While Linden Hills residents to develop a special plan for how to guide future development in their business districts, a revamped, continues to gather steam.
Thursday afternoon, developer Mark Dwyer and the team of architects working on the 4250 Upton project met with City Planning Commission officials for an informal feedback session on their design. The committee largely praised the design, but raised concerns over how the building will interact with existing pocket park at the corner of 43rd and Upton.
The small rectangle of trees, brick, and benches is city-owned and project architect Dan Nepp said the team would like to redesign it to make sure it "doesn't feel shoehorned up against the building." Nepp added that the team was considering adding murals or mosaics to the building walls around the park.
"If you leave it as-is, it will be left as a reminder of a nasty neighborhood fight," said Planning Commissioner Theodore Tucker.
However, Tucker and other commissioners told Dwyer's design team that the park's final design needed to appear open.
"It can't look like it's taking public land and bringing it into a private development," Tucker said.
Landscape architect Patrick Sarver, in charge of the park's design for Dwyer's team, told Patch he would be seeking community input on the design before a final proposal is submitted to the city. Sarver said he will be holding discussion and feedback sessions at the park itself on Tuesday July 24 at 6 p.m. and Wednesday Aug 1 at 6 p.m.
"We wanted to get all our ducks in a row" with Minneapolis officials, Sarver told Patch. "And now, boom, all doors are open. Let's have as much discussion as possible about how the park can be a successful park of the building."
"Until we get a chance to involve the neighborhood," Sarver added, "we don't want to presume we've got the perfect design for the pocket park."
Sarver said anyone wishing to discuss the park design outside the two planned sessions should contact him at psarver@CivilSiteGroup.com or 953-250-2003.
The 4250 Upton project is not impacted by put in place by the Minneapolis City Council after it shot down Dwyer's earlier, larger plans for the site, as the current proposal fits within current zoning limits. Some residents, including core opponents of the earlier Linden Corner project, have criticized Dwyer for going ahead with his project before the year-long small area plan process is completed.
Dwyer will be presenting the full design to Linden Hills residents at the monthly Linden Hills Neighborhood Council meeting on August 14.