The City of Minneapolis is seeking a qualified landscape architect-led team to design the “Commons” (formerly known as “The Yard”), a two-block, 4.2 acre area bounded by Park Avenue, 4th and 5th Streets, and a proposed building on 5th Avenue South.
“This is an exciting opportunity for a landscape architect-led design team to shape a part of our city by creating an engaging, innovative, year-round public space,” said Tom Fisher, Co-Chair of the Park Committee, Dean of the University of Minnesota Design School. “The Commons will not only serve as the front yard before every Viking’s home game and major event hosted at the
new multipurpose stadium, but will be that world class destination that draws more residents, visitors, and investment to downtown Minneapolis.”
The idea for a substantial open space was unveiled in May 2013 as a part of the Ryan Development concept now under construction in Downtown East. A Park Committee was appointed for a one-year term by the Minneapolis City Council resolution in August 2013. They were tasked with establishing a vision and principles document to guide the design of the Commons.
Over the last year, the Park Committee has discussed, vetted, negotiated, and shaped the principles that will guide the design of the Commons culminating into the principles and guidelines that were adopted by committee vote on August 14, 2014. The Commons will serve as a retreat for the everyday needs and wants of residents and daytime workers of Minneapolis as well as a destination for the City’s biggest events, including once in a decade events such as the 2018 Super Bowl and once in a year events such as civic celebrations.“This should be a space where you can kick a soccer ball, sit quietly reading, and fall in love all on the same day. We are not settling for satisfactory here,” said Council Member Jacob Frey.