Unifying Vision for Green Space Nears Reality with Nearly $14M Haul

The vision for an inclusive green space that builds community and draws all Minneapolitans Downtown is closer to reality with today’s announcement that fundraising efforts for The Commons have reached nearly $14 million.

Green Minneapolis, the public-private conservancy conducting The Commons fundraising, announced over $3 million has been donated by businesses and philanthropists in the first quarter of 2016. The newest supporters include Valspar, U.S. Bank, The Pohlad Family Foundation, Julia Dayton, Jay and Page Cowles, The Edward J. Phillips Family Foundation, Piper Jaffray, CenturyLink, The David Wilson and Michael Peterman Family, and Toro. They join the City of Minneapolis, Wells Fargo, Ryan Companies, The Minnesota Vikings, Target Corporation, Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation, Land O’Lakes, Thrivent Financial, Veit USA and Xcel Energy all who made previous contributions.

“The Commons will be an inclusive and welcoming space for everyone who lives, works, visits, and plays in Minneapolis,” Mayor Betsy Hodges, co-chair of The Commons fundraising committee. “The campaign’s steady success shows that businesses and philanthropists understand its value and transformational potential for downtown and our entire city.”

Planting is currently underway for the 4.2 acres that will make up The Commons. Phase one of the green space 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.

“The Commons represents an opportunity to create a unifying space in the heart of our city,” said Dean Phillips. “My family and I are proud to help make this transformative park a reality.”

“The success of this campaign has converted the vision of this green space from a grass field, as was originally negotiated, into the exceptional park I believe every resident of Minneapolis will engage with,” said Pat Ryan, Ryan Companies US, Inc. CEO and co-chair of The Commons fundraising committee. “Our first-quarter fundraising shows substantial progress and commitment to the Commons.”

With the fundraising campaign well underway, Green Minneapolis is turning greater attention to programming with the aims of creating events that welcome and reflect the diverse communities and rich cultural heritage Minneapolis boasts. “Downtown East was an underdeveloped area that is now growing rapidly and in desperate need of green space,” said Council President Barbara Johnson. “These funds being raised afford us the opportunity to create an unprecedented park for residents and the unique ability to show off who we are as a City and what we value to millions of visitors.”


About The Commons

The Commons is a two-block, 4.2-acre green space bounded by Park Avenue, 4th and 5th Streets and an apartment 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. Designed by San Francisco-based Hargreaves Associates, The Commons will serve as an inclusive space for all member of Minneapolis’ diverse communities. It will act as a green oasis for all residents, workers and visitors, and as a destination for events from small community gatherings to the City’s biggest celebrations, including once-in-adecade experiences such as Super Bowl LII in 2018.

Fundraising efforts for The Commons campaign are being led by New Partners. For more information and renderings of the The Commons, please visit http://www.downtowneastcommonsmpls.com.