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

2018 was a big year for Minneapolis, investing almost $1.8 billion in new developments and improvements.

For seven straight years, the City of Minneapolis has granted more than $1 billion worth of new construction permits city wide. Of that, downtown led the way with $910 million of the $1.8 billion being issued in Wards 3 and 7.

Downtown’s residential footprint is also expanding, with 1,600 new units completed and 2,300 new units under construction in 2018.

Office Market + Workforce

Downtown accounts for 27 million square feet of office space, approximately 37% of the Twin Cities’ total market.

Six downtown Minneapolis companies made the Forbes 2018 Global World’s Best Employers list. They include Amazon.com, Hilton, Xcel Energy, Colgate-Palmolive, NRG Energy and Target Corporation.

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 21,750 people.

Downtown Employees

Businesses Downtown

Downtown Minneapolis recent commute patterns


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. MSP serves 167 nonstop destinations, including 32 international and 135 domestics.

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. 2018 saw 1,500 dockless bikes released with 1,500 more expected in 2019. And the Mississippi River provides the opportunity to explore on the water and along the East and West River Parkways.

New 2018 downtown amenities included multiple scooter options.



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


49,781 people live downtown Minneapolis and make up a total of 37,698 households. To meet this high volume of downtown residents, 2018 saw the addition of 2,670 new residential units.

This downtown population continues to climb with a 48% increase in the past 10 years. This puts the downtown Minneapolis average population growth rate of 2.17% annually over the next five years above the national average of 0.6%.

Downtown Retail Sales by Category

Retail + Restaurants

There is no shortage of reasons to spend time in Minneapolis’ dynamic downtown. With a bustling and growing workforce and residential population, restaurants, shops, farmers markets, hotels and entertainment venues are well-attended.

Tourism + Attractions

Minneapolis offers entertainment for visitors and expertise for businesses (both local and out-of-state) evidenced by the 24 million leisure visitors and nine million business visitors last year.

Major downtown events in 2018 included Hennepin Theatre Trust hosting The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon during the Super Bowl as well as “Hamilton” for six weeks, U.S. Bank welcoming the Super Bowl, the X-Games, major concerts, an International Champions Cup soccer match and more.

In 2019, downtown Minneapolis also hosted the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four as well as the return of the X Games.


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 with a focus on downtown development, greening and public realm, downtown community, transportation and ending street homelessness. 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.