Dinkydome rezoning passes city council

The property on which the new development would sit is still partially owned by the University.

Devin Henry

In a vote Friday morning, the Minneapolis City Council granted a rezoning permit to Doran Development , opening the door for the company to pursue renovations of the Dinkydome and to build a housing development nearby.

The project was unanimously approved by the council.

Kelly Doran , chief manager of Doran Development, said the decision all but finalizes plans to move the project forward.

“We always felt it was a high quality project that would be a great addition to the campus area,” he said.

On June 16 , the City Planning Commission denied Doran Development’s plan to build a 13-story apartment complex at the Dinkydome site and renovate the existing building.

However, the Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee passed the plan on July 17 , submitting it to the City Council for Friday’s vote.

Ward 9 City Council member and Zoning and Planning Committee Chai r Gary Schiff said the rezoning would have come to the City Council regardless of the City Planning Commission’s decision.

“The Planning Commission only makes an advice recommendation to the City Council,” he said.

Doran said the company has yet to buy the land on which the tower would be located come the project’s completion, scheduled for summer 2010.

Often, companies wait until after getting the city’s permission before purchasing land, Doran said.

While the University does not own the Dinkydome, itself, Sue Weinberg , the University’s director of real estate, said the adjacent contract parking lot that Doran is interested in is valued at $1 million. That means the Board of Regents is responsible for approving its sale.

While the University is currently looking to sell property in Rosemount, Cloque t and Duluth, Weinberg said it is rare for the University to sell property to private companies.

“It’s very unusual that the ‘U’ would sell land, unless there is a University benefit to the project,” she said.

In this case, Weinberg said she considers a student housing development as beneficial to the University. She added that she is waiting to hear from Doran regarding a timetable for moving forward.