Lawmakers Visit Plymouth To See New City Center Vision
Plymouth city officials have a vision for a new centrally-located downtown area near the Hilde Performance Center and the Plymouth Ice Center. But to get the project off the ground, they need financial help from the Minnesota Legislature.
The city hosted the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee during its bonding request tour this week to show off its so-called City Center proposal.
Their presentation came with a request for a substantial funding package.
City Center Concept
The City Center concept envisions a pedestrian-friendly downtown area located on Plymouth Boulevard between Rockford Road to the north and Highway 55 to the south.
Plymouth City Hall, the Hilde Performance Center and the Plymouth Ice Center sit inside the corridor.
“For the first time, we’re allowing residential in this area,” said Jennifer Tomlinson, Plymouth parks and recreation director.
Apart from city-owned amenities, there’s retail and entertainment venues nearby.
“We’re really looking at an environment [where] people can live, work, shop, create, [and] get all of their daily needs met within walking distance,” said Tomlinson. “We’re looking at being able to bring in regional facilities, regional tournaments.”
The most expensive aspect of this proposal is a $21 million expansion of the Plymouth Ice Center. The city is considering adding another sheet of ice to the facility. Tied to this aspect of this project is a $5 million road rebuild to create room for a fourth ice sheet.
To bring this new downtown vision to life, Plymouth is asking for $32 million in the next bonding bill.
That’s half of the $64 million total cost for the project.
According to Tomlinson, the bonding request focuses on the infrastructure aspect of the City Center project.
About $13 million would go toward a rebuild of Plymouth Boulevard. Existing intersections would be converted to roundabouts.
“Renovations include improved crossings for pedestrian safety, roundabouts to slow traffic, trail connectivity, public art and community gathering spaces,” read a promotional document distributed by the city.
Another $8 million would be used to build new stormwater ponding.
The city also wants to build a $15 million parking ramp for ice center and Hilde amphitheater visitors.
Sen. Bonnie Westlin, DFL-Plymouth, said she’ll be advocating for the project at the state Capitol.
“This particular area of the city really has not had much in the way of attention recently,” Westlin said. “We think the investments that will be made will help our community continue to grow.”