GrowingMinneapolis: News from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development January

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

January 2015


Emerge Technology Center Grand Opening

Emerge has transformed the former North Branch Library into the Emerge Career and Technology Center (ECTC). This new community resource will meet the needs of the North Minneapolis community and area employers by engaging partners, training low-income residents, and supplying metro-area businesses with skilled workers. 

  • January 22, 4-7pm
    North Branch Library
    1834 Emerson Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411

There will be a program at 5pm and a tour of the building.
More Information

Uptown Up Close: An Evening of Art, Flavor and Entertainment 

Experience the best of Uptown. Ticket purchase necessary.

  • January 27, 5-8pm
    Lake Calhoun Event Center
    3450 Irving Ave. S.
    Minneapolis, MN 55408

Click here for more information or call 612-823-4581.


Homegrown Minneapolis hands out "Heroes" Awards

The winners of the “Homegrown Heroes” awards for 2014 were:

  • Capi-USA
  • Ousman Camara
  • Adam Kay, Chip Small and students
  • Hamilton Heights Community Garden

Read more

New & Expanding Businesses




Internship Opportunities

STEP-UP Applications Are Now Available

STEP-UP, the summer jobs program for Minneapolis youth is accepting applications until February 18, 2015.

More Information

Marketing and Communications Graduate Intern

Interested in working with the City of Minneapolis department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) on marketing and communications projects?  CPED will be hiring a Marketing and Communications Graduate Intern to:

  • Coordinate the development of GrowingMinneapolis newsletter including writing, editing, and layout of content,
  • Maintain and develop City website content,
  • Assist in the development of media releases, marketing collateral, presentations, social media content, and other materials,
  • Assist in the production of communication materials for special events such as groundbreaking ceremonies, grand openings and press conferences,
  • Miscellaneous other marketing and communications duties.

A qualified candidate must have strong computer skills including experience with Microsoft Office, email marketing software, and multiple social media platforms.  A successful candidate will also be able to demonstrate excellent organizational, writing, proof reading, communication, time-management, and prioritization skills. Graphic design experience is a plus, but not required.

To apply: send resume, cover letter and writing samples to Rose Lindsay by January 30, 2015. 

Learn about Job Training and Hiring Events

Twice monthly, City of Minneapolis Employment and Training and the Minneapolis WorkForce Centers publish a Minneapolis Job Seeker Bulletin email listing out the latest job and career fair information, hiring and training events, job training programs, links to job listings and more.  To subscribe to this free publication or view previous issues click here.

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: Surly Brewing

Surly Collage

Left: Inside Surly brewery, Top Right: Inside the brew house, Bottom Right: Outside the new Surly Brewing facility

In 2010, Omar Ansari, the owner of Surly Brewing, became inspired to create Minnesota’s first destination brewery. However, before he could get started, he first had to get the state’s liquor laws changed so breweries could sell their products onsite. A year later, the “Surly Bill” passed with Omar leading the way.  With this task completed, Omar began looking for a space large enough for his vision. The search took him to over 80 sites including an 8.5 acre piece of land located at 520 Malcolm Avenue SE, Minneapolis. The parcel offered ample space for a 49,000 sq. ft. facility, 1.5 acre garden and parking for employees and guests (along with future expansion potential); it was also within blocks of the new Green Line LRT and centrally located between both downtowns and near the University of Minnesota. Add into the mix that the Prospect Park Neighborhood was already working on a high-density, mixed use district and felt that Surly Brewing would only catalyze those plans and it was a done deal.

In October 2013, Surly broke ground surrounded by friends and supporters.  The City of Minneapolis helped the brewery acquire $2M in funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Metropolitan Council, and Hennepin County to clean up and prepare the former potato processing plant. Hennepin County also provided an additional $500K Transit-Oriented Development loan to support the development.  

On December 19, 2014, just over a year later, the brewery, 300 seat beer hall, kitchen, and retail store opened to the public on what Mayor Hodges declared “Surly Brewing Day” in Minneapolis. The second floor event center and fine dining restaurant are expected to be complete in the spring of 2015 and the outdoor garden will open when weather permits.

Four years ago, Surly employed fewer than 20 people; now, the company employs over 200 between its two locations. When asked if he imagined the number of taprooms there would be today and jobs created in the industry due to his vision four years ago, Omar smiled and said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” 

City of Minneapolis Adds 5 New Providers to Support the Development of Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses 

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Minneapolis City Council approved $550,000 in new Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) funding to be dispersed through ten two-year contracts to nonprofit providers to support small- and medium-sized businesses to start, stay and grow in Minneapolis. With these contracts, the City will add five new service providers resulting in 16 total providers and $1.05 million in allocated funds to support the development of Minneapolis entrepreneurs and small businesses. The providers include: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) housed at St Thomas University, African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS), The West Bank Business Association (WBBA), The Association of Women Contractors (AWC), and the Corcoran Neighborhood Association.

B-TAP nonprofit contract providers are focused on business development and already have an established community network, cultural competency and technical skills. Through September 2014, B-TAP resources supported the creation of 32 new businesses, 181 new jobs, and the retention of 406 jobs. Businesses assisted through the program in 2014 were owned by a diverse set of entrepreneurs with over 94% of program clients being minority-owned businesses and 55% being women-owned.

Read More

Visit B-TAP website

Business Profile: Hoodstarter

Hoodstarter website screenshot

Launched last summer, Hoodstarter is a website designed to change the way the commercial real estate industry does business.  It does this by bringing together three previously distinct audiences – community members, businesses and brokers - to exchange ideas about how to fill a vacant space while making a neighborhood more vibrant.  The site offers different functionalities for each group while at the same time providing the Hoodstarter team with valuable market data.  Community members are provided an outlet to post ideas and vote on what businesses they would like to see added to their neighborhood.  Businesses are given a platform to pitch their projects and request support from community members (similar to Kickstarter).  Brokers can use the website to market a vacant space and gather intelligence on what businesses a neighborhood will support at a particular location; perhaps learning of a concept they would never have thought to recruit on their own.

With just six months under their belt, Hoodstarter co-founders, Justin Ley and David Berglund, are still testing things out.  For example, three very different properties are currently featured on their homepage – a commercial retail space in Hopkins, a giant furniture liquidator store on Chicago and 38th in Minneapolis, and the first floor of the new West Side Flats apartment building in Saint Paul owned by Sherman and Associates.  These locations were strategically selected so the Hoodstarter team could analyze how different geographic areas and commercial spaces performed on the site.  This data will help them continue to shape the platform and provide value to their growing broker customer base.

Hoodstarter expects 2015 to be a year of innovation, value creation and growth.  They anticipate they will be able to share their first success story (or stories) soon.  They also may look to expand to other cities. But most of all, they plan to change an industry that has not seen much change in a long time.    

New Software Engineering School: Prime Digital Academy

Prime Digital Academy is a new software engineering school offering an 18 to 30 week learning program that focuses on industry-led experiential learning and apprenticeship with some of the metro’s leading IT employers.
Classes for the first student cohort will begin March 3, 2015.
Nearly 30 businesses have signed on to work with Prime Digital Academy by hosting apprenticeships, serving on the curriculum board, and committing to hire graduates. They include Sport NGIN, Thomson Reuters, Robert Half Technology, Digital People, and GovDelivery, to name a few.
Prime is partnering with City of Minneapolis Employment and Training, the Minnesota High Tech Association, the Creating IT Futures Foundation and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis to increase the accessibility of the program to all Minnesotans by making public and private funding available for qualifying students who would be otherwise unable to attend.
More Information

SciTechsperience Internship Program

SciTechsperience is an internship program that creates the opportunity for Minnesota businesses to work with talented college STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students to increase productivity, revitalize their organizations with fresh perspectives, and find future employees.
SciTechsperience provides a low-cost solution for small and medium-sized companies that otherwise may not have access to qualified interns. Participating companies receive matching funds of 50% of the intern’s wages up to $2,500.
Eligibility requirements are:

  • Must be a for-profit company eligible to conduct business in MN
  • Seven-county metro area companies must have fewer than 150 employees worldwide.

The company is doing business in one of the following industries:

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Agriculture, Food, Forestry
  • Biotechnology, Life Sciences and Health IT
  • Engineering Services
  • Fuels, Energy, Energy Management
  • IT/Computer Technology
  • Mining, Materials, Manufacturing and Processing

More Information

Manufacturing Production Course Produces Impressive Results

The City of Minneapolis Employment and Training recently worked in partnership with EMERGE Community Development to offer a highly successful, short-term manufacturing production course, providing targeted, pre-employment instruction to Minneapolis residents. Course instruction was based on an in-depth analysis of business demand and specifically designed to lead to well-paying medical assembly jobs at St. Jude Medical’s Plymouth location. The course was offered during evening hours, three days per week over a six-week period, with transportation provided by EMERGE. Content areas included: clean room protocol, manufacturing terminology, and math and measurement for production. Recruiting and assessment services were provided by EMERGE staff. Of the students recruited, ten of the eleven were North Minneapolis residents. Prior to the training, ten were unemployed  and one had a part-time job.
The results of the course have been impressive: all eleven of the students in the first class cohort completed the training, with 80% passing the pre-employment examination on their first attempt. All students who passed the course will start full-time work in January, 2015.
EMERGE plans to support another training cohort in early 2015. Interested individuals should plan to attend an information session at EMERGE’s North Minneapolis office location, offered each Monday at 1101 West Broadway Avenue, at 10am, or contact program manager, Mohamed Ali, at
(612) 236-0465.

City of Minneapolis Gives Away Free Radon Test Kits for Radon Action Month

The City of Minneapolis will be giving away 200 radon test kits during the month of January to increase awareness of the cancer risks of radon and to encourage people to test their homes for it. Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls. It is estimated that two in five Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas. Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as National Radon Action Month.
Kits are donated by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are available at the City of Minneapolis Development Review, 250 S. 4th St., Room 300. Hours of operation are:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8am-4:30pm.
  • Thursdays from 9am-4:30 pm.

Once the supply of free radon test kits runs out, kits will still be available for purchase for $9 each. Radon exposure and problems in homes can be fixed. MDH recommends that all Minnesota homes be tested.

For more information on radon testing and mitigation, click here or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050.

People interested in mitigating their homes for radon should consult the Minnesota Department of Health’s list of certified radon mitigation contractors

Stay Up-to-Date on Downtown East with New Website


The Downtown East district of Minneapolis is experiencing an upsurge in development driven primarily by investments in the new Multipurpose Stadium and the adjacent Ryan Downtown East Mixed-Use Development. However, many other significant projects are also occurring in the area. The City of Minneapolis has developed a new webpage dedicated to all of the projects going on in Downtown East.  To learn more visit here.