Want to develop some Downtown riverside property?

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September 10, 2002 // UPDATED 1:30 pm - April 30, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

Got a hot idea for a Downtown riverside restaurant? The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is issuing a Request for Proposals to reuse the old Fuji-Ya property, west of the Stone Arch Bridge along the West River Road.

The Park Board will make the paperwork available Tuesday, Oct. 1. The submission deadline is Nov. 15. The board will take action in March.

The Park Board acquired the property in the late 1980s as part of the Great River Road project, said Don Siggelkow, assistant superintendent for development. The Park Board wanted the restaurant's parking lot, but had to buy the building too, for a total cost of $3 million.

This past legislative session, the Park Board got state approval to reuse the land. It specifies a restaurant should go there.

(In spite of those limitations, the Park Board may consider non-restaurant proposals. "We are heading into a legislative session," Siggelkow said. "I wouldn't rule out going back and saying, 'Here is another use.'")

Fuji-Ya is now at 600 W. Lake St. Its old 4,000-square-foot riverfront building still stands, but "has sat vacant for 10 to 11 years; it has a lot of issues," Siggelkow said. "Our engineer and architect say it is beyond repair."

The site is near the proposed Downtown Guthrie Theater. The Park Board gets roughly five inquiries a week from people interested in redeveloping the site into office space, restaurants or housing, he said. "That area is taking off," he said.

The Park is more likely to lease the land than sell it, Siggelkow said. The property has limited parking, and any new development needs to be compatible with nearby historic properties.

"If it were easily redevelopable, it would be redeveloped," Siggelkow said.

The RFP will be available at the Park Board's Permit Office on the first floor of the Grain Exchange, 400 S.