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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)
Click to enlarge.
Grid for the ironwood louvres is in place
The connection from the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue. You can now see where the little grassy area and franchise history board will be (the triangular area in the foreground).
From behind the wind veil
The Guthrie Theater's Wurtele Thrust Stage seating
This would be easy to miss, but I found it on a cart located directly behind the Batter's Eye seating on the upper concourse in center field.
Beams connecting the plaza to the Target Center walkway
Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)
8:02 PM It's at peak, affecting mostly the upper deck.
The finished product.
Lots of people are doing it.
An early concept for St. Paul.
They could not help the Twins on this night.
The view from my seats in Section 237 (The Trap), Row 1 (can't see much of center field without standing up...)
Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)
Touring the Rapid Park site (L-R: Commissioners Wade, Vekich, Sykora, Cramer, and tour guide Chuck Ballentine, source: RP)
Wood-backed seats viewed through gate 6
CBP: retro in facade only
Do you think somebody's already cooking hot dogs out there?
Roped off for the LRT crowd
Lower deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.