I’m still getting used to writing “2020”, but one month in and it’s apparent this will be another bustling year in downtown mpls! I hope your 2020 is off to a good start.

public safety work

Coming off a challenging year from a public safety perspective, plans are being finalized for an early start to safety-related initiatives this year. The first meeting convened by the Mayor’s Office with City Council Members and other officials has already been held. The downtown business community is partnering and investing with Minneapolis Police and other law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, and many community partners, to implement a wide range of strategies starting as early as April. Look for more details in future reports.

mdc/DID 2020 goals and activities

At our first Board of Director’s meeting of the year, mdc and DID goals and activities for 2020 were reviewed and discussed. We continue to organize our work around the themes of operating (think Nicollet and public safety), celebrating (think big civic events like Aquatennial and Holidazzle) and shaping (think 2025 Plan goals and public realm projects) our downtown. A handy shorthand way to summarize the significant amount of work coming out of the organization, always with your help!

public right of way conversation

Downtown is a dynamic space, and one of the key resources supporting all that goes on in the CBD is the public right of way (ROW)streets, curbs and sidewalks. Allocating that resource and assigning competing uses is a challenge, and requires good communication between the public sector in charge and the business community whose use of ROW generates significant economic and other benefits for the community. In that spirit, we convened a group of key business leaders, along with Minneapolis BOMA and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, to talk with City Public Works leaders about future policy ideas for ROW use that will be in the City’s Transportation Action Plan. Starting with a look back at the Marq2 project which is now 10 years old, and drawing lessons from that experience that may come into play in the future, it was the first of what will be many important discussions about this topic.

job growth task force updates

Our Downtown Jobs Growth Task Force hit the ground running with a focus on better understanding the factors that are attracting companies into downtown, and keeping them here, so we can “accentuate the positive” as well as identify and address areas of concern. Important work to continue the trend of employers moving into the core as well as North Loop.

cyber security conversation

Cyber security is an everyday concern, and a topic of immense importance to the business community and all of us as employees and consumers. Our first member program of the year explored this issue with cyber security leaders from Eide Bailly, HealthPartners and Target. Fascinating challenges are being addressed every day to take positive advantage of the opportunities technology advancement presents, balanced against the use of that same technology by those with malign intent. As an acknowledged “techno-phobe”, I’m glad very smart people are hard at work on this24/7/365!

YMCA Equity Innovation Center

The mdc partnership with the YMCA Equity Innovation Center continues with work centered around imagining, defining and creating an inclusive organization. An upcoming series of learning experiences will focus on equity and inclusion. Here is more information about the events; Cohort I takes place April 9, 16 & 23, and Cohort II will be May 3, 13 and 20.

DID office locations

DID has moved to two new locations starting in 2020. Our Nicollet “Pop-Up” office at 651 Nicollet is now a permanent location for several of our staff. We’ll continue to also use that office as a home base for the On Nicollet activation programing that will be rolling out over the course of the year. And our Operations Center is now located in the Leamington Parking Ramp, entrance at 1030 3rd Avenue.

storage work

The new Operations Center is also the site of a pilot project to create off-street storage opportunities for people who are experiencing homelessness or are precariously housed. While it’s only been available for a handful of weeks, the benefits are evident. The idea is for this project to inform planning for an expanded storage capacity program in partnership with Hennepin County and other interested parties.

Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate upcoming schedule

The Wells Fargo Mpls WinterSkate remains open daily for free skating (with complimentary skates available) through March 1 in Loring Park. And don’t miss out on fun, free programming taking place throughout the next month, including:

  • Skating lessons with Figure Skating Club of Mpls: Feb 1, 8, 15, 17 & 22 (3-4 pm)
  • Fitness Skates: Feb. 4, 11, 18 & 25 (5-9 pm)
  • Silent Disco Skate: Feb. 8 (6-9 pm)
  • President’s Day community skate: Feb. 18 (12-3 pm)
  • Drag Queen Skate: Feb. 21 (6-9 pm)
  • Leap Day Party + “Princess and the Frog” Movie Skate: Feb. 28 (party 4-6 pm, movie 6-8 pm)
  • Community Thank You: March 1 (1-3 pm)

mdc annual meeting is wednesday, febraury 12

Remember our Annual Meeting is coming up on Wednesday, February 12 at The Armory. We look forward to seeing you there as we look back at a busy 2019, talk about what’s ahead and, of course, enjoy fun entertainment throughout the program.

Again, I hope your 2020 is off to a great start. I look forward to seeing you around our extraordinary downtown in coming months.

steve cramer

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

upcoming membership events

  • feb 12: mdc annual meeting | (Sold Out)
  • feb 20: what you may or may not know about the Mpls Federal Reserve | register today
  • march 4: introducing the North Loop “Root District” | save the date
  • march 12: evolving the downtown retail experience | save the date 
  • CLICK HERE for a full member event list PDF for 2020