Peavey Plaza: Heritage Preservation Commission Delays Demolition
The City of Minneapolis’ Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) delivered a clear and powerful message at a hearing on Tuesday, April 17, voting 8-1 to delay demolition of Peavey Plaza, finding fault with the City’s budget for “replacement” of Peavey and lack of transparency for not publicly presenting any of the alternative plans developed for the plaza. The City had rejected a replacement/restoration of Peavey because the budget, at $8.7 million, was deemed the “most expensive.” Yet, days before the hearing, a City official said the cost of a new Peavey was approximately $10 million, making it the most expensive option. At the hearing, testimony was presented that the so-called “replacement” budget would replace items not currently at Peavey, including granite veneer and slate pavers totaling some $2.3 million. When questioned about this, according to the Minneapolis City Pages: “Aaron Hanauer, senior city planner for Minneapolis, says the costs came from an independent contractor. "We took the numbers that were given to us," he says.” At the hearing, the City once again claimed to have developed 37 alternative plans from which four final alternatives were selected. With the exception of their preferred plan, known as “The Commons”, first unveiled last fall, none of the other alternatives were made available by Peter Brown, a consultant to the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development Department, during his presentation to the HPC.
A coalition of Peavey Plaza supporters, which issued a joint letter to the HPC questioning the City’s demolition justifications, is calling for the City to release the four final Peavey design schemes and their associated budgets, as they were all developed at City expense.