Summer has now officially arrived, and things are heating up downtown as well. June was a typically busy month!

It’s a special treat at the start of summer to walk around mpls downtown and encounter Pianos on Parade being played with great joy and enthusiasm, and often with talent as well! This partnership with Keys 4/4 Kids is an engaging way to liven up the street scene as well as highlight the importance of visual and performance arts as part of the downtown environment. We had great impromptu performances from the public as well as fun scheduled performances like Keri Noble at IDS Center on June 6.

Other events and activities are also in full swing. The Makers and Farmer’s Markets are out all summer, along with “Street Show” performances at the Theater in the Round through a DID/MN Fringe Partnership, and all the other activities you can find by visiting Occasional events like this month’s Go Skateboarding Day celebration on Nicollet also add excitement and something different from time to time. It was also fun to kick off the Mpls Comedy Festival in downtown with a screening of The Naked Gun at Target Field Station featuring comments by Pat Proft, the screenwriter who has local roots.

We are very excited about this year’s Aquatennial, starting with the CenterPoint Torchlight Parade on 2nd Avenue the evening of Wednesday, July 24, and culminating with the spectacular Target Fireworks over the Mississippi on Saturday, July 27. In between are more than two dozen varied and fun events to enjoy.

For a schedule of activities please visit

The RBC Gateway project officially broke ground, marking a 28-year odyssey from demolition of the old Nicollet Hotel to this fabulous new project that will be home to the five-star Four Seasons Hotel, RBC Wealth Management, consolidated offices for the Pohlad companies and others, and a few dozen condominiums. Thanks and congratulations to the Pohlads and their development team at United Properties for making this high impact development a reality!

Major street projects continue to progress. Just a reminder that you can find out more detail and sign up for regular updates at for the Hennepin project, and for 8th Street. Our 2025 Plan Transportation Committee keeps track through period updates provided by Public Works staff as well.

Member events focused on highly relevant topics for our times, with an emphasis on strategies to lead through disruptive change, and announcement of the next iteration of our partnership with the downtown YMCA around building a more inclusive downtown. For more details on the later topic look for a separate e-mail coming soon.

Finally, one of the most important meetings this month was the annual lunch with public safety officials sponsored by downtown business organizations. There was a great turnout out of law enforcement agency leaders, public sector attorneys, the district court and other officials. The discussion ranged over a number of topics, coming back to the bottom line conclusion that safety is a bedrock expectation of any community, including downtown. We have been more challenged so far this year by safety concerns compared to the past two – which the assembled group discussed openly – so those in attendance left with a renewed sense of purpose around making our downtown as safe as possible!

Enjoy the warmer weather ahead, and I’ll look forward to seeing you out in our extraordinary downtown.

steve cramer

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

Upcoming membership events

  • july 11: coffee & conversation: value of downtowns and city centers | more info
  • july 31: summer social & conversation: how AdFed impacts our community | more info
  • august 6: 2025 plan quarterly forum | more info
  • august 22: coffee & conversation: historic preservation in downtown development | more info
  • september 5: happy hour presentation at Weber Shandwick rooftop  | more info
  • september 12: coffee & conversation: invention & innovation in mpls | more info
  • CLICK HERE for a full member event list PDF for 2019