Downtown East gets planning approval in Minneapolis

The Strib’s Janet Moore says the mega-development planned for the paper’s real estate has won approval from the city’s Planning Commission.

The $400 million project calls for a pair of 17-story office towers, including more than a million square feet of office space, more than 1,500 parking stalls, 200 residential units and ground-level space for stores, restaurants or other businesses. The deal also includes a two-block park straddling Portland Avenue, joined with the stadium plaza the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority just bought for $17.1 million.

And while the city has celebrated the project, it has sparked controversy. The Strib says likely tenant Wells Fargo has proposed giant rooftop signs, presumably to be seen from blimps flying over NFL games (and possibly a 2018 Super Bowl). The signs wouldn’t be visible from the street, but could cut into the value of the naming rights on the nearby Vikings stadium if a prospective sponsor was a Wells Fargo competitor.

KARE 11 had a story last night that said sports business watchers think US Bank is a front runner.

Here’s a look at what that flight over the site might look a little like:

Ryan Cos. executive Rick Collins said earlier this year that he expected the land sale to close at the end of December. The project still has to win approval by the full Minneapolis council.