a letter to the mayor and/or Pat Scott about this. The Board unanimously approved the motion.

3. Block E Proposals

PB motioned that the Board take a position about the overall activity that this spot would be used for. The Board unanimously approved the motion.

4. Ribfest

PB wanted the Board to review the letter to the promoters and determine if it stated the opinions of the Board. The Board was concerned about the expensive prices of food and drinks and also the cryptic denominations of the tickets. Also, no "family package" had been made available. PB moved that a letter be sent to the promoters. GR stated that pricing was not a legitimate concern of DMRA.

The Board unanimously approved the motion with a friendly amendment that the letter be reworded.

New Business:

1. Hennepin Avenue Advisory Board

The Hennepin Avenue Advisory Board is responsible for reviewing development on Hennepin Avenue and commenting about it.

A motion was made that MO be appointed to the Hennepin Avenue Advisory Board. The Board unanimously approved the motion.

2. Relationship Between DMRA and DNRP

AH made a motion that DMRA consolidate the corporations of DMRA and DNRP, rather than allowing the NRP process to exist as an entirely separate and independent corporation as DNRP. The issue was opened for discussion.

GR spoke of the financial and logistical consequences that would occur with the two-corporation structure. He stated that two separate audits would need to be conducted, which would cost $2,000.00-$2,500.00 each. Also, DMRA would need to keep entirely separate records from DNRP. This would require redundant and unnecessary paperwork and staff time. These are very significant expenses since DMRA has limited general operating funds.

BPS presented a summary of NRP's concerns about the present "two-corporation" structure.

First, DNRP would directly compete with DMRA for resident/members.

Second, DMRA would not benefit from the NRP process. Many neighborhoods use the NRP process to further develop its operating structure. Since DMRA has no committees and very little resident involvement, it could benefit by incorporating aspects of the NRP structure and process into the organization during and after the NRP plan has been completed.

Third, DMRA could financially benefit from the NRP process by collaborating on neighborhood issues. It could logistically benefit by using the same office space and equipment.

Fourth, the lines of communication between DMRA, NRP, and interested residents would be much more efficient. Otherwise, communication would be needed between two separate Board of Directors (DMRA Board of Directors and DNRP Board of Directors), a separate NRP Steering Committee, and interested residents.

Fifth, less bureaucracy would exist. Less reports would need to be filed and reviewed. This would leave more time for interested residents to address the issues, rather than, dealing with a confusing bureaucracy.

Sixth, DMRA and DNRP could adopt conflicting agendas.

AH commented on the financial implications by noting the huge auditing cost, which would be 8% of the total budget. AH continued by stating that additional insurance costs would need to be incurred.

AH also stated that NRP and help promote DMRA, rather than, NRP directly competing for promotion and resident/members.

AH also expressed concerns about the confusing nature of having two separate resident organizations such as DMRA and DNRP. He said that this was confusing to members of the board and is very confusing to explain to potential resident/members.

PB stated that he would like DMRA to remain a purely resident organization. He did not want businesses to have any influence on DMRA, and, therefore, NRP should be kept entirely separate because business was involved.

PB was also concerned that including NRP in DMRA would increase the Board Meetings to more than two hours.

BS stated that he was concerned about potential conflict of interests that could arise between the different Board of Directors.

GR stated that DMRA can still be kept "pure" because no business person could be a member of DMRA nor could any business person be a member of the DMRA Board of Directors. Business people could only participate in NRP issues and only in accordance to the Participation Agreement which DMRA created.

GR also stated that most of NRP concerns would be dealt with by the NRP Steering Committee, rather than, the DMRA Board of Directors.

AH restated his motion that DMRA allow the NRP process to be conducted under the auspices of DMRA, rather than, allowing the NRP process to occur as an entirely separate and independent corporation that DMRA had no authority to guide or control.

The motion was approved by all members except PB who did not support the motion.

3. Executive Director Employment

AH asked the Board members to review some employment terms that needed to be clarified and discussed.

These additional employment terms were unanimously approved with three changes.

a. Overtime worked by BPS will be approved by the treasurer before it is worked.

b. There would not be any increase in salary at 30 days.

c. The Employment Committee would review performance and wages at 90 days to make a decide about any increase in wages.

Meeting Adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Submitted by Bill Stark, Executive Director

Reviewed by George Rosenquist, Secretary