Hopkins could soon start asking developers to chip in for the arts when they embark on projects in the community.
During discussions Tuesday on the latest plan for the old Mayon Plastics building, City Planner Nancy Anderson said staff told the developer they’ll likely ask for a new “art dedication fee” when the project comes in for planned unit development approval (a process that allows greater flexibility on sites that are difficult to develop).
Anderson added that the city expected to ask future developers to pay the art dedication fee as well.
Kersten Elverum, the city’s economic development and planning director, told Patch after the meeting tht the fees would be a way to support the city’s goals of increasing art in the community—as it’s doing with ArtStreet.
Quality-of-life fees are not new. Hopkins has a park dedication fee that costs developers 5 percent of the land value for commercial redevelopment and $800 per unit for most residential projects—the lowest residential rates in a 24-city area. That money helps fund park projects, although not sufficiently in recent years.
St. Louis Park even has a similar art dedication fee, Elverum noted.
In the case of the Mayon Plastics project, staff asked the developer to suggest an amount the company would be willing to pay. When staff thought the proposal was too low, the parties arrived at $2,500 as a good number.
The city could also request an art dedication fee from Klodt Inc. for its mixed-use development project on Eighth Avenue that’s to transform the street into a gateway to the downtown for light rail travelers.
Art dedication fees could be used to purchase ArtStreet sculptures that’ll remain in Hopkins after their one-year exhibition period ends. But Elverum said the city would work with developers if they’re interested in other art alternatives. Klodt, for example, could commission a sculpture that would beautify Eighth Avenue.
Elverum said the intention is not to be heavy-handed toward developers. The city just wants to expand on a goal officials feel is important.
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