The Commons park in Downtown East. Rendering by Hargreaves Associates

The Commons park in Downtown East. Rendering by Hargreaves Associates

Commons fundraising surpasses halfway mark

Updated: May 9, 2016 - 3:46 pm

City leaders have raised more than half of the price tag necessary to build the two-block park outside U.S. Bank Stadium.

Green Minneapolis, the conservancy tasked with fundraising for The Commons park, announced April 15 that nearly $14 million has been raised to make the high-profile green space in Downtown East a reality.

The fundraising committee, co-chaired by Mayor Betsy Hodges and Pat Ryan of Ryan Companies, has raised about $3 million since its last announcement in January. Their goal of $22 million will go toward design, construction and initial operating and maintenance costs.

“The campaign’s steady success shows that businesses and philanthropists understand its value and transformational potential for downtown and our entire city,” Hodges said in a statement.

The park’s latest supporters include Valspar, U.S. Bank, The Pohlad Family Foundation, Julia Dayton, Jay and Page Cowles, The Edward J. Phillips Family Foundation, Piper Jaffrey, Century Link, The David Wilson and Michael Peterman Family and Toro.

Due to the pace of fundraising, the city put several planned features on hold for the park’s first phase earlier this year until more funding becomes available.

The first phase of the 4.2-acre park is expected to open to the public later this summer as the Minnesota Vikings move into the new stadium. Green Minneapolis is now working on programming the space with a goal of creating events that “welcome and reflect the diverse communities and rich cultural heritage Minneapolis boasts,” according to a news release.

“Downtown East was an underdeveloped area that is now growing rapidly and in desperate need of green space,” said Council President Barb Johnson. “These funds being raised afford us the opportunity to create an unprecedented park for residents and the unique ability to show off who we are as a city and what we value to millions of visitors.”