GrowingMinneapolis: City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development News

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

November 2014

Upcoming Events

Mill City Winter Market

Mill City Farmers Market will be having monthly indoor markets every second Saturday.

November to April, 10am-1pm
Mill City Museum
704 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401

More information

Home Sweet Home: An Affordable Housing Art Exhibit

View over 100 artworks and poems by local artists and poets on the issues of homelessness, affordable housing or the meaning of home. 

November 6 to January 13
Minneapolis Central Library, Cargill Hall
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401

More information

Wedge Puzzle Hunt

Bring your cell phone and a team of two to four people for a scavenger hunt-like race! You will search for clues, complete challenges, and solve many types of puzzles. Registration begins at 1:30pm with a fee of $5 per person.

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2pm-4:30pm
Lowry Hill Dunn Bros
2528 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55405

More information

Fix-it Tech - FREE Support for Computers, Laptops, and Smartphones! 

Saturday, Nov. 22, 10am-2pm
University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) 
2001 Plymouth Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55411

If your computer or laptop is slow, not working, or seems to have a virus, bring it in for free tech support! Our volunteers will teach valuable repair skills, answer questions, and give technical advice about your device. Volunteers will help with smartphones and tablets based on capacity. First come, first served. Additional parts will be available to purchase.

More information

Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29th - Eat, Drink and Shop the North Loop

Come enjoy complimentary food, drink and special on-day deals as a thank you for shopping small from the shops of the North Loop.

Saturday, Nov. 29

More information

Seeking Input on West Broadway Education and Career Center

The State of Minnesota is planning to move the current North Minneapolis WorkForce Center located at 1200 Plymouth Avenue N, Minneapolis to a more centrally located, larger space at 800 West Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis in fall of 2015.

Attend a monthly engagement meeting to share feedback, ask questions, and/or get the most recent project update.

Second Tuesday of every month from 8:00-9:00am 
North Minneapolis WorkForce Center 1200 Plymouth Avenue N, Mpls

Interested in History, Historic Preservation or Urban Planning?

Join a City Board or Commission

The City of Minneapolis is currently taking applications for its Heritage Preservation Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment. 

If you or someone you know is interested in history, historic preservation, or urban planning, consider applying for the Heritage Preservation Commission.

If you or someone you know is interested in City Planning consider applying for the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Applications will start being reviewed on November 21.

Follow these links to read more information online:  

Heritage Preservation Commission

Zoning Board of Adjustment 

New & Expanding Businesses






Real Estate

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


City of Minneapolis Receives National Excellence in Economic Development Development Award

IEDC Award Image

In October, the City of Minneapolis received an Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) in the category of Entrepreneurship from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). 

B-TAP provides business consulting services to support new business development, retention, and growth. B-TAP works primarily with low income individuals or businesses that provide employment to individuals from socially and economically disadvantaged groups including minority ethnic groups and new arrivals to the U.S. 

In 2013, the City of Minneapolis B-TAP program provided 6,542 hours of technical assistance and 45 business trainings through 6 nonprofit providers.  Over 500 clients were served including 186 start-up businesses.  B-TAP providers helped a diverse client base create 155 and retain 673 jobs; 69 percent of the program clients were minority-owned businesses. 

In 2014, the City of Minneapolis increased the number of nonprofits awarded B-TAP contracts to 11 nonprofit providers.   As of July this year, 180 new jobs had been created and 176 retained through the program. To learn more about B-TAP, visit the City of Minneapolis website

November Business Spotlight: Longfellow Market

Longfellow Market Collage

Top left: Before building renovation; Bottom left: After building renovation; Top right: Inside of market; Bottom right: Owner Joel Ahlstrom.

Longtime grocer and entrepreneur Joel Ahlstrom opened the Longfellow Market at 3815 E Lake Street in April with the goal of becoming the neighborhood’s favorite grocery store.  The building was originally constructed as a Chevy Dealership and then used by Peterson Machinery. With very significant renovations, the core structure was converted to a grocery with an old fashioned feel, with aisles lined with warm wooden shelves.  Joel and his team then lined those shelves with a conventional product mix along with a smaller selection of organic and natural foods. 

After a few months in operation, Joel was puzzled that although the market research he received clearly stated that the neighborhood need was for a conventional grocery; his staff received an increasing number of guest requests for organic and natural products.  So, he decided to do his own informal research at community events.  Soon, he came to the conclusion that it was time to go against the market study and switch his product mix to organic and natural products with a complementary selection of conventional products instead of the other way around.   In August, the Longfellow Market began the official transition and started to add bulk spices, bulk organic grains, organic produce, grass fed meats, and other natural/organic products in addition to their in-house made beef sticks and baked goods.  The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  The full transition is expected to be complete by the end of November, just in time for the holidays.   

Energy efficiency for the store is also a core value of Joel’s. Besides preserving as much of the former facility as possible, Joel also invested in a significant amount of energy efficient equipment. The building contains a state of the art heat reclaiming system and a multitude of energy efficient upgrades such as LED lighting in the highly efficient coolers. He was an early user of the City’s new PACE program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to support financing for energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings.  

CHEERS! Minneapolis Voters Said ‘YES’ to Support Neighborhood Restaurants

Did you know that today you can walk into ANY restaurant in Minneapolis and order a glass of wine or beer while you chat with your friends or consider your dining options?  Before November 4th, that was not possible due to Minneapolis liquor code.  With over 80% of the public voting ‘YES’ this past November 4th, all Minneapolis restaurants can now legally serve wine and beer before customers make a food purchase.  

This historic charter change not only makes dining at neighborhood establishments more enjoyable for some customers, but it makes it much easier for small restaurants to compete.

How did this change come about?  

The most recent push for the charter amendment change started over three years ago when a group of small, brave business owners brought their concerns to the Minneapolis Business Advisory Group.  These restaurant owners were struggling to meet the 70/30 food requirement for their business license and complained that they regularly had customers leaving because they felt that it was poor customer service to not be able to order a glass of wine before they made a food purchase. The City knew that it would take a significant effort to change this requirement.  It would require the support of the Charter Commission, Minneapolis City Council action, and a majority support of the voting public to change these requirements.  It was hard work, but a workgroup consisting of Council Members Glidden, Frey, and Palmisano along with business owners, business association members, and Minneapolis City staff worked diligently to provide restaurants and the public with the information they needed to vote during this past election and now the historic charter amendment has passed.

Officially, the amendment goes into effect on January 16, 2015 however, all Minneapolis restaurants are allowed to offer their patrons wine and beer prior to food service effective immediately.

For more information visit the City of Minneapolis Business Licensing webpage.

Help Minneapolis Plan Arts and Culture for
the Next 10 Years

City Skyline with paintings in the background

The City of Minneapolis is leading a planning process to think more strategically about how its arts and creative assets can best contribute to the local and regional economy and improve Minneapolis’ quality of life. We would like to hear from you about your participation in Minneapolis arts and culture. You can take a survey by November 21 either online or by downloading a PDF. Results from this survey will greatly inform the Creative City Road Map, a plan for Minneapolis arts and culture for the next 10 years.

Watch here for updates and more information about the process and events, a survey, and what Minneapolitans are saying and thinking about how the arts and creative activities connect to their lives.

Minneapolis Selected as Key Launch City to Support Efforts to Mitigate Long-Term Unemployment

In January, President Obama issued a call to action – to employers and to communities across the nation –to help more of the long-term unemployed (with an employment gap of 27 weeks or longer) get back to work. The Administration engaged with 300 of America’s leading companies to develop best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed.

Deloitte Consulting, working with the Rockefeller Foundation, recently selected Minneapolis and Chicago as key launch cities to support the White House’s efforts to mitigate long-term unemployment.

In an effort to mobilize key employers, non-profits, and government to work collaboratively towards reducing long-term unemployment in our metro area, three handbooks were drafted.

The handbooks are designed for employers to tap into this talent pool, for job seekers to re-tool their job search, and for communities to work together to alleviate this economic challenge.

Access these handbooks and learn more.

Minnesota Cost of Living Tool

When the Legislature recently passed an increase to the state minimum wage, the question of whom it would affect arose. A better understanding of who works for low wages helps to make policy and inform the debate.

In the insightful “Low-Income Workers in Minnesota,” Amanda Rohrer, labor market analyst, untangles the complex relationship between income and poverty – and sets the stage for Minnesota’s Cost of Living tool.

The Cost of Living tool provides a yearly estimate of the basic-needs cost of living in Minnesota, for individuals and families, by county, region, and statewide. The tool uses federal and state data to examine monthly living costs in seven categories: food, housing, health care, transportation, child care, other necessities, and net taxes.

Code42 Expands Headquarters Adding 400 Jobs

On November 14, the Minneapolis City Council gave their approval to  Code42 for a $70 million two-phase expansion project in Minneapolis.

A Minneapolis-based software developer, Code42, was founded in 2001 and today employs more than 350 engineering, sales, marketing, support, and operations professionals at its current headquarters in Northeast Minneapolis. The company—venture backed by Split Rock Partners and Accel Partners—also maintains offices in London and Sydney, Australia.

According to Code42, the first phase of the project will involve making additional investments at its existing Minneapolis headquarters at 1 Main St. SE, to accommodate headcount growth anticipated over the next two years. 

The project’s second phase, pending lease negotiations, includes relocating Code42’s headquarters to the new, eight-story MoZaic East office-retail complex that Minneapolis-based developer Ackerberg Group plans to build at 1350 Lagoon Ave. in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis in 2016.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will assist the company’s expansions with a package of incentives worth $3 million. The agency said it will support the first phase of the expansion with a $1 million forgivable loan from the Minnesota Investment Fund; the Minnesota Investment funds must be matched by investment by the company. The funds will be forgivable if all 150 jobs are created at wage levels are met.  The funds will be administered to Code42 by the City of Minneapolis.

For the second phase, Code42 will be eligible for up to $2 million from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund. Code42 will receive the funding after completing its hiring and investment commitments in that phase. 

Accessory Dwelling Units Amendment Proposed

Detached Unenclosed Parking

Above: Detached accessory dwelling unit drawing example

Council Member Bender introduced an ordinance amendment on June 27, 2014, to revise the zoning code to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) citywide. An ADU – also known as a “carriage house” or “granny flat” – is a dwelling unit that is an accessory to another residential structure, with its own kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.

In August and September, staff hosted four open houses across the city and administered an online survey to gather feedback on the allowance of ADUs. An additional open house took place in late October, following the publication of the preliminary draft ordinance.

The draft ordinance would make the three ADU types (internal, attached, and detached) allowed citywide on the same lot as a single or two-family home. The proposed regulations are intended to ensure that ADUs would fit in with the character and scale of Minneapolis’ existing neighborhoods. Follow the progress of the amendment on the project website.

DEED Labor Market Experts Are Available to Talk

DEED (Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development) has a speaker bureau with regional labor market analysts who are available for seminars, panel presentations, breakout sessions, briefings and trainings. They are typically free of charge for events that are open to the public or organized by partners in Minnesota's workforce development and education systems. A fee may be assessed to present at closed or for-profit events.

Learn more and schedule a speaker here.

Two New Guides for Job and Career Seekers

Minneapolis Employment and Training recently created two guides:

Apprenticeship Programs in the Metro Area: A guide for Minneapolis residents seeking apprenticeship information.

Employment and Opportunity Guide for Minneapolis Youth: A guide which lists Minneapolis employment, internship and volunteer opportunities for young people.