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

Growing MPLS

October 2015

Upcoming Events

Ninth Annual Soap Factory Haunted Basement

October 1-November 1
Soap Factory
514 Second Street Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55414

General Admissions: $10-$27 (extra fees may apply) per person depending on the day and the event

The Soap Factory’s annual horror tradition returns for its ninth installment. Directed by Noah Bremer, he and his crew are ready to give you the scare of the year. This event is open to participants ages 18 and over only. A signed waiver is required to participate.
Purchase a Ticket
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City Creative Making

The City of Minneapolis wants Minneapolis to be a better arts and creative city. There will be exhibitions traveling to four locations in Minneapolis to reach underserved communities.

Oct. 6-12, Midtown Global Market (by the Kitchen in the Market).

Oct. 14-20, University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC).

Oct. 23-29, Brian Coyle Center.

Nov. 2-10, Two Rivers Gallery.

More information

2015 Minneapolis Energy Fair

Saturday, October 10 9:30am-12:30pm
Convention Center
1301 Second Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Learn how to save money and help the environment at the inaugural Minneapolis Energy Fair. This family friendly event will feature a variety of presenters highlighting ways to make your home energy efficient with the opportunity to learn more about solar options.
Registration Link
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Reopening Nicollet Avenue Visioning -Planning Workshops

Saturday, October 10
Old Arizona Studio
2821 Nicollet Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Focused on the topic “Asking the Right Questions and Defining the Places”, this workshop will provide dynamic discussion about reopening Nicollet Avenue and developing the Kmart and SUPERVALU sites.
More Information

Fifth Annual Nordeast Big River Brew Fest

Saturday, October 10
East Side Neighborhood Services
1700 Second St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

$25 Advanced Tickets
$30 Tickets at Door

East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS) is hosting the fifth annual Nordeast Big River Brew Fest! All proceeds will benefit the programs of ESNS. Over 200 micro and craft brew samplings with many from local food vendors.
Purchase a Ticket

Downtown East Commons Public Meeting

Wednesday, October 14, 6pm
Central Library,
Pohlad Hall
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Come and learn about the developments in Downtown East.
More Information

11th Annual Zombie Pub Crawl

Saturday, October 17 
(Doors open at 5pm)
Warehouse District
Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Regular Admission: $36.66 per person
Very Important Zombies (VIZ) Tickets: $76.66 per person

The World’s Largest Gathering of Zombies, Zombie Pub Crawl, is an annual occurrence in Minneapolis during which thousands of people pretend to be dead and wander the streets. This event is for ages 21 and up only.
Purchase a Ticket
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INSIDE INDUSTRY Career Development and Job Fair

Thursday, October 22
Central Library, 
Second Floor
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401

The City of Minneapolis and MNSCU Community and Technical Colleges Career Services have partnered to host the INSIDE INDUSTRY Career Development and Job Fair. The fair will focus on Health Care and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.
More Information 

City of Minneapolis Minority and Women Owned Business Opportunity Fair

Thursday, October 29
Profile Event Center
2630 University Ave. SE
St. Paul, MN 55414
The City of Minneapolis is hosting a free Connection Fair for small and medium sized businesses owned by women or minorities who want to sell their products and services to the City.
The City of Minneapolis is looking for businesses that can provide:

  • Professional & clerical services
  • Office supplies
  • Services in IT such as hardware, software, and consulting
  • Catering services
  • Construction services (both small and major contracts)

Call 612-729-5900 with questions.
More Information


Minneapolis Passes $1 billion in Construction Permits

This is the fourth consecutive year that Minneapolis has reached the $1 billion year for construction. With three months left in 2015, that number is expected to rise as there are several large projects working their way through the city approval process. Read More

Minneapolis Considering Study on Raising Minimum Wage

Minneapolis will take another step Tuesday towards joining other cities nationally in crafting local laws on worker rights and the minimum wage.

The City Council will consider commissioning a $150,000 study into the effects of the state’s largest city going it alone on higher minimum wage than required from the state on MN. Read More

Good Grocer, A New Kind of Food Marketplace

The small chartreuse and white building on the corner of East Lake Street and Stevens Avenue might be easy to miss, but what goes on inside is remarkable. The Good Grocer, a new kind of neighborhood co-op that opened June 15, is already getting healthy and affordable food to people in the area. Read More

New & Expanding Businesses




Recreational Vehicle



Contact CPED

612-673-5001 or 311
Staff Directory

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

Public Service Center
Development Review
Customer Service Center
250 South Fourth Street
Room 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Map and Parking

City Hall
Business Licensing
350 South 5th Street
Room 1C
Minneapolis, MN 55415

DC Group's Growth Leads to $9 Million Expansion

DC Group Collage
Top Left: Newly remodeled second floor; Top Right: New employee kitchen/lounge; Bottom: DC Group located on 1977 West River Road North, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Since 1991, DC Group has been providing uninterruptible power supply (UPS) service and maintenance to clients, including government buildings, hospitals, and Fortune 500 companies, across the United States and Canada. The technology boom of the 1990s created a need for DC Group’s clients to constantly stay connected to a power source – something that provided an ideal platform for the company’s present growth. Over the past five years, DC Group has doubled their revenue in addition to making  Inc.’s 5000 2015 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies eight years in a row.

DC Group’s growth (and drive for more) led to a nearly $9 million expansion that began in 2014. At the company’s North Minneapolis headquarters, they added 25,000 square feet of office and warehouse space and renovated the office’s exterior and interior. DC Group’s expansion couldn’t have happened without support from the City. They were the first recipient of the City of Minneapolis’ Grow North funding, a financial incentive focused on bringing jobs and businesses to North Minneapolis. In addition, they were one of the first recipients of the State of Minnesota’s Job Creation Fund from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). DEED also provided a contamination cleanup grant. Additional financial assistance from the City included Two-Percent and Business Development Fund loans and tax increment financing.

The new construction was completed in June 2015, and with the larger and revamped office and warehouse space, DC Group expects to add over 30 new jobs in the next few years, increase the number of clients they are able to serve, and looks to provide service to more regions of North America, including Mexico. 

Northeast's Eastside Food Co-op is Undergoing a $6.7M Expansion

Co-op Collage
Top: The ground breaking of the Eastside Food Co-op took place on August 17, 2015; Bottom left: Community members at the Co-op ground breaking event; Bottom Right: The Co-op works with over 20 local farmers to provide fresh produce.

Eastside Food Co-op, located at 2551 Central Avenue NE, has been bringing local, organic and fair-trade groceries to the Audubon Park neighborhood since December 2003. In produce alone, Eastside works with over 20 local farmers, including Featherstone Farm and Wisconsin Growers. In addition, many of their dairy, meats, and bulk products come from local farms and vendors, including Lone Grazer Creamery, Thousand Hills Beef and Pastures-A-Plenty.

With goals to provide access to healthy food, lessen environmental impact, and strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods, for every $1.00 spent at Eastside Co-op, $1.60 is put back into the community. Currently, Eastside has 5,200 member-owners. The co-op emphasizes participation in events and programs, including the Northeast Farmer’s Market, the Cultivate Northeast community garden, and Open-Streets in addition to providing support for 84 organizations last year.

Eastside has continued to grow annually since its opening, increasing from $2 million in yearly sales in 2003 to $8 million in 2014. This growth led Eastside to begin a $6.7 million expansion this year, which will include a full deli, community room, coffee bar, and an improved produce and bulk section. They purchased the adjacent property, which they received a Great Streets Real Estate Gap Financing Loan for. The expansion is expected to be completed by spring 2016, and Eastside expects a 30 percent sales increase in addition to bringing an improved streetscape along Central Avenue.

East Lake Street Connection's Pilot Project on the Midtown Greenway

Give us your feedback by taking the survey today!

Greenway Collage
New wayfinding elements on the Midtown Greenway

Have you been on the Midtown Greenway recently and seen any of the new wayfinding elements? Through October, a series of temporary street design experiments are installed along the greenway.  The project is the result of a partnership between the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development, Urban Design team and Hennepin County Midtown Community Works to analyze and examine placemaking strategies to better connect Greenway Users with destinations on East Lake Street.

We invite you to take a ride or walk on the greenway and check out the creative signage on fences, bridges and walls; painted icons and other designs on the pavement; new bike racks; and seating and games. Then tell us what you think by taking a short online survey here. Your feedback is critical in supporting enhancements to the Midtown Greenway.

Over 65,000 Attended Open Streets Events This Summer

Open Streets Collage
Photo Source: Ajith George

September brought with it the last of the eight Open Streets Minneapolis events that were attended by over 65,000 people throughout Minneapolis this summer. Open Streets Minneapolis brings together community groups and local businesses to temporarily close major thoroughfares to car traffic, and open them up for people walking, biking, and skating. This community event is in its fifth year, and is co-sponsored by the City of Minneapolis.

More than a street festival, Open Streets Minneapolis gives residents an opportunity to explore their neighborhood and local businesses in a safe, fun, and family-friendly way. It encourages the use of active transportation and healthy living, and has a goal of giving residents an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space.

Open Streets Minneapolis events took place this year in all quadrants of Minneapolis, and in Downtown. Open Streets Minneapolis is an initiative of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, presented by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), and is co-sponsored by the City of Minneapolis.

PRIME Digital Academy Strives to Increase Diversity in Tech Industry

Meet Catabriea White, Current PRIME Student

Catabriea White
Current student of PRIME Digital Academy, Catabriea White

Launched by Twin Cities-based software company The Nerdery in March 2015, PRIME Digital Academy is an intensive computer programming course that can turn those with minimal computer knowledge into entry level software engineers through its 18-week program. The tech industry is currently facing both an increasing need and a shortage of software engineers - and PRIME’s main goal is to fix that. With a strong emphasis on career skills as well as technical skills, PRIME partners with many Twin Cities-based IT employers such as 3M, Olson, and GovDelivery to host apprenticeships, provide feedback, mentor students, and hire PRIME graduates.

PRIME also recognizes the need for more women in tech careers, offering a $500 grant to each female student accepted to the program. Catabriea White is a current female PRIME student and will graduate this month. A mother of two from Ramsey, Minnesota, Catabriea saw PRIME as an ideal option for getting her foot in the door of the technology field. Although at first she was intimidated by the tech industry, she applied to the program knowing the opportunities it would bring her. With her passion for learning, PRIME proved to be a perfect fit, giving her a strong foundation in HTML/CSS, Javascript, jQuery, AngularJS, and Node.js while increasing her confidence and providing her with a supportive community.

Named a TechHire city by President Obama this March, the City of Minneapolis is a supporter of PRIME as part of the initiative, offering scholarships for low-income PRIME students. Applicants that are interested in attending a future cohort must fill out the PRIME application and request scholarship assistance, and if they qualify, will be connected to the City through PRIME. 

West Broadway Farmers Market Celebrates Five Years of Success

West Farmers Market Collage
Top Left: Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges congratulates West Broadway Farmers Market on 5 Years of Success; Top Right: Members of the community shopping at the farmers market; Bottom: (from left to right) Dr. Tara Watson, Mayor Hodges, and DeVon Nolen performing the ceremonial "tomato cutting."

With goals to grow social capital, public space in North Minneapolis, and local food businesses, the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition (WBC) began the West Broadway Farmers Market (WBFM) five years ago as a strategy to increase access to healthy food options, increase neighborhood vitality, and support the local food economy. Since its beginning, the farmer’s market has experienced a notable growth: the average number of vendors has increased from four to 14, and they have already served 10,000 customers just this year.

On September 22, WBC recognized the farmer’s market five years of success during a celebration with Mayor Betsy Hodges, WBC Board President Dr. Tara Watson, and Project Manager DeVon Nolen. The celebration also included a ceremonial “tomato cutting,” and a 30-minute program with drumming from Voice of Culture Drum and Dance and a cooking demonstration from Breaking Bread Cafe.

Because of the growth they’ve experienced, WBC is looking for a permanent structure to for the farmer’s market in the future. 

Aeon Developers Host Grand Opening Ceremony for The Rose, Changing the Standards for Affordable Housing

Friday, September 11 Named Sustainable Housing Day in Minneapolis

Rose Collage
Photo Source: Nneka Njoku.

On Friday, September 25, Aeon Developers hosted a grand opening ceremony marking the completion of The Rose, a 90-unit mixed-income apartment building in the Phillips neighborhood. Located in one of Minneapolis’ most underserved areas, The Rose comes with a 10-year push by developers and the City to revitalize the four corners at the intersection of Franklin and Portland (also known as the South Quarter.)

In the early 2000s, the South Quarter was occupied by a gas station and vacant lots, facing serious problems of drug trafficking and prostitution. However, the community had a desire to transform the corner into something useful and in 2003, when Hope Community Inc. bought a plot of land and built 36 units of affordable housing, a chain of new development began to take place with City investment.  Following that, Aeon and Hope formed a partnership to build two more apartments at the intersection of Franklin and Portland: the Jourdain in 2005 (which contained 41 units of almost all affordable housing) and the Wellstone in 2007 (containing 49 units of both affordable and market-rate housing).

The completion of the Rose by Aeon and Hope marks the final development of the South Quarter. Nationally recognized as an example for ultra-sustainable housing, incorporating healthy materials and energy efficiency into its design, the Rose provides a new standard for affordable living. 

Minneapolis Employment and Training Hosts First-Ever Services-to-Adults Conference

Over 100 WorkForce Professionals Attend

Employment and Training Collage
Top: Community Planning and Economic Development Director D. Craig Taylor welcomes attendees.; Bottom: An exhibitor shares information with conference participants.

On September 29th, CPED Director D. Craig Taylor welcomed attendees to the Minneapolis Services-to-Adults Conference.  Minneapolis Employment and Training hosted this first-ever conference for its large network of employment and training service providers who work with adults (including young adults ages 18-24).

The daylong event held at the Minneapolis Central Library brought together staff from the programs funded by Minneapolis Works, Minneapolis Youth Works, Train-to-Career, Dislocated Worker and WIOA Adult.  The 100+ participants also included those from organizations that don’t have current contracts with Minneapolis Employment and Training but have applied to become future providers. 

The conference offered the participants an opportunity to network and to learn through an inspiring keynote address and workshops on current and emerging issues, best practices and the challenges facing employment and training professionals.

Attendee Marlene Schoenberg from Accent Wisdom said, “It was an inspirational day which will filter down to our clients.  I learned a lot and felt energized!”

Exhibitors from Housing, Health, Training, Financial, Digital, Re-Entry, and other sectors shared resources that conference goers can use to assist their clients in many aspects of their lives.

North Minneapolis Job and Resource Fair Attracts 200 Jobseekers

The second annual North Minneapolis Job and Resource Fair, serving Minneapolis area businesses and the north side community, attracted more than 200 jobseekers. The September 16th outdoor event was held from 
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis North Workforce Center.

Exhibitor turnout more than doubled from last year.  In total, 58 businesses and resource providers engaged with local jobseekers while Workforce Center staff provided event concierge services, including a booth for resume’ review and application assistance.

The North Minneapolis Workforce Center provides jobseeker services on-site each Monday- Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Services offered include job search and resume’ help, computer and fax machine access, career counselor assistance and workshops; all at no cost. A schedule is available here.