On Friday January 13, The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to authorize an agreement with Green Minneapolis to operate the Downtown East Commons – known as The Commons – in 2017.
“Green Minneapolis is uniquely equipped to run this kitchen table for our city. Having experts with a laser focus on this space 24/7 will make it a favorite Minneapolis destination.” said Council Member Jacob Frey.
The $1,375,500 budget will be funded through a $500,000 City contribution and $875,000 from The Commons operating reserve.
Green Minneapolis is also working with the City to complete the capital fundraising of $22M for The Commons, which includes a $4M operating reserve to support operations until a sustainable funding model for operations thru sponsorships and other earned revenue is established. To date, approximately $14M has been raised, and all landscape and hardscape elements of the park are complete. The remaining funds to be raised will be used for constructing a restaurant and a building to house park offices, storage and restrooms.
Mayor Betsy Hodges said, “I am grateful to Green Minneapolis for their commitment to The Commons and ensuring it is a first-class park that is welcoming to everyone in the city. It’s an important anchor for Downtown East and a transformative public space for our growing and vibrant downtown.”
Since opening in July 2016, The Commons has been operated by the Minneapolis DID. “Green Minneapolis will employ the same staff, so the transition will be seamless, said Steve Cramer, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
Under this new contract, Green Minneapolis’ work will focus on maintenance, programming and activation of The Commons as well as establishing long-term financial support and sponsorship for the park. “To attract residents, visitors and businesses in the 21st century, cities need vibrant downtowns with green, safe, welcoming streets and active, exciting parks and public places where citizens from all walks of life can come together. Green Minneapolis is committed to working with the City to enhance our downtown, and The Commons is a great first project towards this goal.” said David Wilson, board chair of Green Minneapolis.
About Green Minneapolis
Green Minneapolis is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 multi-project conservancy, established to advance the vitality of downtown Minneapolis through parks, greening and activation. Green Minneapolis engages in strategic public, private and philanthropic partnerships to advance the common goal of creating a vibrant public realm. www.greenminneapolis.org