Hopkins takes next step in Comp Plan updates for 2040

Bolton and Menk to provide consulting

By Gabby Landsverk, Sun Sailor Newspapers

The Hopkins City Council voted June 6 to approve a contract with Bolton and Menk, Inc. for services in completing the city’s 2040 comprehensive plan.
“We’ve been talking about this for some time now and we’ve been going through, on the staff side, both the preparation and customized our framework and scope, and kicking off public input process, and we feel like we’ve focused on both of those things enough to retain a consultant to help us work with the plan,” said City Planner Jason Lindahl.

The city received six proposals for consulting services, and staff members interviewed the top two firms, based on the previously-determined criteria. Staff members recommended that the council approve the contract with Bolton and Menk. The architectural firm, Cunningham Group, will work under Bolton and Menk to provide additional services.We felt the proposal from Bolton and Menk …best met the desired framework and needs of the project,” Lindahl said.

He added that Bolton and Menk presented an emphasis on sustainability that fit the city’s goals in updating the comprehensive plan.
“We’re taking a pretty unique and innovative approach to the comp plan,” Lindahl said.

The project budget is $164,629, $116,431 of which is allocated to the city’s planning and economic development department, with the remaining allocated to public works. Updates to the comprehensive plan are scheduled be completed by Dec. 31, 2018.
“There’s a lot of work that we’ve done so far but we’re just kind of getting into the bulk of the actual work on the plan,” Lindahl said.

The next steps in the process, Lindahl said, are finalizing the application for members of the comprehensive plan advisory committee. Member applications for the committee will be reviewed in July, with the committee’s first meeting to take place shortly thereafter.
“I think city staff has done an awesome job in using unique ways of engaging residents,” said Councilmember Aaron Kuznia. “It’s exciting to see where it’s going to go next.”

In other business, the council approved a design services agreement for updates to the Hopkins Pavilion. The design contract awarded to Stevens Engineers is $408,200, of an estimated $5.7 million total project budget.
Hopkins Public Schools and the Hopkins Youth Hockey Association have each pledged to contribute $1 million to the project.
More action items will appear before the council in coming months, as the project design is expected to be completed in September, to be bid in October. Construction is scheduled for March 2018.

The council also approved a letter agreement with Artspace, a Minneapolis art facility developer, to explore the possibility of an affordable artist live/work space in Hopkins.
“The city of Hopkins really embraced the arts in a big way in 1997 when we built the Hopkins Center for the Arts. We have continued to build on that theme of arts as an economic and social asset in the community and have found that art and artists really bring creative energy and economic vibrancy,” said Kersten Elverum, director of economic development and planning. “We felt the time is really right to do a market study to see if we have the forces at play to make a successful development in our downtown.”
The $23,000 contract will enlist Artspace staff in touring possible sites, meeting with community members and artists, hosting focus groups and otherwise determining the feasibility of a development in Hopkins.
“If it turns out there is a market, Art Space will be there to help us continue to formulate it. If the market isn’t there, they’ll tell us what we can do to help continue to support what we can,” Elverum said.

Contact Gabby Landsverk at [email protected]