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Downtown Mpls. May Soon Boast Rooftop Golf Facility

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Year-round golf with a skyline view? It might sound too good to be true, but the project took a big step toward reality on Tuesday.

The Minneapolis City Council approved a measure to lease the air space that sits above a parking ramp.

Developers plan to build a golf-focused athletic facility, youth center and performance area on top of two parking ramps near Target Center.

Elwyn Tinklenberg is the project's chief consultant.

"As there becomes less and less actual ground space, you start looking at ways in which you can take advantage of the upper stories, and build up," said Tinklenberg, of Downtown Rooftop Golf LLC.

After 15 years of pushing a proposal, a green light came from the city council.

"There was a lot of excitement in that council chambers, these people understood what it could mean for downtown," Tinklenberg said.

The privately funded $70-80 million project will not only bring revenue for the city -- but jobs.

It's the details that pushed this project over the top.

Tinklenberg says parking spots on the top floor of the garages will stay. They plan to build another floor on top, and then the project will sit there.

In addition to a golf center featuring an indoor driving range, there will also be a park area.

"Park in the sky," Tinklenberg said. "I mean it's just going to be green space, it's going to be performance areas for music, for theater."

The air space takes up the equivalent of five city blocks, and there will be a youth center.

"We envision there being classrooms, other programmable space," Tinklenberg said. "We see this as a unique part in what makes it great to live in downtown, to work in downtown, to visit downtown Minneapolis."

Tinklenberg said construction will take about 18 months. The facility could open as early as 2016.

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