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4250 Upton Architect Calls for Community Input

Seeking input on making sure pocket park and building "work together."

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.

Anna Schier July 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM
What's your ideal vision for the Linden Corner pocket park? What would you like to see changed in the redesign?
Anna Q July 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM
As I remember, everyone was very surprised that Mark Dwyer was going try to change the pocket park at the corner of 43rd and Upton... This is a landmark of Linden Hills in Minneapolis Minnesota. People from all over, who come to events at the Lake Harriet band shell, and other nearby events, love the park. It makes Linden Hills unique. Any Changes to the park will be disgracing a landmark, and people will be very mad. Any changes to the park will create a riff in the neighborhood that will never go away. As this is a public park, why is this even being discussed? It looks like Mark Dwyer doesn’t really want to build the Linden Corner project, but just likes creating controversy. I think Mark Dwyer just likes being the center of attention. Also the Planning Commissioner Theodore Tucker should just resign now. The city council disagreed with everything he did last time, and this time he is just looking to stir up more trouble. “"If you leave it as-is, it will be left as a reminder of a nasty neighborhood fight," said Planning Commissioner Theodore Tucker.” NO Planning Commissioner Theodore Tucker, if you change the park you will create a riff in the neighborhood that will never go away. James Sanna, thanks for your excellent coverage on patch: http://southwestminneapolis.patch.com/articles/4250-upton-architect-calls-for-community-input
Patrick Sarver July 21, 2012 at 03:34 PM
We want the park to function as it does today and hopefully better. The existing park as designed was intended to screen the parking lot from the corner. When the parking lot is redeveloped into the proposed project, the park as it is will be out of place. The architects have designed the building to embrace the corner in an inviting way. We are proposing that the park space be reshaped and expanded to help it better fit with the proposed building. The function and experience of the new pocket park we hope will be better.
Patrick Sarver July 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM
@AnnaQ Some good insights. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to talking with you at one of our meetings.
Anna Q July 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
If Mark Dwyer and his team were truly concerned about the desires of the community for the Linden Corners in Linden Hills, Minneapolis Minnesota: they would wait until the small area plan process is completed. Mark Dwyer said before he would wait for small area plan process to be completed. Anything else is just spin and trickery.
Martha July 22, 2012 at 04:28 PM
This type of anger and hostility toward a project at this stage, is what leads to riffs in the community. Try to keep an open mind...

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