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- Issue isn’t whether Minneapolis will grow, but how (Strib commentary from 6/26/18)
Minneapolis 2040: A plan was required, but plans have consequences (Strib commentary from 6/26/18)
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Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) Gets Critical Approval from Federal Transit Administration
On November 14th the FTA issued the long-awaited Letter of No Prejudice to the Metropolitan Council. The letter makes preliminary construction spending on the line eligible for federal reimbursement once a full funding grant is awarded, which is expected in 2019. The next day, the Council approved the spending of $435 million to begin construction and awarded a construction contract. Some site clearance, demolition and utility work is to begin this winter, with heavy construction work to follow. The line remains subject to challenge from a lawsuit filed by a citizen group known as the Lakes and Parks Alliance that alleges that the project violates federal environmental laws. Although a federal judge rejected the challenge, the citizen group has appealed.
The total cost of the project is budgeted at $2.003 billion, with $929 million to come from the FTA. Service is now expected to commence in 2023. When completed, the 14.5 mile line will extend the Green Line from Target Field to Eden Prairie with a stop in our neighborhood at a West Lake station to be accessed from Abbott Avenue or Lake Street.
Proposed New Developments
Calhoun Towers Approved by City Planning Commission
On July 16th the City Planning Commission, over objections from the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council and residents, approved Bader Development’s plans to build 744 residential units in two 26-story towers and two 6-story apartment buildings adjacent to the current Calhoun Tower on List Place. The project is to be built over a 5-7 year time frame and would be adjacent to the planned West Lake light rail station. Construction is likely to begin in the summer or fall of 2019.
In its statements to the Planning Commission the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council asked for a reduction in the scale of the project in view of the inadequate road and public transit infrastructure serving the neighborhood as well as the continuing uncertainty about the light rail line. Links to documents concerning the project can be found below:
- WCNC November 2017 Minutes (Calhoun Towers presentation)
- Calhoun Towers Proposal
- WCNC Calhoun Towers Proposal Response
- Bader Response to Comments on Calhoun Towers Plan
- Star Tribune article (1/9/18)
- Calhoun Towers Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) (2/18) Appendices (2/18)
- WCNC EAW Comments (4/18)
- WCNC comments to the Zoning & Planning Committee (5/3)
- Resident comments regarding density from May meeting (5/8)
- WCNC follow up questions and requests to Bader Dev (5/28)
Boutique Hotel at Lake/Excelsior
Elevage Development Group is proposing to build a 100-room hotel with 20 condo units, a restaurant and 107 enclosed parking spaces on the BP gas station site at the corner of Lake and Excelsior. The developer is currently negotiating road changes with the county and will need to hold a preliminary development review with the City before applying for permits.
- WCNC January 2018 Minutes (ESG & EDG presentation)
- Southwest Journal article (1/10/18)
Southwest Area Parks Planning
Pedestrian Safety Project
- Lake and Excelsior one sheet – proposed pedestrian safety improvements
- Map of proposed pedestrian safety improvements
Skate Park Activity Plan page link