Vikings Amenities Plan Seeks to Improve on Nature

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      With little discussion other than praise for the plan, the Eagan City Council July 18 approved an amenities plan required before the issuance of further permits for the Vikings new headquarters site near Route 494.
      The Vikings expect to move to the Eagan facility in April 2018, according to a presentation to the city council, a month later than previously announced.
      The plan includes a pedestrian bridge over one of two lakes at the site. The bridge will link one section of development to another. A presentation to the city council by a Vikings’ representative referenced further development and revenue streams at the site, including a 6,000 square foot, two-story performance venue with event rental space and equipment rentals at the lake.
      The plan could also include tributes to Vikings players on the trees surrounding the lakes.
      The Vikings’ representative, who referred to himself as “the JV team,” apologized for the developer’s absence from the meeting. He explained that key personnel had a dinner the night of the meeting that could not be rescheduled. He also stated that the developers had spoken to “several” of the councilors at an event for the Eagan Foundation the night before.
      Mayor Mike Maguire left the meeting immediately after the Vikings presentation, turning over control of the city council meeting to Councilmember Paul Bakken. Bakken led the council through a vote concerning amending the city’s liquor laws related to hotels. The Mayor then returned to the board to commence a break, about 20 minutes earlier than usually occurs in the meeting, before starting a public hearing related to a permit for a  controversial arts center.
      Although the city’s parks commission met the night before the city council, it did not review or discuss the amenities plan at that meeting. Instead, the parks commission’s agenda included review of the site of a hotel expansion near the Vikings’ site. That project, located in a commercial area next to a fast food restaurant and gas station, does not include any park space or wetlands.