GrowingMinneapolis, News from City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing MPLS

July 2015


Open Streets: Northeast

Sunday, July 12, Noon-6pm
Northeast Minneapolis

Open Street events create miles of safe, car-free streets so that residents of all ages can walk, bike, participate in spontaneous play activities, and get to know one another. Event is free and open to the public.
More Information

Housing Opportunity 2015: Better Places, Better Lives

July 13-15
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Registration is required

Urban Land Institute
Members: $395
Non-members: $495

You will gain the tools, knowledge and connections for developing exceptional affordable homes that support broader opportunities for low-income families. Please email or call 1-800-321-5011 with questions.
More Information
Registration Link

Second Annual Vintage Dog Day

Saturday, July 18, 10am-4pm
Minnehaha Mile Shopping District
3200-4100 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406
More Information

Fifth Annual Twin Cities’ Roots, Rock and Deep Blues Music Festival

Saturday, July 18, Noon-10pm
Patrick’s Cabaret
3010 Minnehaha Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

In advance: $15 per ticket
At the door: $20 per ticket

The Twin Cities’ Roots, Rock and Deep Blues Festival, sponsored by the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program, is back with more than 25 bands and 6 stages this year.
More Information
Purchase a Ticket

Fourth Annual Midtown Global Music Festival

Saturday, July 19, Noon-8pm
Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street, #G10
Minneapolis, MN 55407
More Information

Midtown Walking Tour

Thursday, July 23, 6:30pm-8pm
Midtown Exchange
2929 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

$9 per person/ticket

Lake Street has been home to generations of new immigrants from the 19th Century through today. Take a closer look at the small businesses and cultural organizations they established in their pursuit of the American Dream.
More Information
Purchase a Ticket

10th Year Annual FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

July 23-July 25

  • Thursday & Friday: Plymouth Avenue near Penn Avenue North
  • Saturday: West Broadway from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue and on North 2nd Street from 16th to the 24th Streets.

More Information

Minneapolis Public Safety Career Fair

Saturday, July 25 
University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) 
2001 Plymouth Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411

This fair is free and open to the public. Email Ayianna Kennerly or call 612-490-2222 with questions.

Open Streets: East Lake Street

Sunday, August 2, 11am-5pm
East Lake Street Minneapolis

Event is free and open to the public.
More Information

Four Sisters Farmers Market

Every Sunday, Aug. 9 to Sept. 27
Corner of Franklin and Bloomington Avenue in Minneapolis

Four Sisters Farmers Market is an Indigenous-centered food market, focused on both Indigenous and hyper-local foods from Phillips and surrounding neighborhoods.
More Information


Minneapolis City Council Approves Sunday Growler Sales

On June 5th, Minneapolis City Council approved the sale of growlers on Sundays and is one of the first cities in the state to approve Sunday growler sales, which city leaders say will support the burgeoning craft brewing industry.
Starting June 14, brewpubs and taprooms can begin selling the 64-ounce refillable jugs of beer on Sundays. The measure, which passed 13-0, also allows restaurants to serve bloody marys and other drinks starting at 8 a.m., rather than 10 a.m., on Sundays.
Read More

Minneapolis Considers 'Innovation Districts' to Boost Development

The Minneapolis Planning Commission will consider designating "Innovation Districts" to boost development. Council Member Cam Gordon has proposed two resolutions tied to the idea, including designating a section of Southeast Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota as the first such district.
Read More

Minneapolis Adjusts Rules for Secondhand Shops

A City Council committee voted to update the city's rules for stores that sell used goods, lowering some licensing fees and doing away with some restrictions that had lumped many types of businesses in with pawn shops. Other changes include updated rules for the types of purchases and sales store owners must report to the city.
Read More

No Longer Bottled Up: Craft Distilleries Bullish on Growth

About 20 distilleries are either open now in Minnesota or expect to launch within a year.
Read More

Minneapolis Unemployment Rate Drops in May

The May 2015 Minneapolis unemployment rate dropped .1% from April to 3.5%, resulting in just over 8,100 residents unemployed and actively seeking employment. The federal government’s estimate of the Minneapolis labor force continues to rise, up to 232,785 – adding over 6,000 residents to the labor force since January. The year-over-year trend for May shows both increased labor force participation (adding nearly 4,000 to the labor force) and lower unemployment by .2%, both indicating confidence in the local and regional economy.  

Minnesota Named as "America's Top State for Business"

Although it placed sixth in 2014, Minnesota has moved to the top spot this year as “America’s Top State for Business” from CNBC. CNBC’s annual study ranks all 50 states on 60 measures of competiveness, separated into ten categories. Minnesota received the highest overall score this year across the ten categories, including the economy due to Minnesota’s low unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. Since 2011, Minnesota’s growing number of businesses has added nearly 189,000 jobs. The highly educated workforce earned Minnesota second place in education, and the low crime rate, clean air and water, and access to quality health care, made Minnesota third in the quality of life category. 
Read More  

New & Expanding Businesses






Coworking Space

Contact CPED

612-673-5001 or 311

Staff Directory

Crown Roller Mill
Executive Administration
105 Fifth Avenue South #200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Public Service Center
Development Services'
Customer Service Center
250 South Fourth Street
(Room 300)
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Map and Parking

City Hall
Business Licensing
350 South 5th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Business Profile: Shop the Minnehaha Mile

Minnehaha Mile Collage
Photos provided by Minnehaha Mile Shops

Located between 32nd and 41st streets in the Longfellow neighborhood, the Minnehaha Mile is a shopping district consisting of eight stores all with a vintage, re-use, and upcycle theme. The stores are: Junket Tossed & Found, The Natural Built Home Store, Time Bomb Vintage, Family Estate Sales, Turquoise Vintage, E’s Emporium, and Plum Crabby.

The mile wasn’t always lined with unique and creative businesses selling items ranging from vintage clothing to antique furniture, to collectables, to hand made gifts designed using locally sourced items. Prior to 2012, a zoning ordinance prohibited secondhand goods stores from being within 1000 feet of each other. City staff worked with Council Member Glidden’s office to lift the restrictions and make it easier for secondhand stores to operate. Once the ordinance was amended, new life was brought to once vacant storefronts.

Now that the shops could co-locate, it was time to work on a unifying branding strategy.  With the help of Seward Redesign and the Longfellow Business Association, the shops were awarded a City of Minneapolis Great streets grant in 2014 to launch their official identity and the campaign “Shop the Minnehaha Mile” was launched including a printed guide map and Facebook Page.

This year, faced with construction along Minnehaha Avenue from Minnehaha Parkway to 38th Street, the Milers sought a second Great Streets grant to further raise the visibility of the emerging vintage district and to remind customers that businesses are open during the construction.

They also worked with City staff to draft code amendments that dramatically reduced the regulations and fees for these types of businesses.  Ultimately, Milers say that their goal is to help customers find what they are looking for and have a great experience while doing it and, together, they can accomplish this much better than on their own.

Peppers and Fries Wins Architecture Award

Pepper and Fries Collage
Photos provided by Peppers and Fries

This month The American Institute of Architects – Minneapolis Chapter gave CityDeskStudio a Merit Award for their renovations on the Longfellow restaurant, Peppers & Fries Burger & Burrito Grill. The Merit Award honors projects that tell a compelling story and benefit its users’ lives. Once an abandoned Super America gas station overrun by graffiti, squatters, overgrown vegetation, and trash, Peppers & Fries has now become a family friendly neighborhood hot-spot.

The restaurant received funding from the City of Minneapolis’ Great Streets program, which helped turn the vacant lot into an award-winning architectural project and vibrant space. It also supports the commercial revitalization of the east end of Lake Street, satisfying the need for a new neighborhood restaurant.

Architect Ben Awes stated that CityDeskStudio’s approach to creating the new Peppers and Fries was to “fit in and stand out,” using existing materials such as reclaimed wood for the tables and bar tops and finishing the concrete floors. By staying true to the building’s original structures, Peppers & Fries is now a unique and positive addition to the Longfellow neighborhood. 

Business Profile: Woodchuck

Woodchuck USA Collage
Photos provided by Woodchuck USA

Woodchuck USA is a USA-made brand that manufactures real-wood products with a mission to “bring nature back to people” and jobs to the United States. Founded by Benjamin VandenWymelenberg as an architecture student at the University of Minnesota (and originally only making iPhone cases), Woodchuck has grown tremendously. The company now offers a diverse range of products, from laptop cases to journals to flasks, and services such as corporate gifting to clientele both nationally and internationally.  This spring, Woodchuck was awarded the Breakout Business of the Year by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A small, young company of 17 full-time employees, the Woodchuck team relies on its ability to push boundaries in order to complete any task handed to them regardless of the scale or time-frame. After receiving support from the City’s Two Percent Loan Program, the company was able to purchase a large, high-powered laser cutter, allowing them to explore new markets (such as commercial interiors and large wooden art) and triple its capacity to keep up with rising demand for Woodchuck products.

Woodchuck’s immense growth since its start is reflected by their developments in products and clients. A company that once sold iPhone cases in Saran-wrapped packaging now distributes a variety of high-end wooden products to clients including Fulton Brewery, Cambria, Sun Country Airlines, and the Minnesota Vikings. 

Made Here Market: Loring Alley Rally

July 19th marks the beginning of the Made Here Market, a series of pop-up markets (taking place as part of the Loring Alley Rally) featuring locally made fine art and goods. The market, hosted in collaboration with the Third Bird Restaurant, runs each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until August 30th and is located in the Loring Corners alley. Funded in part by the City of Minneapolis Great Streets program as a way to generate activity to the alley, the Made Here Market is expected to bring thousands of visitors to the market in addition to live music, food and drinks.

At the market, visitors can find artists working in all mediums, vintage sellers, and textile and craft supplies vendors. Made Here Market vendors can exhibit their work for up to three weeks, making each Sunday unique with new artists, food and music.

Launched in 2013, Made Here is a Hennepin Theatre Trust initiative to bring more people to the downtown Minneapolis Cultural District. It brings art to public spaces in ways like pop-up parks, live performances and rotating exhibitions.

Made Here Website

Over 2,000 Attend 2nd Annual Lake Street Taco Tour

Taco Tour Collage
Photos provided by UTKU Productions

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2nd Annual Lake Street Taco Tour! More than 2,000 attended the tour on Saturday, July 27th. The tour was produced by the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and supported by the City of Minneapolis Great Streets program to raise awareness and promote the diverse business community located within the East Lake Street Corridor. The event featured nine authentic Mexican restaurants that offered their versions of delicious tacos.

City Partners with Nextdoor, the Private Social Networks for Neighborhoods

The City of Minneapolis announced in June that it will be partnering with Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods, to improve citywide and neighbor-to-neighbor communications.

The integration with Nextdoor will enable the City of Minneapolis, including the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis Fire Department, and other City departments to use Nextdoor to build stronger, safer communities with the help of Minneapolis residents. Specifically, the Minneapolis Police Department and Nextdoor neighborhoods will be able to work together to increase safety and strengthen virtual neighborhood watch.

Nextdoor has proven to be an essential and well-adopted tool for Minneapolis residents. Most Minneapolis neighborhoods already use Nextdoor, representing 95 percent of the City.

With Nextdoor, Minneapolis residents can create private neighborhood websites to share information, including neighborhood public safety issues, community events and activities, local services, and even lost pets. The City will be able to post information, such as important news, services, programs, free events, and safety notifications to Nextdoor websites within the city. 

Nextdoor is a free tool for residents and the City. Each Minneapolis neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor website and the City will not be able to access residents’ websites, contact information, or content. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood before joining Nextdoor. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by Google or other search engines.

Those interested in joining their neighborhood’s Nextdoor website can visit and enter their address. If residents have questions about their Nextdoor website, please visit

City Sponsors in Somali Independence Day Festival

Somali Collage
Photos by City of Minneapolis

On Saturday June 13th, the Minneapolis community celebrated the 55th Somali Independence Day with a festival on West Lake Street organized by Ka Joog, a Somali nonprofit. In addition to observing Somali Independence Day, the event promoted diversity in Minneapolis.

With a theme of Education Building and Community Ties, the festival featured a range of activities, from live music and dancing to East African cuisine to art and poetry. The City of Minneapolis supported the event as an event sponsor as well as by distributing information about City programs and services to event attendees. City of Minneapolis departments, including Human Resources, Community Planning and Economic Development, Civil Rights, Minneapolis Department of Health, Neighborhood and Community Relations, and the Minneapolis Police Department were in attendance. 

STEP-UP Receives Grant to Place More Youth into Jobs

STEP-UP Job Site
Photos by City of Minneapolis and AchieveMpls

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) – Office of Youth Development has selected STEP-UP for funding under the Minnesota Youth at Work Competitive Grant. The STEP-UP summer youth employment program will receive $750,000 for July 1, 2015 - July 1, 2016 and $750,000 for July 1, 2016 - July 1, 2017. This will enable STEP-UP to place 150 more young people into summer jobs.

DEED’s priorities, impact areas and goals for all proposals included:

  • Summer and/or year-round work experience and introduction to career pathways for economically disadvantaged or at-risk youth, ages 14 through 24
  • Increased exposure to in-demand jobs important to regional economies
  • Introduction and promotion of career pathways and skill acquisition
  • Promotion of mastery of work readiness competencies and 21st Century skills
  • Provision of high-quality worksites and overall participant and employer satisfaction

Through the STEP-UP program, Minneapolis youth work in a wide range of jobs at Twin Cities employers. The program is designed to engage young people in internships that explore their career interests, gain skills, make professional connections, and prepare them for meaningful work.

Even More Parklets This Summer in Minneapolis

Parklet Photo
Parklet at 2422 Central Avenue NE outside Sen Yai Sen Lek (Photo by City of Minneapolis)

To make it easier for people to stop, relax and enjoy Minneapolis, the City has expanded its parklet program this summer, installing five parklets in different parts of the city.

The parklets are built in the street right next to the curb. In an area of about two parking spaces, the parklets have a deck, planters, chairs and tables for anyone to use. All of the parklets in the program are located in commercial corridors, and each one has a host business nearby to maintain it on a day-to-day basis.

The locations of the five parklets are:

Parklets enhance neighborhoods and make them better places for residents and visitors to spend time. They also encourage walking and biking, and help draw people to shops and restaurants in our communities. The five parklets in the program will be removed from the streets at the end of October.

The goal of the parklet program is to make the City more livable, walkable, and beautiful through public and private partnerships. Three parklets in the program are City-owned and two more parklets have been purchased, funded and will be maintained by local businesses and community organizations. The City will begin accepting 2016 parklet season applications this fall.

More information on parklets