May 2020 BLUH Meeting Update

Missed this month's BLUH meeting?  Here's what we covered!

Revised Development Proposal for 500 S 7th Street

Bob Loken, ESG, returned to BLUH meeting to share a revised proposal for 500 S 7th Street.  The design of the development remains virtually unchanged from what was presented to BLUH on February 20th, with the exception of adjusting the height of the building from 8 stories to 10, following the recommendation of city staff and Planning Commissioners.  This change results in an increase in residential units from 195 to 240.

View the presentation slides for this development proposal (pdf) here.

Questions from the audience:

- Is the daycare for the general community or for Thrivent or for the development itself?  It's open to the general community.

- Are apartments market rate?  The units are market rate with a mix of unit types: studio, 1 bdrm, 2 bdrm.

- Landscaping along bus stop area?  Trees are allowed in bus stop area if they are in tree grates.  

- Exterior materials: Base will be a dark brick and top stories will be a composite metal (silver) panel

- Height of building in comparison to Thrivent?  The height of the building will be similar to the height of the Thrivent HQ.

- Will the skyway public?  Yes.

- Parking?  The parking under this building and Thrivent combine to serve both buildings.  

- Will there be a dedicated bus stop midblock on 7th, or is the picture of the bus on that slide just coincidence?

- Any provision for future skyway to the south? No skyway planned for the south.  There have been discussions about a skyway to the east which would connect with HCMC, currently being lobbied for at the State.   

Motion to support the land use application for 500 S 7th Street.  M. Dustrud/Schafer.  Motion passed. 


Elliot Park Skate Park Project

The much anticipated Elliot Park skate park project is moving forward with construction scheduled for summer of 2020.  Andrew Schilling, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Paul Forsline, City of Skate, presented a few final details require consideration by the Elliot Park community. 

See the presentation slides here.  

First, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is submitting a Land Use Application for variance for patio located within the front yard setback (15 feet from property line adjacent to 8th street S) exceeding 50 square feet, walkways within required yards (15 feet from property line adjacent to 8th Street S, 8 feet from 9th Ave S) exceeding 12 feet in width, and skating infrastructure encroaching into the setbacks (15 feet from property line adjacent to 8th St S, 8 feet from 9th Ave S).

Questions & Comments:

- Will the concrete be strong enough to withstand freezing winters? Yes

- Concern the space isn't large enough for the design and worried it will encroach on the soccer and basketball areas.  Andy reassured that there is adequate space and the skate park will not encroach on the field or basketball court.

- Lighting and supervision?  Hours of operation?  Skate Park will be better lit and has a separate switch and can be shut off after hours.  Current closure is at 10 PM and will likely continue.

- Concern that trees will be cut down.  Two trees will be removed and 10 will be planted.

- How much water will there be in the landscape design?  The water features will be planted rain gardens and will only fill up when it's raining and designed to drain within two days.

- Does the new design discourage camping under the ramps?  Yes, the ramps are solid and there's no ability to sit beneath. 

Motion of support for the Elliot Park Skate Park land use application including variances for the patio, walkways, and infrastructure encroachment.  M. Anderson/Nasi.  Approved. 

Second, MPRB requests use of additional Park Dedication Funds to support upgrades to the skate park project: 1) patio with seating & walkway, 2) salvaged fence added to NW corner of project, 3) concrete stamping, 4) colored concrete on ramps.

Questions & Comments:

What funds are available for future park improvements after this skate project is completed and funded? $903,226 remains if the $237,503 goes toward additional skate park items

- What other parks projects are competing for these dollars?  Other parks eligible to receive these park dedication funds are: Franklin Steele and Triangle Park (the one in front of Drexel, not to be confused with the park next to Grant Park).  No other projects are pending that would be eligible for these funds at this time.

- Use of park dedication funds should be equitable across Elliot Park neighborhood parks and future fund use should go toward Franklin Steele and Triangle Park (at Drexel).  Andy noted that MPRB is happy to work with the Elliot Park community and EPNI to make these future determinations.  

Motion of support for utilizing additional $237,503 in park dedication funds for Elliot Park Skate Park project upgrades. M. Hirst/Nasi. 


We hope to see you at our next BLUH meeting on Thursday, June 18, 6:00 PM on Zoom!