It's every bit as crazy as has been hinted at all along: Land Partners II thinks their low-lying, unstable, former railroad yard is worth $65.375 million. And what's even crazier is that they think they could have gotten that much for it even if no one wanted to build a ballpark there!
Keep in mind that, in theory, the court is to determine the value of the land regardless of the purpose for which it is being condemned. In other words, they will try to determine a value as if nothing special were going on there. The amount which comes out of this should be the same amount that LPII could have gotten on the open market back in 2005 (adjusted for inflation).
I'm no expert at this, so I have no idea what to expect from the court. But I think that mentioning the value of the land sale to the Vikings is tantamount to saying, "My house is worth the same as that other house way across town, even though mine is in a completely different neighborhood, with less bedrooms, worse soil, and a much lousier view." We all know the first three rules of real estate value: Location. Location. Location.
Beyond that, during the introduction to the site provided by the Twins, a representative from Mortenson construction said, in an off-hand manner, that the land could never have been used for high-rise construction because it was not stable enough. High-rise buildings, he said, have all their weight concentrated on one relatively small area. The difference with a stadium is that the weight is distributed more or less evenly across a much larger area. His implication was that almost nothing but a stadium (or perhaps some other low-rise building) could have replaced surface parking due to the geologic conditions there.
Don't blame LPII for trying to cash in, but don't be surprised if the final number is nowhere near their pie-in-the-sky demand. They probably would have done way better without seeming so, well, grabby.
On the other side of the coin, just how bone-headed does Hennepin County look right now? They appear to have made a stupid assumption, dragged their feet, allowed silence to fester into animosity for months and months, and then tried to smooth it all over by essentially whimpering, "I thought we had a deal..."
There's no question that the land is going to cost them millions more than it would have if they'd made a deal within a few weeks of the law being passed (or at least as soon as was possible given whatever had to happen legally behind the scenes). The Twins have saved their asses, that much is for sure.
And let's not let that point go without some emphasis. This really should not have been the team's problem, but they stepped up with some cash (in exchange for considerations, of course, but still). If it's true that the team will ultimately contribute 35% of the overall cost of the park, that's a better deal than almost any other governmental body has gotten from a pro sports franchise in a very long time.
So I guess it's still an open question about how this proceeding will affect the ballpark which is ultimately built. That's for another day.
As much as I hate to, it looks like I have to moderate the comments for a while. Rest assured that anyone who can state their question or comment in a reasonable manner will find that it gets through right away.
"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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
June 29,1936 - May 17, 2011
Another deck to come...
Louver samples on display.
This is NOT Twins Territory anymore
Party deck down the right field line
Detail of view to the northeast (Source: LP)
At the corner of the Pro Shop.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
That's Bert back at the Met on Photo Day, September 15, 1974.
Complicated pedestrian crossing
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
Loading dock -- already in use!
Now from the inside looking at the same area.
Two train stations
Work in progress to improve the streetscape on Second Avenue
Looking up Seventh Street (click to see what it looked like from the same spot in 1950)
Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune
Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.
Seville's certainly will benefit from 81 games a year played about a block away! (When I walked by on this day, the place looked deserted, but I stand corrected!)
Name that band. Please. (Mick Sterling)
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
Checking out the bike racks on the promenade.
Artist at work
Which way to the skyway? Really??
This is one complicated streetscape.
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
Plaza seating installation
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.