Official design for "The Commons" debuts

Minneapolis finally has it's first glimpse at what will officially become it's tree filled, activity bursting, and sun bathing park. Oh yes, and it's right Downtown we might add. We're referring to "The Commons", a new $22 million dollar park that will be constructed right in front of the Minnesota Vikings brand new $1 billion (plus) stadium.

Hargreaves Associates presented their plans to the city of Minneapolis and its residents last night at a public meeting. The 4.2 acre site is an outdoor gathering space that Minneapolis can truly be proud of. 

The latest plans show quite a bit going on in the two full blocks of park space. The space closest to the stadium itself includes a multitude of things. The largest area is called "The Great" lawn and features just that, a large grassy open area. There is a 40x40 stage along with a shade structure located next to the Great Lawn along Park Avenue. The Great Lawn area can hold up to 6,000 people for events and gatherings.

Two major promenades will run along side the park in its entirety. One will be on 4th Street, the other on 5th. Along the 4th Street promenade there is space for kiosks and outdoor tables (think Bryant Park in NYC). Portland Avenue will remain open but will be reduced down to two single traffic lanes and a bike lane. 

The second block running towards the core of downtown Minneapolis will feature a smaller grassy area called the "Good Lawn". There is also a large water feature that stretches across a good portion of the site and a bit of the of the other block. Renderings show the water feature producing mist from the cracks in the surface. It'll be a popular site for cooling down when the summer heat is at its worst.

A pavilion along with a play landscape are also part of the plans for this block. This part of The Commons also features a park like site with trails that meander through groves of trees. This second block will abut right up to a new six story 200 unit residential building that will begin construction soon. 

The Commons will function a bit like Bryant Park in New York City. During the summer there will be space for many activities like bocce ball, chess, and of course the summer time favorite of Frisbee throwing. In the winter space will be available for an ice rink and of course plenty of space for snowman building.

Now that the design is in place the race to raise the $22 million needed in order to actually build the park begins. No public money will be given towards the development of the park meaning all will come from private donations. 

Construction of the park could begin next year.