In the late 1980s, a private developer and Minneapolis city leaders agreed to a deal to redevelop part of downtown Minneapolis, with the city forking over a $15 million loan for what became the Gaviidae Common shopping complex downtown. In June 2002, the developer, Brookfield Properties, told the city it wouldn't pony up the more than $11 million it owed on the principal payment and interest. After the two sides failed to reach a deal, Brookfield sued the city in Hennepin County District Court to retain the rights to control the property, which houses a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. By November, with the help of a court-ordered mediator, the two sides had worked out an agreement, with the city taking over the parcel and getting stuck with an undisclosed portion of the tab. Sure, it's another bad development deal for the City of Minneapolis, but no time to worry about that now: We've got a department store to run.


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