Phillip Kosk | The Line

THE PROPOSED WATER WORKS PARKWhen we first planned this roundup of exciting architectural and development additions to Minneapolis and St. Paul, we confronted the gargantuan elephant in the room: The new Vikings Stadium. While yours truly has gone on record admiring the formal design of the building, far too many questions linger about other critical aspects of the project.

Will the perimeter of the building and landscaping around it really add vitality to the neighborhood as promised—or will it just be Metrodome 2.0? Will fans need to scramble over piles of dead birds to get inside due to the building’s sheer glass walls? Will the promised new park, the “Yard,” really be a boon to Downtown East, or will it simply be a windswept placeholder for Vikings tailgating events.

Rather than go on with more verbal hand-ringing about “The People’s Stadium,” let’s turn our attention to 10 projects we are excited about and that promise to transform neighborhoods, enrich our quality of life and add to the roster of “must see” attractions for out-of-town guests.

1. Surly Brewing Co.  

If Helen of Troy was the “face that launched a thousand ships,” then Surly was the microbrew that launched a thousand brewpubs—at least in Minnesota. Two years after Governor Mark Dayton signed the so-called “Surly Bill” into law, which allowed breweries to sell the product they make where they make it, the Plymouth-based beer-meisters broke ground on their dream building in an industrial corner of Southeast Minneapolis by the University of Minnesota campus. Read more