Development update :: Shubert breaks ground

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November 23, 2009 // UPDATED 8:38 am - November 23, 2009
By: Amanda Kushner
Amanda Kushner
New Shubert breaks ground

Arts enthusiasts and city officials gathered Nov. 19 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Minnesota Shubert Center.

After listing the two generations of political leadership and community members that helped to make the Shubert restoration possible, Mayor R. T. Rybak had praise for the project.

“... Everyone in this community said that this will be a place that is built on top of hardhats and tap shoes,” he said. “That’s what this place is about.”

He stressed the importance of the arts in the community and that in hard times this reconstruction is creating 100 construction jobs. The project received $2 million in federal stimulus dollars, according to city officials.

The center will serve more than 30 local nonprofit arts organizations. It will also provide a 500-seat theater specifically designed for dance, will connect dance educators and students, house the Minnesota Dance Theatre and Zenon Dance Company schools, provide affordable rehearsal space and give 20 nonprofits organizations administrative space.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s an ad hoc group, Save Our Shubert, started a campaign to raise public awareness about the theater.

In 1996, Artspace projects, the developer, started a feasibility study to access restoration. Funding was approved in 1998 by the City Council and Minneapolis Community Development Agency to move the Shubert one and a half blocks to Hennepin Avenue.

It took 12 days to move the theater in February 1999.The 5.8 million pound structure is the heaviest building to ever be moved on rubber tires.

“What an amazing, heartbreaking and sometimes lonely path we have taken toward a vision of truly creating permanent and affordable residences for Minnesota’s home grown dance, music and theatre, said L. Kelley Lindquist, Artspace president.

The Shubert is expected to be complete in spring 2011.

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Subcontractors for stadiums honored for diversity

Mortenson honored 24 subcontractors for exceeding workforce diversity goals on Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium construction.

At Target Field, about 26 percent of the workers at the construction site are minority workers and 6 percent are female, both exceeding goals by 1 percentage percent. Woman- and minority-owned business participation is at about 32 percent, 2 percentage points higher than target figures. Target Field construction will wrap up in March and percentages are through October 2009. So far, 126 small-, women- and minority-owned businesses have been awarded $99 million of the $307.8 million subcontracted work.

At TCF Bank Stadium, the project had 41 percent minority and female workforce participation, which is 10 percentage points higher than anticipated. Women and minority owned business participation was 30 percent, 8 percentage points higher than anticipated.