Welcome To Downtown Minneapolis

Take a look around downtown Minneapolis and what do you see? Cranes. Tucked between the familiar tall buildings of downtown’s core and in surrounding neighborhoods that circle the center, it’s hard to miss the exciting changes.  

The downtown Minneapolis retail report aims to show how mpls downtown council and its partners are fueling development strategies to improve downtown Minneapolis and build upon its already solid foundation. 

If you’re not here already, read on to discover what you’re missing. 

Development + Investment

2017 was a big year for Minneapolis, investing almost $1.5 billion in new developments and improvements.

For six straight years, the City of Minneapolis has granted more than $1 billion worth of new construction permits city wide. Of that, more than $2 billion has been in the downtown area over the past four years.

Downtown’s residential footprint is also expanding, with 1,500 new units (apartments and owned) under construction in 2017.

Office Market + Workforce

Downtown accounts for 27 million square feet of office space, approximately 37% of the Twin Cities’ total market. In 2017 alone, commercial construction was valued at $318 million.

Downtown Minneapolis is right in line with the national rate of employment growth at 1.41% annually. Since 2010, downtown’s annual employment has grown over 10%.

Target Corporation, U.S. Bancorp, Ameriprise Financial, Xcel Energy and Thrivent Financial are Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. Together they employ approximately 21,500 people.

Downtown Employees

Businesses Downtown

How people in Minneapolis commuted to work in 2016


Downtown Minneapolis workers, visitors and residents have access to mobility options including two rail lines that service more than 40 stations, the North Star Commuter Rail, affordable bus rides at 50 cents in the downtown zone or free rides along Nicollet, 16 parking ramps and metered curbside spaces, car sharing, bike lanes and trails.

It takes approximately 20 minutes by car or 40 minutes by light rail to get to and from Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport from downtown Minneapolis. On average, there are 515 daily flight departures from Minneapolis- Saint Paul International Airport.

Transit riders account for 157,000 trips to and from downtown on an average weekday.


The Minneapolis skyway system is the largest, adjoining system of enclosed, second-level bridges in the world

Three major bikeable greenways feed into the heart of downtown. Once there, riders have access to on-street bike routes on almost every other city block.

Nice Ride bike sharing stations are found on many street corners and offer affordable single-use or annual membership options to easily get from point A to point B.


Percentage of downtown Minneapolis population with a bachelor's degree or higher

Educated Workforce

Downtown employers have access to capable talent as 31% of Hennepin County residents that surround the city center have a bachelor’s degree and 18% have a graduate or professional degree.

Continued learning is available to the downtown workforce all within minutes of their office.

13,000 students pursued higher education in downtown Minneapolis, attending the University of St. Thomas (Downtown Minneapolis Campus), North Central University and Minneapolis College


43,456 people live downtown Minneapolis and make up a total of 36,848 households. To meet this high volume of downtown residents, 2017 saw the addition of 1,121 new apartment units and 112 new condo units.

This downtown population continues to climb with a 4% increase since 2010 and projections of an additional 49% by 2030. This puts the downtown Minneapolis average population growth rate of 2.16% annually over the next five years above the national average of 0.975%.

Downtown Retail Sales by Category

Retail + Restaurants

The top three months for retail spending were July, December and September in that order.

Total sales tax collections for downtown Minneapolis were about $151.4 million in 2017, but note that tax exemption applies to food and clothing categories in the state of Minnesota. This puts Food Service at the top of the list with a total of $71.3 million.

Total retail, entertainment and hotel revenue brought in over $1.5 billion to downtown Minneapolis. Food Service remains the leader in sales, bringing in $669.3 million in 2017 and representing 43% of sales.

Tourism + Attractions

Minneapolis offers entertainment for visitors and expertise for businesses (both local and out-of-state) evidenced by the 14 million leisure visitors, five million business visitors and a $4.5 billion total visitor economic impact on the downtown area.

The Twin Cities has more theater seats per capita than any other U.S. city outside of New York.

Major events in 2017 included X Games, reopening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Minnesota Vikings finishing out their first season at U.S. Bank Stadium, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses playing U.S. Bank Stadium and Billy Joel playing Target Field.

In 2018, downtown Minneapolis will see Super Bowl LII coming to U.S. Bank Stadium, musical acts like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift and “Hamilton” running at the Orpheum.

2025 Plan

Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan brings the community together to ensure Minneapolis remains competitive and thriving today, tomorrow and in the decades to come. That includes public, private and non-profit businesses, residents and stakeholders working as one.

The 2025 Plan has 10 core initiatives and six committees that focus on downtown development, greening and public realm, downtown experience, transportation, ending street homelessness and launching a festival of ideas. As part of the development initiatives, the 2025 Plan’s volunteers are working to double the downtown residential population, maintain a thriving business community conducive to attracting and retaining talent, ensuring a vital retail scene and more. These initiatives work hand-in-hand to create a flourishing downtown environment for those who live, work, play and explore here.