As a downtown commuter, I often notice new downtown building development while driving through traffic cones, roads where three lanes are restricted to one or two and the occasional jack-hammering that makes my office shake. This morning, however, I had the opportunity to participate in the DRIVE Emerging Leaders Roundtable discussion to find out what is going on beyond the barricades and scaffolding.

The Minneapolis skyline will be changing dramatically with the addition of new buildings in the next few years – this kind of significant change has not been seen downtown since the 80’s. Dan Mehls, vice president of Mortenson Construction shared some interesting information about several of the current real estate developments and redevelopment going on downtown. In my opinion, the minor inconveniences of construction traffic and road closures pale in comparison to the benefits that the revitalization of downtown will bring in the long term.

Here are the top 5 cool facts I learned about downtown development:


2. The new Vikings Stadium will be twice the height of the dome.
It will include 65,000 seats (about 15,000 more than TCF Bank Stadium where the Vikings will play for the next two seasons). To add some context on the cost of the project, one of the cranes brought in for the project was recently brought to Minneapolis using 70 semi-trucks. It costs $300K per month to rent. They will need it for 15 months. The cost to take down the Metrodome was $4M. More than half of the materials from the dome were recycled. I cannot begin to explain the complicated nature of the project plan that goes into building a stadium, but Mehl’s joked that they are four hours ahead of schedule.

3. Target Center renovation will include more windows and glass to make the building more architecturally inviting to visitors.
The new exterior plans have a similar look and feel to the Vikings Stadium with large windows.

4. Although not in Minneapolis, Mortenson is one of four partners in a joint venture to build the Atlanta Braves new stadium.
They were able to get the deal in part due to the success of Target Field, another Mortenson project. The ballpark is being built into a cliff. Check out the plans. Does it look kind of familiar?

5. The new Mayo Clinic Square not only brings the Mayo Clinic to the Twin Cities but has goals of attracting elite athletes from all over the world to visit and utilize their sports medicine facilities.
The Timberwolves and Lynx will also have their front offices in the newly renovated space as well as their practice space. The high ceilings of the old movie theater space create a perfect location for two practice basketball courts.

Interested in attending events like this so that you, too, can make a list of 5+ interesting facts? Visit the Minneapolis Chamber DRIVE Emerging Leaders.