Each year, the mpls downtown council (mdc) honors people, organizations and initiatives making a significant impact on downtown Minneapolis’ vitality through its Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan Leadership Awards. Tonight, mdc will honor its 2018 award recipients at its annual gala taking place at Minneapolis Event Centers (212 2nd Street SE). The awards ceremony begins at 7 pm.

The mdc will honor six 2025 Plan leadership award recipients along with one Impact Award winner, selected thanks to its contributions to downtown that impact several areas of the mdc’s 2025 Plan.

“Our 2025 plan focuses on goals that will keep downtown extraordinary and thriving as a 21st Century City, and it takes incredible effort and initiative by our community to make it possible,” said Steve Cramer, president & ceo of the mpls downtown council and Mpls Downtown Improvement District. “We are thrilled to present this year’s 2025 plan leadership awards to a group that collectively has made and incredible impact on our downtown community through their investment in our city’s core.”

This year’s 2025 Plan leadership awards recipients include:

  • Target Center Renovation
  • Nicollet Project
  • Kraus-Anderson Block
  • Greening Lab
  • Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center
  • Ending Street Homelessness Public Education Initiative
  • 2025 Plan Impact Award: Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee

The mpls downtown council issued a call for nominations for this year’s 2025 Plan Leadership Awards in August, asking its members, 2025 Plan committee leadership, volunteers, and the public to nominate individuals, organizations, or initiatives that have impacted The 2025 Plan’s 10 main goals over the past 12 months. Those nominations were compiled and selected by the mdc’s leadership team.

Target Center Renovation

Target Center now has an updated look that has transformed fans’ experience inside the arena and our downtown experience in its surrounding neighborhood. The renovation added a new lobby filled with franchise and arena history, natural light thanks to large atrium windows, and easier connectivity from street level to the skyways, an added luxury experience, new seats and scoreboard, enhanced concourses, widened and added skyway space and more.

Nicollet Project

Nicollet underwent a $50 million renovation that transformed its look and how our community interacts with the space. This public-private partnership helped bring the City of Minneapolis and the business community together to produce a newly renovated Nicollet for all to enjoy. As part of the renovation, Nicollet now boasts the second largest collection of public art in the city. More than 250 trees were planted along Nicollet, adding more green space between Washington Avenue and Grant Street. In addition, more than 1,500 programmable LED lights are along Nicollet.

Kraus-Anderson Block

The Kraus-Anderson project transformed its block in a way that exemplifies the feel of the new East Town. The project includes the 100,000-square-foot Kraus-Anderson headquarters, the HQ apartments that adds amenity-rich complex, The Elliot Hotel adds a Marriott Autograph boutique hotel with the new Tavola Kitchen restaurant, and the FINNEGANS House—a 43,500-square-foot production brewery, taproom, Brewer’s Den Social Club and innovative “Finnovation Center” for social entrepreneur ventures. The Kraus-Anderson Block is a revolutionary idea that brings downtown business, residential, visitors, dining and entertainment all together.

Greening Lab

The Greening Lab Project, a partnership between the Mpls Downtown Improvement District and Green Minneapolis with support from the City of Minneapolis, Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, is focusing its attention and resources on Minneapolis’ downtown forest. The pattern downtown was for street trees to be planted, not become established, and need replacement within a matter of years. Greening Lab is pursuing a variety of tactics to break that cycle. Starting last year, all new trees within the center of downtown are either irrigated or receiving weekly watering. The growth and health of these trees are being tracked every year through a tagging system.

Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center

The new Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center opened this spring and is bringing 26 primary and specialty care clinics under one roof, providing a wide range of medical care in one convenient location. The need for nearby patient care continues to rise downtown and the new Hennepin Healthcare Clinic & Specialty Center, adjacent to the existing Hennepin Healthcare facilities, added 377,000 square feet of new facility space. It focuses on providing top-notch care to everyone in our community.

Ending Street Homelessness Public Education Initiative

The 2025 plan’s ending street homelessness committee continues to convene a cross-sector of public, private, non-profit and human service organizations who are working together to create a plan that will ultimately help reach this important goal. This year, the committee launched a new website, www.mplsgivechange.com, and a campaign that will help raise awareness about ways our community can help. The website is focused on showcasing opportunities for people to engage and make a difference. The campaign is doing outreach to downtown properties and stakeholders to raise awareness about giving of time and resources.

Impact Award: MN Super Bowl Host Committee

It was the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s job to provide an experience leading up to Super Bowl LII in February 2018 that would not only engage those in attendance but show well around the world. They delivered. The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s work embodied the 2025 plan’s mission across the board. It was an economic boom for downtown Minneapolis and the surrounding area and provided international exposure for our downtown. And the 10 days leading up to Super Bowl greatly impacted the overall downtown experience. The Crew 52 volunteer squad attributed to the overall downtown experience. The team of 10,000 were lauded for their willingness to step in and participate.

Along with the award presentation, tonight’s mpls downtown council gala will include networking, dinner, updates on The 2025 Plan and musical entertainment.

Following the event, photos and logos will be available at www.mplsdowntown.com/media. For more information on the mpls downtown council gala featuring the 2025 Plan Leadership Awards, follow @mplsdowntown on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or use the hashtag #2025Plan.

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