March 8, 2007 2:04 AM
It's been vewy, vewy qwiet out there... That could be a good thing. That could be a bad thing. There's just no way to tell. Mike Kaszuba reports in the Strib today that granting air rights for a condo tower may become the key to a negotiating breakthrough.
The real good news implied by his report is that conversations are clearly taking place. Talking is the best first step you can make. Plus, talking privately -- and not in front of cameras -- has much greater potential for making progress.
So, assuming a deal can be struck someday (not yet a safe assumption by any means), one thing is certain: any ballpark built on the Rapid Park site will be surrounded by high-rise condos. I can't say for sure, but this has the potential to be a truly unique feature of the ballpark.
Ballparks seem to be built in one of two conditions: isolated or integrated. Miller Park is isolated (surrounded by parking lots and freeways, essentially built in an industrial area), while Wrigley Field is integrated (with people living across the street one direction and going to restaurants the other direction).
There are actually two types of integration: commercial and residential. Jacobs Field and Comerica Park are integrated to a degree with their surroundings, but only with commercial activities. Nobody lives nearby. Camden Yards is only semi-integrated (despite its reputation) because there are big psychological barriers surrounding it (parking lots and a major roadway separate it from most everything else, including residences). The Metrodome is about as isolated as such facilities get.
But putting up a bunch of high-rise condos where people can live and watch games from their balconies takes residential integration to a new -- and very exciting -- level. Somehow, I like the idea of having big buildings standing poised for the next pitch. This assumes, of course, that they will be architecturally sympathetic (not a guarantee).
Since the park (if built there) will be as urban as they come, why not capitalize on that and make it a substantial part of the character of the neighborhood? That kind of vitality is contagious. If they can make sure that the first floors of those buildings are commercial, all the better. It could be the birth of a great new neighborhood.
Plus, that's the kind of place I want to retire to!
UPDATE: The Pioneer Press also weighs in today on the subject. They're reporting on a statement made by Pogin in 2001 that $10 million was a good value for the land. He says that info is irrelevant to today's market, but the county says, "Vewy intewesting."
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Larry DiVito, mowing
Apparently, there will be public restrooms accessible directly from the plaza.
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
The action drew everybody to the top step. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Saints between innings
Another B ramp glimpse (don't loiter here!)
Very interesting detail starting to appear here.
At lower left are the seats I'm not going to use any time soon.
Crosswalk taking shape.
In addition to the Pro Shop facade, you can see more gravel being laid before the final plaza surface is poured.
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
Lots of folks working behind those ticket windows
Two plazas in Spain. (Brad and I were pretending to steal coins from the fountain. We were all just so darn funny back in high school, eh?)
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
Detail on the main gate, with Target Field sign
They help create a psychological safe area along the plaza edge, and help you forget that cars are zipping by directly beneath you.
End of the line.
Delmon Young getting warmed up
Work has begun on the plaza, and the activity has started to impact I-394 traffic.
Legends Club fireplace (there are two)
Nine spots for hops bats.
I set up my late inning "office" at the drink rail behind section 206
Section 139, Row 8
Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.
This is what it looked like during the first open house in March.
Work on the pavilion in center.
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures