Mpls. City Council Approves 'Downtown East'; Judge Issues Partial Lawsuit Ruling

Updated: 12/13/2013 5:36 PM
Created: 12/13/2013 5:24 PM
By: Tom Hauser

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved the "Downtown East" development that will be adjacent to the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

The $400 million project will include two office towers for 5,000 Wells Fargo employees, retail space, apartments, a city park and a huge parking ramp that will also be used by the Vikings on game days. 

However, there is one potential legal hurdle yet to be overcome.  A Hennepin County judge denied four of five counts in a lawsuit he heard in court Thursday.  

Opponents of city financing for the project claimed the "Downtown East" project is actually part of the Vikings stadium. In a lawsuit, they claim the $65 million dollars in city financing exceeds the $150 million already being spent on the stadium as spelled out in the stadium legislation. 

Mayor R.T. Rybak isn't overly concerned about the lawsuit. "If I curled up in a fetal position every time someone filed suit against the City of Minneapolis, we wouldn't have gotten much done," he told reporters after the city council meeting.  "We're extremely confident of our position."

If the deal closes by Dec. 27 as planned, Ryan Companies plans a groundbreaking in April and opening the first phase of the project in 2015.

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