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

Growing Minneapolis: News and information from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

July 2014


2014 Open Streets Mpls

Explore your neighborhood by bike, skateboard, however you would like during upcoming 
Open Streets Mpls events:

RENEW Minneapolis Hiring and Resource Event

Thursday, June 19
9:00 a.m. - Noon
Ababukar As-Saddique Islamic Center
2824 13th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Hennepin County Job Development Career Fair

Monday, June 23
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Northwest Family Service Center
7051 Brooklyn Blvd.
Brooklyn Center, MN  55429

DEED and Hennepin County Technical College Diversity Career Fair

Monday, June 23
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Northwest Family Service Center, Brooklyn Center, MN

Tackling Racial Employment Disparities

Wednesday, June 25
11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Registration at 10:30 a.m.

Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) will explore racial employment disparities in Minnesota and strategies being used to close the local employment disparities gap.

Somali Independence Day Festival

Tuesday, July 1
1:00 - 8:00 pm.
West Lake Street Between Blaisdell Ave & Grand Avenue

New & Expanding Businesses





Business Spotlight:

Pixel Farm

On the top floor of a Warehouse District building, a receptionist smiles as guests enter her sunny office space. So does the baby Wookie action figure perched on a nearby ledge.

Welcome to Pixel Farm.


Founded in 1995 with a half-dozen or so employees focusing on video effects, Pixel Farm now employs around 50 people and has its hand in a bit of everything: design, video, audio production, animation, virtual reality and gaming.

Read Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article

Contact CPED



Crown Roller Mill
Executive Administration
105 Fifth Avenue South Suite 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
Room 1C


Agra Culture Kitchen & Press Opens in Uptown

Agra Culture

Located at 2939 Girard Avenue South in the Walkway building in Uptown, this unique fast casual restaurant is already proving that fast food can be healthy and tasty, too.  Agra Culture Kitchen & Press is the concept and creation of husband/wife team Aaron and Andrea Switz, owners of the successful Yogurt Lab chain.  The couple was inspired to create the restaurant based on the options, or lack of options, they saw available for themselves.  As a busy young family on the go they wanted to be able to grab food quickly when they were out and about, but not compromise on their health while doing so.  Figuring others were in the same boat, they decided to create the concept themselves and that’s how Agra Culture Kitchen & Press was born.

Agra Culture features a variety of coffee, Natural Sodas, 100% organic smoothies and juices, made to order soups, salads, sandwiches and Agra Plates - where you pick your protein, add sauce and pair it with some sides.  All menu items can be made to fit your specific diet - gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo.  

Agra Culture Kitchen & Press website

Minneapolis Houses for Heroes Offers Veterans Up to $20K in Assistance Purchasing a Home

Houses for Heroes

(ReserveAid, City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County Veteran Services staff gathered with North Minneapolis residents to celebrate the kick-off of Minneapolis' new Houses for Heroes program at 5200 Penn Avenue North, a Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation home built with a veteran in mind.)

The City of Minneapolis has launched Minneapolis Houses for Heroes - a down payment and closing cost assistance program to provide active military or veterans of the Global War on Terror with affordable homeownership opportunities in Minneapolis.  The program offers up to $20,000 in the form of a zero-percent interest deferred loan that is forgiven at the end of five years as long as the home owner remains living there.  Priority for the program will be given to Reservist or National Guard members of the Global War on Terror who are currently deployed or have recently returned from deployment.

Reserve Aid, a national nonprofit organization that assists military families, has committed $200,000 in funding for the program in 2014.  Funds will be administered through the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC) on behalf of the City of Minneapolis.  

Other program partners include Hennepin County Veteran Services, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Houses for Heroes information

Health & Safety Improvement Loan Program Now Available for Small Businesses in Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis has launched a new Business Health and Safety Improvement Loan Program to help small Minneapolis businesses who often struggle to pay for needed code compliance and other remedial minor physical improvements for regulated businesses. Eligible improvements include, but are not limited to general repairs, flooring, grease trap installation, floor drains, automatic roof vents, food service equipment such as walk-in coolers, warewashing equipment and cooling equipment, and pollution reduction upgrades as part of the Green Business Program. 

The Business Health and Safety Improvement Loan Program is managed for the City of Minneapolis by the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD). 

Contact Information:

  • MCCD Phone: 612.843.3262
  • Email Daniel Bonilla at the City of Minneapolis  

1,650 STEP-UP Interns Began Summer Jobs at 230 Plus Work Sites Across the Twin Cities


(Above photo: Abdirahman (left) will be a Junior Staff member at the Boys and Girls Club.  Mohamed (right) will be working with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.)

On June 16, 1,650 Minneapolis young people began their summer internships with STEP-UP. Working with 230 plus employers, young people will gain professional skills and build their networks by working in a variety of jobs.

STEP-UP prepares youth for the future by matching them with meaningful internships at local employers. This summer, STEP-UP interns will earn an estimated $3 million in wages.  More than $1 million will be provided by private sector employers, allowing STEP-UP to employ more youth.

STEP-UP website

Minneapolis Works

In May 2013 “Mary” came to East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS) desperate and looking for work.  She said that she had been job hunting for the past three months without any success.  She didn’t know what was wrong with her job search strategy. In addition, she was not landing any interviews and was finding only very inconsistent temp assignments.  

Through the ESNS Minneapolis Works program, she was able to find the support she needed to get on track.  ESNS employment counselor Roberto Martinez provided feedback on Mary’s interviewing skills and helped her improve her resume.  Mary learned job search tools and techniques from Roberto that were relevant for today's job market.  Mary now has a strategy and the encouragement necessary to continue on with her search.

A month later after she had started working with ESNS, Mary landed a position as a patient representative with the U of M Physicians Group making $16.50 hour with full benefits.  Mary was thankful for the job lead and Roberto’s unfailing support during her job search.  A year later, she is still employed at U of M Physicians making a living wage and receiving excellent benefits.

ESNS job search and career counseling services are made possible with funding from City of Minneapolis Employment and Training’s Minneapolis Works program. 

Minneapolis Works website

DC Group Breaks Ground on $7 Million North Minneapolis Building Expansion Project

On Thursday, May 29, the DC Group held a ceremonial groundbreaking event on their nearly $7 million building expansion/renovation project at 1977 West River Road in North Minneapolis. Founded in Minneapolis in 1969, DC Group is one of the nation’s largest providers of maintenance and repair service to users of uninterruptible power systems, such as government, hospitals, critical data centers, and similar users.  The renovation will include approximately 15,000 square feet of the existing facility and the construction of an additional 23,500 square feet of new space including an 86-stall parking structure.  

DC Group

DC Group is the first recipient of the City of Minneapolis' Grow North funding. Grow North is a financial incentive package offered by the City of Minneapolis aimed at bringing jobs-intensive business investment to North Minneapolis.  The program is focused on connecting North Minneapolis residents with jobs created by new and expanding North Minneapolis companies.  Grow North offers forgivable loans of up to $200,000 to businesses locating or expanding in North Minneapolis who provide 15 jobs to residents of North Minneapolis and pursue a high level of green construction for any new construction and/or building renovations.

DC Group is currently working with City of Minneapolis Employment and Training to recruit for jobs.  A high priority is being given to local applicants.  

Recruiting/Hiring contact Information: 

  • Marie LarsonCity of Minneapolis Employment and Training

John Biggers Seed Project Unveils Design June 19

John Biggers Seed Project

On Thursday, June 19, the 13 artists and partners behind the John Biggers Seed project will present the design of the new North Minneapolis gateway at a community event.

Thursday, June 19
6:00-7:30 p.m.
U of M Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
2001 Plymouth Avenue N, Minneapolis

Seed is inspired by John Biggers Seed Celebration of Life mural and the role the mural played in launching the careers of young artists and organizations and planting artistic “seeds” on the North Side.  The new artwork installation will be located along the Olson Highway Memorial Bridge at Interstate 94 at Highway 55. The location was selected as the industrial corridor, currently unfriendly to pedestrians, serves as an important connection between the North Side and downtown. The project aims to build an attractive link between North Minneapolis and Downtown, improving walk-ability by incorporating the colorful imagery influenced by Biggers’ art and the North Side’s history.

Learn more

Business Spotlight: Mobilize Design Architecture

Jamil Ford lives and works in North Minneapolis. His relationship goes far beyond that though; he believes that his business, Mobilize Design Architecture, is an important part of creating a prosperous, dynamic and safe community there. His passion is to design beautiful and accessible buildings and housing at busy, blighted or crime-ridden intersections to spur economic development. Prosperity, security and pride, he believes, will follow.

Ford is one of those rare guys who had his path mapped out in the 8th grade. He was the kid who was corralling friends to haul logs, lumber and railroad ties to build the clubhouse he designed. He would see cranes building skyscrapers downtown, and he’d start sketching. 


Two of the more high-profile projects Mobilize has recently taken on designing an airy and artistic Hennepin County Human Services hub on Plymouth Avenue, and the Commons at Penn Avenue, at the corner of Penn and Golden Valley Road.


Read full TC Daily Planet article