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Wolves will have Block E practice facility near Target Center

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Block E opened to great fanfare in 2001, made possible by almost $40 million in city subsidies. Today it is mostly vacant. Building owners unveiled plans Monday to overhaul the troubled development
Block E opened to great fanfare in 2001, made possible by almost $40 million in city subsidies. Today it is mostly vacant. Building owners unveiled plans Monday to overhaul the troubled development

The owners of the star-crossed Block E development in Minneapolis have lured their NBA/WNBA neighbors across the street.

Camelot LLC says they have a letter of intent to host a "world class training facility" for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx teams at the mixed-use retail development on Hennepin Avenue. They've also hired RSP Architects to redo the building, considered by many to be an eyesore in downtown Minneapolis.

"It's sophisticated 'Minneapolis modern' aesthetic will be in keeping with other contemporary buildings downtown," says a release from Camelot, LLC, the owner of the building.

Those other contemporary buildings will include a renovated Target Center. The Minneapolis City Council approved a $100 million redo of the property earlier this month.

The announcement also comes just days after the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Friday voted to approve the $17 million purchase of the plaza and underground parking ramp west of the Metrodome -- which, like Block E, was owned by developers Phillip Jaffe, Bob Lux and Irv Kessler, according to a Camelot spokeswoman.