Mayor Hodges Announces $7 Million Pledged Toward $22 Million Fundraising Goal for Downtown East Commons
 
 
Mayor Hodges, Pat Ryan tapped to lead fundraising committee to Build 21st
Century Park Adjacent to U.S. Bank Stadium
 
MINNEAPOLIS (August 13, 2015) – Leaders from the City of Minneapolis and the business community announced today that they have secured $7 million of the $22 million needed to transform a two-block area outside the new U.S. Bank Stadium from concrete to green space. In addition, officials announced the 15-member fundraising committee that will be led by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Pat Ryan, President and CEO of Ryan Companies.
 
“Raising one-third  of the money is a significant milestone at this point in the process and with this team of business leaders involved and helping with the initiative, we are confident we will have commitments for the remaining amount needed in the near future,” said Mayor Hodges. “This project illustrates the amazing things that can happen when private industry and civic organizations come together for common good. The integration of green space into the long-range development of the city will allow us to maintain and attract talent to the city and provide a first-class experience for everyone in downtown Minneapolis.”
 
Since May 2015, the fundraising committee has received $7 million in commitments – the largest portion of those dollars coming from Wells Fargo, Ryan Companies and the City of Minneapolis. Private contributions will be directed to Green Minneapolis, a downtown focused parks and open space conservancy set-up by the Minneapolis Downtown Council to help advance projects like the Downtown East Commons. 
 
“The citizens of Minnesota are well known for their philanthropy and this project provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for organizations and individuals to create a public space that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come,” said Ryan. “We are excited to be leading the revitalization of this area and transforming it into a green and vibrant space.”
 
Downtown East Commons is a two-block, 4.2-acre area bound by Park Avenue, 4th and 5th Streets, and a proposed building on 5th Avenue South. The idea for a park was unveiled in May 2013 as a part of Ryan Companies’ $400 million mixed-use development now under construction in Downtown East. 
 
“Wells Fargo is a committed stakeholder in the historic Downtown East neighborhood redevelopment project,” said Dave Kvamme, Wells Fargo Minnesota CEO. “Our $300 millioncommunity investment into a new campus and the contribution to the public green space reinforces our on-going commitment to Minneapolis, Minnesotans and the more than 20,000 team members we have throughout the state.”
 
City Councilman Jacob Frey who represents the area also attended the press conference.
 
“Downtown East Commons promises to be a destination that will serve Minneapolis residents as well as visitors from around the country,” Frey said. “This investment in our community will not only enhance the city but provide benefits for generations to come.”
 
Downtown East Commons is being designed by Hargreaves Associates, a San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm known for designing projects leading to economic growth and neighborhood changes. Hargreaves was chosen from 14 firms that submitted proposals through a competitive RFP process.
 
New Partners, a Washington, D.C.–based consulting firm with strong ties to Minneapolis, is leading the effort to raise the $22 million in contributions necessary to build the green space. The firm is a nationally recognized leader in the field. New Partners was the lead fundraising consultant on Minnesota's winning Super Bowl LII bid and has led many other successful fundraising projects in Minnesota and across the country.
 
Downtown East Commons Fundraising Committee
Co-Chair Mayor Betsy Hodges
Co-Chair Pat Ryan, CEO, Ryan Companies
Dave Kvamme, CEO, Wells Fargo Minnesota 
Minneapolis City Councilman Jacob Frey
Richard Davis, CEO, US Bank
Chris Policinski, CEO, Land O’Lakes
Joel Conner, CEO, Bellisio Foods
Steve Cramer, CEO, Minneapolis Downtown Council
Jay Cowles, President Unity Avenue Associates
David Wilson, Senior Managing Director, Accenture
Dean Phillips, Chairman, Talenti Gelato
Tom Hoch, CEO, Hennepin Theater Trust
Allen Lenzmeier, Former Vice Chairman, Best Buy
Deb Hopp, Publisher at MSP Communications
Collin Barr, President North Region, Ryan Companies
 
About Downtown East Commons
The Downtown East Commons is a two-block, 4.2-acre area bounded by Park Avenue,
4th and 5th Streets, and a proposed building on 5th Avenue South. The idea for a public
green space was unveiled in May 2013 as a part of Ryan Companies’ $400 million mixed-use development
project now under construction in Downtown East. 
 
The Commons, which will be designed by Hargreaves Associates, will serve as a retreat for the everyday needs and wants of residents and daytime workers of Minneapolis as well as a destination for the City’s biggest events, including once in a decade events such as the 2018 Super Bowl and civic celebrations. Hargreaves Associates works on landscape architecture and planning projects both national and international that embody a commitment to civic vitality and creative urban solutions.
 
 
 
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Published Aug 13, 2015

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