Today the Minneapolis City Council authorized staff to negotiate a long-term operations agreement of The Commons with Green Minneapolis. Once terms have been agreed to, the contract will be brought before the City Council again for a final vote.
“Green Minneapolis is excited to enter the next phase of partnership with the City to make The Commons a vibrant addition to our growing downtown,” said Win Rockwell, Executive Director of Green Minneapolis. “As negotiations progress on an operations agreement, our energy will remain focused on achieving another strong fundraising quarter. Our attention will also increasingly turn toward the programming of The Commons, specifically creating programming that will engage all of the City’s diverse communities.”
The Council also approved an agreement for the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District to operate The Commons on an interim basis through an initial term of December 31, 2016.
Green Minneapolis is a public-private conservancy that has raised nearly $14 million for The Commons. The conservancy finished the first quarter of the year with a strong $3 million haul from a mix of philanthropists, families, and businesses. Donors to the greenspace thus far include Wells Fargo, Ryan Companies, The Minnesota Vikings, Valspar, U.S. Bank, The Pohlad Family Foundation, Julia Dayton, Jay and Page Cowles, The Edward J. Phillips Family Foundation, Piper Jaffrey, CenturyLink, The David Wilson and Michael Peterman Family, Target Corporation, Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation, Land O’Lakes, Thrivent Financial, Veit USA and Xcel Energy.
Planting is currently underway for the 4.2 acres that will make up The Commons. Phase one of the greenspace is expected to be open to the public by late summer of 2016. This includes: the play mounds, hard surface plaza, program, play and garden zones, great lawn, 4th and 5th street promenade, stage plaza, good lawn, Minnesota prairie and woodlands.