Controversial developer unveils Vikings stadium planby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis, Minn. — The Minneapolis developer who originally owned the site of Target Field said the Vikings would be a good addition to the neighborhood.
Minneapolis real estate developer Bruce Lambrecht released a study showing how a new football stadium could fit and said it would be cheaper in the long run than rebuilding at the site of the Metrodome.
The plan envisions a nearly billion dollar stadium, possibly with a roof that could extend over either the Vikings home or Target Field, right next door.
BRUCE LAMBRECHT'S PRESENTATION
The NFL stadium would be directly behind Target Field's home plate, and occupy the site of the Farmers Market west of downtown Minneapolis.
It's one of three sites believed to be in the running to host the Vikings. The other two are the present Metrodome block and the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills.
"One of the keys to this site is that the opportunities to redevelop this area of downtown into a larger and better Farmer's Market, a new Vikings stadium, with all the transit that is currently in place and planned to be in place, makes this really kind of much more attractive," said Dave Albersman, a planner who works with Lambrecht.
The city of Minneapolis earlier this year released a study that said land acquisition costs and infrastructure needs would make the Farmers Market site impractical. City officials say building on the Metrodome site is their preferred alternative.
"What doesn't work for me is the existing Metrodome site, and I have been very clear everybody I've talked to about that, said Mike Opat, the chairman of the Hennepin County Board, the political body considered most likely to join the state and the Vikings in a funding partnership to build the stadium.
"It's an island in the middle of downtown," Opat said. "At this point, there's been no development that's happened around it ... There is plenty of different sites in what is broadly called the Farmers Market site. I think there are the big parking ramps are there, light rail is there and the entertainment district is there, so I think that makes the most sense."
The Farmers Market plan has another catch -- it's being floated by the same developer who once owned the Target Field site, and fought a lengthy court battle over its price.
But spokesman Aron Kahn said Lambrecht doesn't own any of the land on the potential Vikings site.
"There are many parcels of land. Bruce Lambrecht doesn't own any. Not an inch. He owns some land nearby, around Target Field, but he owns none of the land that the proposed Vikings stadium is on."
The plan doesn't include any financing options. A stadium bill has been introduced at the Legislature, but GOP sponsor Sen. Julie Rosen of Fairmont said she doesn't know when it will get a hearing.
- Morning Edition, 05/03/2011, 7:45 a.m.