MnDot rejects ideas for parking ramps rooftops
UPDATED June 5, 2008, 3:25pm
By Michelle Bruch
Patrons of the new ballpark could have had an unusual view of the parking ramps next door — the Minnesota Twins wanted to build bleacher seats, tailgating space or wind turbines on top of the ramp at North 5th Street & 2nd Avenue North, and another developer wanted to build a golf dome above the ramp at 9th Street and 1st Avenue North.
Staff at the Minnesota Department of Transportation turned down those ideas this week, saying they weren’t convinced the proposals provided the "highest and best use" for the airspace above the ramps. ...
The Minnesota Twins offered to lease the top level of Ramp "B" at 516 2nd Ave. N. for every home game and turn it into "Tailgate Plaza." The roof would have 125 tailgating locations, new lighting, sanitation facilities, and painted graphics. More than 400 bleacher seats would slope down the side of the parking ramp.
Another option the Minnesota Twins offered was a "city wind farm" above Ramp B. The vertical axial wind turbines would be placed on top of columns on the top level, with two small voltage management buildings on the roof for electrical control and monitoring equipment. The wind farm would provide year-round electricity generation to Downtown. ...
[Darryl Anderson, a staff member of the Minnesota Department of Transportation,] said the Twins’ proposal might be taken up in the future, however, and it could probably be done without a formal airspace leasing process.
Matt Hoy, the Twins’ director of operations, said he would be open to continued discussions about the ramp.
For reference, the A ramp is just to the south (where I take my status pictures from), and the B ramp is the one directly beyond the outfield wall. Nobody much seems to care about the C ramp, which is another block to the north.
I love the idea of incorporating the ramp by putting bleachers up there. I also love the idea of a wind farm. That would certainly be a unique and remarkable signature element for the ballpark (and the city).
It's early in these discussions. Part of me thinks that rejecting the Twins' ideas now is just part of the negotiation process. These ideas (setting the golf thing aside) seem simply too good to pass up on.
So, maybe tailgating up there isn't as unlikely as I originally thought...
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