Design work in progress for a new concession building in the Excelsior Commons | Excelsior / South Lake

City council approves schematic design

Now that work on the new strip envelope in the Excelsior Commons park is complete, the city is focusing on the design of a new concession building and a plaza for the park.

Excelsior city council approved the schematic design of a potential concession building and plaza at its August 16 meeting.

The building would replace the public washroom / concession stand next to the ball fields.

Eric Snyder, a member of the project’s advisory committee, said they are considering a public gathering space for the community with a covered plaza and space for food trucks.

It will also be the scene of various events throughout the year.

The imprint includes a green space for ‘a group or a wedding party to prepare. There is also room for a service kitchen. We want this structure to work in tandem with the (Excelsior Commons Pavilion). You can imagine having a wedding in the pavilion and bringing the wedding party under the canopy.

The initial plan is to make it available year round.

The hope is that the building will become the “hub” for the city’s celebrations, July 4, and music in the park, Snyder said.

The upgrade to the concession building is part of the city’s master plan for the Excelsior Commons, which was approved in 2017. The goal is to make the 13-acre park more passable, restore the beach and the shore, to improve accessibility in the Port of Excelsior and to create a more established gathering place.

Earlier this summer, work on a brand new bandshell was completed.

The cost of the shell was about $ 1 million, of which $ 750,000 came from the city. Community for the Commons, a non-profit park reserve dedicated to improving and improving The Commons, raised the remaining amount through private donations.

The new outdoor bandshell has already hosted several concerts this year.

The city is planning a lot more at the park.

This is the start of the concession building process.

Bruce Chamberlain of the Hoisington Koegler group, along with the project advisory committee, management team and volunteers, have been working on the plans since April.

“This is really the first step where the team of architects is doing their best to define the project and identify what this preliminary budget is,” Chamberlain said.

The group considered setting up a restaurant, but decided it was not a viable idea from a cost and foot traffic perspective.

The food truck offers the most flexibility and the smallest footprint, Snyder said.

“We don’t want to interfere with the enjoyment of the lake for the neighbors of Lake Street,” Snyder said. “We don’t want to generate the kind of foot traffic that a restaurant would need here. “

They also don’t want a “carnival atmosphere,” Snyder said. The plan would be to start with food trucks once a week as a first step.

“It’s a place to go down, have a taco, sit in the square and watch the ball game,” said board member Ann Hersman. “We hope it becomes the core of The Commons.”

The city council has just approved the schematic design. The project is now moving into the design development phase.

Several board members said they were concerned about the high price and wanted to take it into account in the future.

The concession building and plaza as well as stormwater improvement measures are estimated at approximately $ 3.2 million. Local sales tax will be used to pay for the project. The Community for the Commons will also collect funds for furnishing the square.

The building itself is valued at around $ 1.6 million. Hersman said many other costs relate to infrastructure design, electrical upgrades and stormwater management.

“When the pavilion was developed, some stormwater situations were delayed,” Hersman said. “Now we take care of them with this project. “

Hersman added that there was no intention to change the baseball field or the seats.

Snyder said that by chatting with baseball users, they found they weren’t interested in a dealership space either.

“We want to be careful,” Snyder said. “(Tommy’s Tonka) Trolley sells a lot of things that generally think about what you want with a ball park,” Snyder said, adding that they didn’t want to compete with the company.

If all goes according to plan, the contract should be awarded next year and construction will take place in the spring.

Excelsior Mayor Todd Carlson said Police Chief Mike Meehan announced plans to step down earlier this month from the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department.

“He’s looking to retire and do something different,” Carlson said. “We are certainly sorry to lose a chef of this caliber. I think he has set a very good tone within his department for this community and the surrounding community.

The retreat will be effective on September 6.

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