Development update: Target Center green roof

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September 28, 2009 // UPDATED 9:40 am - September 28, 2009
By: Amanda Kushner
Amanda Kushner
Crews complete Target Center’s green roof project

The green roof on top of the Target Center is complete, and there was a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 15.

Planting was completed the first weekend in August. The green roof  was maintained and watered almost everyday during the summer, said Angie Durhman, a green roof manager with Tecta America. Tecta America has a 20-year contract with the owner to provide horticultural maintenance, she said.

The 2.5-acre green roof is the fifth largest extensive green roof in the country, and it’s also the first one installed on an arena in North America.

Sedums and Minnesota prairie plants were planted as a part of the roof. This includes lupine, which the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly needs to survive, wild strawberry and dotted blazing-star.

The plants are a pre-vegetated system, which was grown off-site in New York, Durhman said. The location was chosen because it was the closest farm with the best quality and similar climate conditions, she said.

Succulent plants were used because of the minimum amount of soil — 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches — which was impacted by structural limitations of the building, Durhman said.

The roof is expected to capture about 1 million gallons of storm water, and help alleviate the heat island effect.

Durhman also pointed out that there is contrast between the sod at Target Field, which looks bright green when compared to the green roof at the Target Center. The difference in the physical look is because the green roof is a self-sustaining system.


Skyway would link Flour Exchange Building and federal courthouse

A skyway is proposed to connect the back of the Flour Exchange building to the U.S. Federal Courthouse.

The proposed skyway lines up with the skyway in the Federal Courthouse, and David Heller, architect with Heller Architects, said the skyway would be minimal in design to avoid taking away from the Flour Exchange Building.

The Historic Preservation Commission, Downtown Council and Skyway Advisory Committee need to give their approval, said Heller, who said the Skyway Advisory Committee meeting in September and the Historic Preservation Commission is in October.

The proposed skyway asks for three variances from what is required by the Skyway Advisory Committee. The height requirements are 16 feet and 6 inches, but because of the building elevation this can’t be accomplished, Heller said. The requirement is a standard because of truck traffic and service underneath, but this skyway would stretch across an alley that is not a service alley, he said. The next variance is that the skyway proposes swinging doors instead of sliding doors because sliding doors won’t work as a fire rating, and they are trying to use an existing window opening in the Flour Exchange building to try and preserve the building, so the elevation and wall structure are not affected. Finally skyways are required to be 12 feet in width, but this skyway asks for closer to 10 feet because of the existing corridor in the Flour Exchange and in the courthouse.

When the plans were presented to the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, the association approved a letter of support, but only if power-assisted doors are included.

“I think they did their job in the sense that they were there to either approve or give a blessing to the overall skyway, but they are not necessarily there to deal with code issues,” Heller said.


Minnesota Shubert Center groundbreaking Nov. 19

A ceremony on Nov. 19 will celebrate the Minnesota Shubert Center’s groundbreaking.

The event will start at 12:30 p.m. in the lot between the Hennepin Center for the Arts and the Shubert Theater on Hennepin Avenue. Executive Director Colin Hamilton said the mayor is expected to speak and that it will be a lively event with dancing.

Construction on the Shubert is expected to be completed by early 2011, and it will connect dance teachers and students, house dance schools, have 10 dance studios for rehearsal space and provide 20 nonprofit organizations with office space. The Shubert Theater, designed for dancers, will include a sprung floor, a fly-loft and sightlines. Hamilton said the most immediate work will be starting on the theater. Construction will create about 100 jobs, he said.

“It is just a wonderful moment to be able to think not about how to get to groundbreaking, but what is the center going to offer to the community once it opens,” Hamilton said.

Artspace Projects, headquartered in Minneapolis, is designing the project.

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