Welcome To Downtown Minneapolis

Downtown Mpls continues to grow and thrive. Each year, we see more people choosing to live downtown, more businesses moving their headquarters here, and more public realm amenities that make us a 21st Century City.

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

2019 was a big year for Minneapolis, investing $2.1 billion in new developments and improvements.

For eight 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 $1.4 billion of the $2.1 billion being issued in downtown’s Wards 3 and 7.

Since the mpls downtown council’s 2025 plan’s inception in 2011, more than 120 businesses have invested in downtown by moving their office space to the city’s core. In addition, an “amenities arms race” is taking place as The Marq, IDS Center, Canadian Pacific Plaza and other buildings are re-investing to attract new companies.

Peavey Plaza wrapped up its $10 million renovation and opened in July. With its revitalized fountains and water basin, added greening, heightened accessibility and lighting, Peavey Plaza is a must-visit destination on Nicollet.

Office Market + Workforce

Downtown accounts for 27.6 million square feet of office space, approximately 37% of the Twin Cities’ total market.

Ten downtown Minneapolis companies made the Forbes 2019 Global World’s Best Employers list. They include Accenture, Amazon, AT&T, Hilton, NRG, RBC Wealth Management, Target, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy.

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 22,025 people.

Approximately 42% of recent business migrations into downtown have been companies with previous offices on the I-394 and I-494 corridors, while 32% come from out of state.

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, scooters 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 approximately 150,000 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. Nice Ride e-bikes arrived in July 2019. And the Mississippi River provides the opportunity to explore on the water and along the East and West River Parkways.

In 2019 downtown featured multiple scooter options and eclipsed 1 million total rides.



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 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


51,288 people live downtown Minneapolis, which would make downtown alone the 19th largest city in Minnesota. To meet this high volume of downtown residents, 2019 saw the addition of 1,094 new residential units. There are 2,542 additional units currently under construction.

This downtown population continues to climb with a 60% increase since 2006. Downtown has welcomed 10,400 new residents since 2017 alone.

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.

The Dayton’s Project continued construction in 2019 and is on pace to open in 2020 as a must-visit retail destination. Located in the heart of downtown, the Dayton’s building has been a central piece of Minnesota’s economy and culture for generations. Now, the iconic building is being re-invented in the 21st Century.

City Center is also undergoing a $3 million renovation project that will realign the property as a vibrant center offering retail, office and experiences for those who live, shop and work downtown. Work is under way on the facade bordering Nicollet and 7th Street.

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 last year.

Major downtown events in 2019 including hosting the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, the X Games, stars like Garth Brooks, Elton John, Celine Dion, KISS, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood and The Jonas Brothers playing concerts at our various venues, the inaugural Mpls Comedy Festival, a packed Broadway musical schedule, Minneapolis favorites like Basilica Block Party and Rock the Garden, Twin Cities Pride and more.

The downtown entertainment scene is a collection of iconic venues like First Avenue, world-class re-imagined spaces like the Armory, and brand new facilities like The Fillmore. Add in our major sports facilities and our world-renowned theater scene, and you’ve got venues of all sizes that will dazzle on a nightly basis.


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.

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