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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
A sampling of seats at Fenway Park
This is where chain link is being replaced with fencing which matches the plaza
(Click to enlarge.)
Home Plate Box, Section 111, Row 8 or 9-ish (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Work going on under the steel.
This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.
Sometime in the late 1980s: B ramp is under construction. Not yet built: Target Center, I-394 and the A ramp.
Dedicated closed-captioning ribbon board
Purple flowers above Second Avenue
Instrument of evil.
A recent view of the Bud deck in progress
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
The angle on the main scoreboard from the Batter's Eye is surprisingly good -- acceptable, at least.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
That's Noah and my brother, Chris, checking out the Loge Box amenities
This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.
Legends Club seats in context (above the main concourse, below the suite level)
LRT at the ballpark
This view, also from the same warehouse roof, shows the newly-rebuilt viaduct on North Seventh Street.
Larry DiVito and staff member (you write the caption)
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
At one point, we thought these windows might represent one of the so-called knotholes. But nope. Nothing to see here. (Nearest I can tell, there will be no view of the playing field whatsoever from the Seventh Street sidewalk.)
Oh no! Beach ball! But click to enlarge so you can see the wide range of expressions on people's faces. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
This is the left field pavilion in the original concept model. The restaurant pictured to its right has been moved, and the seating area has been extended at least one full section toward center.