Twin Cities' new U.S. immigration building lacking bus service

  • Article by: Mark Brunswick , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 10, 2014 - 10:36 AM

What federal officials thought was a bus route for new location was really a commuter line without regular stops.

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edinawaterFeb. 9, 1410:48 PM

There is a bus stop three miles away. They could run a shuttle bus to it. Or they could pay Metro Transit to extend their route three miles. The organization services 28,000 immigrants in person every year. If 20% of them ride the bus it would be twenty riders per day, each way--pretty good for an MTS bus!

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chlyn001Feb. 10, 1412:04 AM

This feels like gross incompetence on someone's part. Maybe a head or two ought to roll, so to speak. And why on earth would the GSA make the process for bidding on something so difficult. Further, is the article saying they will lease a building for 14 million bought recently by a private corporation for less than 2 million? Guess no one is paying attention at the GSA, or certainly not paying with their own money.

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hobie2Feb. 10, 14 1:54 AM

A new company formed in 2013 with annual revenue of $97 thousand buys a building for 1.9 mil and leases it for $ 1.4 million a year for 10 years (numbers from public record), the site doesn't meet government bid requirements and the Texas firm handling it for GSA still gives it the bid?... After the GSA voids the contract - for falsely bidding when not meeting the following clause in the bid document: "Offered space must be in close proximity to public transportation. A commuter rail, light rail or bus stop shall be located within the immediate vicinity of the building but generally not exceeding one walkable mile." - it's time for an investigation for a bit more than mismanagement. (Nothing in the bid documents about 9 foot ceilings, btw)

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Bright LightFeb. 10, 14 2:40 AM

Seconded. Building bought by mysterious owners for $2 mill AFTER the contract was signed to lease it out for $14 mill? Someone might be going to jail for this one. Keep on it, Mark.

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karendavid816Feb. 10, 14 5:47 AM

Sounds like a news story right off of Fox News. Too bad they are the only media that follow the GSA on a regular basis. This story fits the narrative perfectly. Wish the Strib had a reporter who could follow up on this and find out how many empty buildings the GSA owns in the Twin Cities while they out for rental bids.

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optionFeb. 10, 14 6:12 AM

Doh! Someone fell asleep at the wheel over this one. Extend a bus route. Just do it.

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joe_mnFeb. 10, 14 7:32 AM

MSB building was vacant for 5 yrs. it sits in virtual ghost land. it is very small commercial site surrounded by houses. only feet from 169 yet abandoned. sort of a dead zone. just ask jerrys foods across the street.

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twincitizen1Feb. 10, 14 7:54 AM

I appreciate the paper's focus on access to transit, but the real problem here is the location itself. Can anyone think of a good reason for this office to NOT be located in Minneapolis or St. Paul? Transit access wouldn't even be a consideration, because our central cities already have all-day transit service, especially in commercial areas. Extending bus service is not going to help, this location is still in the middle of nowhere, even by suburban standards. Literally any commercial location in Bloomington would have been better than this. I have to agree with a previous commenter, this reeks of corruption. Somebody's uncle or friend bought some commercial property and the wheels were greased. There's no way anyone thought this was a good idea. I'd also look at where the manager(s) of this office live...want to bet it's in West Bloomington or Eden Prairie, less than 5 miles from the office?

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swmnguyFeb. 10, 14 7:56 AM

I wish I believed this was all a big mistake.

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flightywaifFeb. 10, 14 8:25 AM

The location of the existing office makes some sense as a compromise, being near the airport. As well as being on the route 54 from St Paul, It's also a short walk from the Blue Line LRT stop at American Blvd and 34th Ave, which makes it highly accessible all the time.

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