I hope the (so far) mild winter weather is a trend that will see us into Spring not too many weeks away. Meanwhile, there is plenty of activity downtown and at our organization. Here are a few highlights.

annual meeting recap

Our 64th minneapolis downtown council Annual Meeting drew a record crowd to the Armory for a celebration of another impressive year of investment and activity in downtown mpls. Thanks to all who attended. As a reminder to those who did, and a taste of the event for those who were unable to join us, here are links to key statistical highlights as well as the video, “where your downtown comes together”. And put February 10th 2021 on your calendar for next year’s annual meeting!

2025 Plan work

Recent 2025 Plan committee & work group meetings covered a wide range of important topics, including preparations for legislative session action on transportation and transit, the City’s pending Transportation Action Plan, downtown job growth, the status of our storage program for people experiencing homelessness, development possibilities near the Farmer’s Market (the North Loop Root District), and a discussion of downtown centered events. More to come throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more about the 2025 Plan and how to become involved, please contact Marybeth Weisberg.

Transportation Action Plan information session

Speaking of the City’s Transportation Action Plan (TAP), there will be a public information session and opportunity for comment on Wednesday March 11th from 4 pm – 6 pm at Central Library. As downtown continues to grow with both workers and residents, the policies in the TAP which will guide movement to and through downtown are increasingly important. This 3/11 meeting is an opportunity for your voice to be heard. (pre-registration is not required to attend this public information session.)

public safety updates

Public safety remains on the front burner. This year’s summer safety plan will roll out earlier than ever with a number of strategies, including the “Joint Beats” partnership to increase law enforcement presence downtown starting in early April. Thanks to the Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and Metro Transit Police Department for their collaboration and long-time commitment to this effort. Our nightlife plan implementation committee also met to continue their focus on ways to make the Warehouse District a safe and appealing place for late night entertainment.

highlighting downtown’s arts institutions

A great strength and defining characteristic of our city and region are the multitude of top of class arts institutions. At the first downtown business association luncheon of the year, leaders from several of these institutions located in or very near downtown gathered to share updates and discuss how their collective impact can be amplified further as a competitive asset. The organizations which gathered (Hennepin Theatre Trust, Guthrie Theater, Walker Art Center, Minnesota Orchestra and Children’s Theatre Company) serve over 3 million people annually, and each in their own way are woven into the civic landscape by providing educational partnerships, addressing equity concerns and many other ways. It was a robust discussion which we plan to continue.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve conversation recap

Another robust discussion occurred at our member event co-presented with the East Town Business Association featuring Minneapolis Federal Reserve Senior Vice-President of Community Development & Engagement Alene Tchourumoff and retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page. The “Fed” plays a critical role in national economic affairs, and the location of the Bank in downtown Minneapolis is a big boost for downtown. Alene provided interesting insights into the work of the Federal Reserve and the state of the current economy. Because Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari has teamed with Justice Page to address educational inequities in Minnesota through a constitutional amendment, much of the discussion focused on that important topic.

March member programs

Member programs in March will include a happy hour at Parallel Café on March 4 to introduce the North Loop Root District, and two breakfast hour events – a downtown safety update on March 12 at St. Olaf Church, and an opportunity to hear from student interns and their mentors about the student intern experience in downtown at Perkins+Will on March 24. We are grateful for our partners, sponsors and hosts, who make it possible to offer free registration for these programs!

wrapping up the Mpls WinterSkate

The Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate is wrapping up another terrific season this weekend with our Leap Day Party and a showing of The Princess and the Frog on Friday, free skating lessons with the Figure Skating Club of Minneapolis on Saturday, and our wrap-up community party on Sunday. We had fantastic events throughout the year like weekly fitness skates with Core Power Yoga, free skating lessons every Saturday, and free community parties for all to enjoy. As always, we are grateful for all of our partners who help make WinterSkate possible and help us bring one of Minnesota’s favorite past times to the heart of downtown.

Explore Downtown Living planning

And as we move into spring, planning for our spring Explore Downtown Living event on May 16 is well underway. This free event is a great opportunity to tour downtown at your own pace and visit residential communities that provide incredible views and experiences in each of downtown’s five neighborhoods. Get more info and sign up here.

thank you Meet Minneapolis 

Finally, thanks to our friends at Meet Minneapolis for awarding the mpls downtown council, Green Minneapolis and City Public Works their “Innovation in Tourism Award” for the Peavey Plaza renovation. One reason I’m anxious for Spring/Summer is to see the Peavy water features activated again!

That’s it for this month. As always, thanks for what you do to make out downtown extraordinary.

steve cramer

president & ceo, mpls downtown council and Mpls Downtown Improvement District

upcoming membership events

  • march 4: introducing the North Loop “Root District” | register
  • march 12: downtown safety update | register
  • march 24: the student intern experience in downtown | register
  • april 1: the future of flexible workspaces | save the date 
  • april 21: evolving the downtown retail experience | save the date
  • april 29: how smart is downtown | save the date