Neighborhood News

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November 17, 2003 // UPDATED 11:07 am - April 30, 2007
By: Skyway News Staff
Skyway News Staff

What\'s going on in some of the downtown area neighborhoods and notes from Neighborhood meetings.

Library public art designs unveiled Tuesday Artists working on public art projects for the new Central Library will unveil preliminary designs Tuesday, Nov. 18.

The open house at the library's interim site, 250 Marquette Ave., will feature a show-and-tell from the six artists working on pieces for the Downtown branch slated to open in 2006. The presentations will repeat every 15 minutes, allowing people to among stations and hear from each artist.

The scheduled presentations:

  • Lita Alburquerque of Santa Monica, Calif., will present her ideas for the Library Hall floor;
  • Dale Lazone, on behalf of New York City sculptor Beverly Pepper, will display plans for outdoor vertical sculptures;
  • Ben Rubin, also of New York City, will reveal designs for library lighting; and
  • Ta-coumba Aiken of St. Paul; Jackie Chang of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Teri Kwant of Minneapolis, will show plans for library fireplaces.

    The open house will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the interim library site. -- Sarah McKenzie

    Thunder negotiating to play near DowntownBy Scott RussellThe Minnesota Thunder, the state's men's professional soccer team, is negotiating with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to build a permanent soccer facility at Lowry Hill's Parade Stadium. The facility would open as early as 2006, a Park Board official said.

    Thunder President Ken Froslid, a Southwest Minneapolis resident, said the team is also looking at a St. Paul site.

    "We will be talking to both cities about a long-term project," Froslid said. "The goal is to have something soccer-specific, not only for the Thunder to play in but the community -- high school teams, ethnic teams, international games. That is the vision."

    "There is a lot of excitement about getting soccer into the city."

    The Park Board is expected to discuss the idea at its Wednesday, Nov. 19 meeting.

    Don Siggelkow, the Park Board's assistant superintendent for administration and finance, said a Parade soccer complex could include a 3,000- to 5,000-seat soccer stadium that would cost $4 million to $6 million. It would have expensive artificial grass to stand up to intensive use. Siggelkow said he had talked to the Thunder about playing at Parade.

    Commissioner Jon Olson said the Park Board would not ask the Legislature for money for a multimillion-dollar soccer stadium. The Thunder would have to make its own case.

    "We are not looking to build a stadium for the Thunder," he said. "If someone wants to do some development, we'll listen."

    Froslid said it was premature to discuss funding.

    The Thunder would weigh factors such as parking, freeway access and proximity to "hot pockets" of soccer players in choosing a permanent site, he said.

    The Thunder plays 15 to 20 home games a year, most from late May through July -- and draws between 3,000 to 4,000 fans per game, Froslid said.

    The Thunder has played at the National Sports Center in Blaine but has terminated its lease. Froslid said the team wanted to have a location more central to the soccer-playing communities. It also wanted to embrace the Twin Cities' ethnic communities.

    The Thunder is looking for a temporary site at which to play until it can find a permanent home. Froslid said the team soon would announce the site of its temporary home. The decision about its permanent home "is a long way away."

    The Park Board discussed the issue Nov. 5, and several Park Board commissioners seemed supportive. Thunder players or staff could hold soccer workshops for area youth, they said. Commissioners also raised concerns. The new soccer complex at Parade would displace the Park Board's premier softball field. Softball would need a new home.

    Commissioner Vivian Mason said the Park Board could relocate the top-line softball field to Bryn Mawr Park, 1905 Mt. View Ave.

    The Park Board would engage the Minneapolis School Board and Blake High School to review options to develop the facility as a home field to high school soccer games, Siggelkow wrote to the board Oct. 29.

    "Our youth teams and traveling teams would have a stadium soccer complex for tournaments, games and practices."

    Mason represents the Parade area and supported the idea. "Parade would go back to serving more youth than we do now," she said. "I think it's great."

    Parade Stadium used to house the city's premier football field for high school teams.

    The Park Board is not eying the soccer stadium as a big moneymaker, Siggelkow said. The proposal comes at a critical juncture, however. The nearby Guthrie Theater is relocating to its new riverfront center in 2006, and Guthrie patrons had provided Park Board parking money.

    The Park Board has several parking lots around Parade, totaling 683 stalls. The Walker is opening a new underground parking ramp to serve its soon-to-expand museum. The Park BOard plans to do a new Master Plan for Parade, Siggelkow said.

    The soccer complex could help recoup lost Guthrie parking revenue, Siggelkow said.

    At $5 a spot, it would raise at most $3,400 per game.

    The Park Board could also negotiate for a cut of concession sales, Siggelkow said.

    The Thunder has existed since 1990 and in 1994 it joined the United Soccer League. It is the third professional soccer team in the state, following the Kicks and the Strikers. Froslid said the team has not made a profit. "Very close," he said.

    Downtown neighborhood annual meeting is Wednesday The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, a citizen's group for Downtown core residents, workers and property owners, will hold elections Wednesday, Nov. 19 at its annual meeting.

    DMNA Chair Tom Hoch will present a "state of the neighborhood address," and modifications to the association's Neighborhood Revitalization Program plan for neighborhood approval.

    The following DMNA proposals will be up for review:

  • $195,000 for Downtown streetscaping;

  • $100,000 toward fighting so-called nuisance crimes, such as panhandling, loitering and public intoxication;

  • $95,000 toward renovations of the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center, 516 Hennepin Ave. S.;

  • $60,000 for the Downtown Senior Center, located on the second level of the Target store, 900 Nicollet Mall;

  • $35,000 for administrative support; and

  • $10,000 toward a campaign to deter public urination.

    Attendees will also be briefed on the city's Downtown East/North Loop Master Plan, a development guideline, the Hennepin Avenue streetscape project, the affordable housing fund and the Central Cities Neighborhood Partnership's Restorative Justice Program.

    The eight-member board has four vacancies. Four two-year terms expire this month: those of Hoch, president of the Historic Theatre Trust; Dee Cotton, a resident at Rivergate Apartments, 115 2nd Ave. S.; Leslie Hirsch, a resident at 1150 Hennepin Ave. S; and Andrew Hauer, a resident at the Towers Condos, 19 S. 1st St.

    So far, Hoch, Hauer, Cotton and George Rosenquist, who lives at the Crossing, 121 Washington Ave. S., are running for board positions, said DMNA Coordinator Christie Rock. Additional candidates can be nominated at the meeting.

    To vote for board candidates or run for a position, one must either live, work or own property within DMNA boundaries -- the riverfront east of Hennepin Avenue to I-35W, and the Downtown core between 3rd Avenue North, 12th Street, 5th Avenue, plus an area north of the Metrodome.

    The annual meeting will be held 7-9 p.m. in room MSL 235 at the University of St. Thomas Law School, bordered by LaSalle Avenue, South 12th Street, Harmon Place and South 11th Street. -- Sarah McKenzie

    Neighborhood notes

    Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) Next: Annual Meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the St. Thomas Law School. The board will meet 6:15 p.m. prior to the annual meeting. Meetings: Board meetings 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m., LaSalle Plaza, 800 LaSalle Ave., Suite #131. Contact: 659-1279, Borders: Mississippi River, Hennepin Ave., Washington Ave., 3rd Ave., 12th St., 5th Ave., 5th St., I-35W.

    North Loop Neighborhood Association Next: Board meeting, Nov. 26. Meetings: Last Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., Heritage Landing, 415 N. 1st St. Contact: Jim Grabek, 677-1090, Borders: Lyndale Ave., Mississippi River, I-94, Hennepin Ave., Washington Ave., 3rd. Ave.

    Citizens for a Loring Park Community Next: Livability Committee, Wednesday, Nov. 19. Meetings: Board meets 2nd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. 430 Oak Grove St., #207. Nicollet Task Force, 2nd Wednesday, Hibaq Coffee Shop. Livability Committee, 3rd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Dunn Bros on 15th St.; Land Use Committee, 6:30 p.m., 4th Monday, 430 Oak Grove St. Contact: Jana Metge, 874-9002; Borders: S. 12th St., I-35W, I-94, Lyndale Ave., and I-394.

    Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. Next: Building, Land Use and Housing, Wednesday, Nov. 19.Meetings: Board 2nd Monday of the month, 7 p.m., 1000 E. 14th St.; Economic Development Strategies, 3rd Wednesday, Building Land Use and Housing, 3rd Thursday; Neighborhood Action Committee, 4th Monday. (EPNI's committee meetings are open to all adults who live, work or own property in the neighborhood. Local Churches may appoint up to 3 people to represent them.) Contact: 335-5846 Borders: I-94, Hwy. 55, 5th Ave., S. 5th St.

    Nicollet Island/East Bank Neighborhood Association Next: Meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 18. Meetings: 3rd Tuesday of the odd-numbered months, 7 p.m., Pracna on Main, 117 SE Main St. Contact: Nicollet Island, Mississippi River, Central Ave. SE, railroad tracks north of and parallel to 1st Ave.

    Downtown Action Network Next: Thursday, Dec. 11. Meetings: 2nd Thursday monthly, Downtown Council offices, 81 S. 9th St., Suite 260. Lunchtime presentations are free and open to the public, but no lunch is served. Contact: