Target Center redo details get City Council review

blueprints_09The Minneapolis City Council’s Committee of the Whole moved a step forward with the new Target Center renovation deal between the city, the Timberwolves and Lynx and AEG, the management company that runs the place.

The council put off a committee vote on the matter until the next Committee of the Whole meeting on Nov. 8. Chair Robert Lilligren said that while it won’t be a formal public hearing, there will be provision for public comment on the matter.

Director of Community Planning and Economic Development Jeremy Hanson Willis presented the deal to the council this morning. There weren’t a lot of new details on the project: it’s still a $97 million deal, with $48 million from the city, $43 million from the teams, and $5.5 million from AEG.

But there’s some new budget details, including:

  • $27.2 million for a new box office, lobby, stairwells, skyway connection to southwest parking, renovation to and new bathrooms, food courts and concessions, new bowl seating
  • $18.2 million: Contingency fees, consultants, etc.
  • $16.6 million: Technology upgrades including sound, acoustings, voice over IP, cable, scoreboard upgrades, ribbon boards, and control room.
  • $13.9 million for new club spaces on Levels 1 and 2, club space improvements on Levels 4 and 5.
  • $13.5 million: Outside building shell, outdoor media mesh and signage.
  • $6.4 million: Building operations and back of house, including stage relocation and energy conservation measures.
  • $933,000: Basketball locker rooms and facilities.

The other new thing: a notable lack of acrimony over a professional sports facility in Minneapolis. The Vikings stadium was a weeks-long slugfest at City Hall.

“The city has taken a fairly hard line position in terms of many parts of this deal,” said council member Lisa Goodman, one of the loudest critics of the stadium and of skirting the city charter’s cap on sports facility spending. ”From my point of view this is a great deal.”

She said that she realizes there are still people who would like to “starve the beast,” demolish the building and let the Timberwolves move to Xcel, but she said the events at Target Center have a visible impact on downtown traffic and business.

Hanson Willis also told the council that the renovation will mean 850 construction jobs, and will help support 200 full time and 700 part time jobs when the building is running at full speed.

There was a rather pointed question from council member Cam Gordon, who asked, like the Vikings stadium, why spending nearly $100 million on the arena didn’t violate the $10 million cap approved by voters in 1997.

Minneapolis city attorney Susan Segal explained thusly: “Target Center has been a city owned building since 1995. That precedes the professional sports facility charter amendment… Also, provisions in our special sales tax law to allow this to go forward.”

Here’s the presentation from the council meeting this morning: