Welcome To Downtown Minneapolis
Downtown Mpls is the economic engine of our region, and it offers incredible benefits for those companies and employees who do business in our city’s core. Downtown headed into the pandemic in a position of great strength, and that strength helped us endure the challenges of the past two years. Now, our downtown is bouncing back. We want you to be a part of our next chapter.
The Yes! Mpls 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. New investments provide more amenities to visitors and residents in hotel, office space, healthcare, arts and culture, and more.
If you’re not here already, read on to discover what you’re missing.
Development + Investment
2022 continued to build upon the investment improvement consistency of the previous decade in Minneapolis. This year, $637 million of the City’s $1.63 billion new construction permit were from Wards 3 and 7. New office space, hotels, and residential units such as Eleven and RBC Gateway are adding dazzling new amenities to explore.
Approximately 130 businesses have invested in downtown by moving to the city’s core. Companies and properties continue to re-invest, such as the IDS Center which completed is $5 million Crystal Court renovation in 2021.
The Water Works Park and Pavilion project was also completed in 2021. The award-winning project revitalized the city’s riverfront and features James Bear award-winning Owamni, an indigenous restaurant that honors plants and natural resources.
Office Market + Workforce
Downtown accounts for 27.6 million square feet of office space, approximately 36% of the Twin Cities’ total market.
Six downtown Minneapolis companies made the Forbes 2022 Global World’s Best Employers list. They include Accenture, Amazon, Hilton, RBC Wealth Management, Target and U.S. Bank.
The Twin Cities are home to 16 Fortune 500 companies, and many of the top players choose to settle downtown to keep their employee retention strong.
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, scooters and trails.
The new Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit on 35W from Burnsville to downtown was created to offer more transportation opportunities. Additionally, MnDOT wrapped up the four year 35W at 94 project which features the new Lake Street transit station.
The Minneapolis skyway system is the largest, adjoining system of enclosed, second-level bridges in the world. With 9.5 miles of continuous walkways, the skyway system connects 80 city blocks.
Minneapolis was named the number two most bike-friendly city in America and the 6th best city for biking in the U.S. 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 e-bikes arrived in July 2019. In 2021 Nice Ride MN added 70 stations to the Minneapolis area and riders completed over 250,000 total rides.
And the Mississippi River provides the opportunity to explore on the water and along the East and West River Parkways.
Percentage of downtown Minneapolis population with a bachelor's degree or higher
Downtown employers have access to capable talent as 31% of Hennepin County residents that surround the city center have a bachelor’s degree and 17% 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
56,077 people live downtown Minneapolis, which would make downtown alone the 18th largest city in Minnesota.
Downtown Minneapolis has seen an increase of 12,222 residents since 2017 and a 76 percent increase in residents since 2006.
More than 1,600 new owned and rental units opened in 2021, and more than 1,500 additional units are currently under construction.
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.
Owamni has garnered national recognition including winning the James Beard Award Best New Restaurant. Chameleon Shoppes continues to provide space for women- and minority-owned businesses pop up retail space along Nicollet.
Thanks to contributions from Target, Xcel Energy Foundation, Thrivent, and RBC Wealth Management, the mpls downtown council awarded a total of $1.5 million to 102 small businesses downtown in 2020 through its small business grant program.
Tourism + Attractions
Minneapolis offers entertainment for visitors and expertise for businesses (both local and out-of-state) evidenced by the 25.6 million leisure visitors and 8.9 million business visitors.
Our entertainment scene is ready to return to its typical form in 2021 and beyond. Already more than 25% of canceled events in 2020 have been rescheduled. Hennepin Theatre Trust carried out the return of Broadway shows and kicked off the 2021-22 season with the highly anticipated return of Wicked.
Major events returned to downtown including the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four held at the Target Center in 2022, and major concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium including Kenny Chesney and Def Leppard.
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.