GrowingMinneapolis: News from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

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

April 2015

Upcoming Events

Holland Neighborhood’s 11th Annual Hotdish Revolution

Sunday, April 12, 4pm
St. Maron’s Cedars Hall
602 University Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

There will be a hotdish and jello competition, live music, and lots of fun.
More Information 

South Minneapolis
Housing Fair

Saturday, April 18, 10am-3pm
Minneapolis Sports Center
2121 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Whether you are giving a room a "make-over" or starting from the ground up, you'll find answers to all of your questions at the 21st Annual South Minneapolis Housing Fair. Event is free and open to the public. More Information

Ninth Annual Minneapolis Teen Job Fair

Saturday, April 25, 12pm-3pm
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401
More Information

Minneapolis/St Paul
Home Tour

Saturday, April 25, 10am-5pm
Sunday, April 26, 1pm-5pm

Whether you're looking for kitchen, bath, other room ideas, or a contractor to bid on an addition, you'll find encouragement and resources at the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour. You can speak directly with homeowners to find out about remodeling, expanding, or building new. Contractors, architects, and other tradespeople will also be available to answer your questions.
More Information

Twin Cities Burger Battle

Saturday, May 16, 5pm-8pm
Minneapolis Armory
1025 Broadway Street Northeast
Minneapolis, MN 55413

This year will be bigger and better! Nearly 2,000 tickets will go on sale April 10th. The tickets will cost $50 and include a taste of all the burgers, beer and live entertainment.
More Information


Northeast Minneapolis Wins Vote for Nation's Best Arts District

Fans of the Northeast Minneapolis Art District propelled the neighborhood to a win in USA Today's "Best Arts District" poll. With Northeast Minneapolis in first, the South of Washington Neighborhood in Boston comes in second and the Station North Neighborhood located in Baltimore comes in third.    Read More

Heyday's Jim Christiansen is a 2015 Food and Wine Best New Chef

Each year Food and Wine Magazine chooses 10 chefs from 10 American cities as the finest young up-and-comers. The nomination can mean stratospheric career trajectories; nominees share the ranks with names like Daniel Boulud, April Bloomfield, Nancy Silverton, Tom Colicchio, and David Chang -- in other words, the biggest in the business. Our own Jim Christiansen of Heyday was nominated Tuesday.             Read More

New & Expanding Businesses







Real Estate


Boards & Commissions Annual Reports

City Planning Commission

Board of Adjustment

Heritage Preservation Commission

Minneapolis Tops Best Big City Job Markets

Here’s the list of the top ten best big city (population over 1 million) job markets in 2015, which were determined by ranking cities by Applicants-to-Employer ratio, Applications-to-Job posting ratio, and Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment scores:

  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Salt Lake City, UT
  3. Columbus, OH
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Cincinnati, OH
  6. Pittsburgh, PA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Richmond, VA
  9. Birmingham, AL
  10. Washington, DC

More Information

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: Simpls Grab and Go

Bringing healthy, local snacks and lunch options to professionals on the go

Simpls Collage
Inside Simpls Grab-and-Go.

After noticing the need for healthier options in the skyway, founders Ryan Rosenthal and Michael von Fange opened Simpls Grab-and-Go last September with the goal of making organic and locally-sourced food readily available for health-conscious professionals on the go. Simpls combines the format of a convenience store with products that could be found at a local farmer’s market.

Simpls’ mainstays are homemade and organic grab-and-go sandwiches, soups, salads, and a widespread array of better-for-you snacks. Supporting local, like-minded businesses in Minnesota is very important to Ryan and Michael, so they carry as many options from local vendors as possible. Some of the local products they carry are Prohibition Kombucha (on tap), Whole Me, Sift Gluten Free Bakery, and Peace Coffee.  Simpls' vendors also play a big part in their marketing strategy by hosting in-store sampling events and by sharing retail experience with the new business owners.  Although financing was a challenge at first, assistance from Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD) helped Simpls form a loan package with financing from Highland Bank, the City of Minneapolis, and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Ryan and Michael are proud of their business’ positive reception. As Simpls develops, they continue to seek out new products and services - local whenever possible.  Immediate ideas on the horizon include: adding the first all-organic salad bar in the skyway and getting a stall at the downtown Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market.  

Construction Begins on the West Broadway Education and Career Center in 90 Days!

West Broadway Building Rendering
Rendering of new West Broadway Education and Career Center by Sherman Associates.

A community meeting about the West Broadway Education and Career Center was held March 31 at the Capri Theater. Presenters explained that the center will be an innovative collaboration of education and healthcare tenants and will begin construction in just 90 days! The building is scheduled to open at 800 West Broadway in North Minneapolis by the spring of 2016 and is being developed by Sherman Associates.

The anchor tenant of the center will be the North Minneapolis Workforce Center of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). At the community meeting in March, Jeremy Hanson-Willis, Deputy Commissioner of DEED, announced that the center will “have a fresh look and feel,” a diverse staff, and offer culturally appropriate information. It will also include a Wellness Room and Teen Zone.

Other major tenants are Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), the Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC), and NorthPoint Health and Wellness. Michael Gore, Interim Superintendent of MPS, and Kristie Snyder, Interim President of MCTC, presented a partnership between the schools that will offer students the opportunity to complete high school courses while earning college credits. MPS and MCTC will also partner with the North Minneapolis WorkForce Center to ensure that students’ education leads to sustainable careers.

Stella Whitney-West, CEO of North Point Health and Wellness Center, also spoke about the center’s medical clinic that will provide physical, dental and behavioral health services. In addition to these tenants, a retail component of the building is also planned, although the tenant has not been determined.

Sherman Associates will provide more information about bidding and contracting opportunities later this month. Details will be posted on the City’s website.

Over 300 People Learn About Careers and Training at the Cedar Riverside Hiring and Training Fair

Cedar Riverside Career Fair Collage
Over 300 people attended the Cedar Riverside and Training Fair.

On Tuesday, March 31, over 300 people attended the Cedar Riverside Hiring and Training Fair to learn about job openings, free training programs and employment support. When the doors opened at 10 a.m., 60 people were already lined up outside the Brian Coyle Community Center, waiting to be checked in!

After checking in, job counselors matched attendees' career interests with available activities and exhibitors. In addition, 150 people received assistance with resume writing and completing online job applications in the computer lab. There were 22 exhibitors at the event; employers such as Seward Co-Op and the Minneapolis Police Department promoted over 1,000 job openings, while organizations including MCTC and HHH Job Corp discussed 25 plus options for higher learning and free training opportunities for positions such as customer service and nursing opportunities.

This was the first of two Hiring and Training Fairs sponsored by the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County for the Cedar Riverside Neighborhood. The second job fair is being planned for later this year. 

Elevate Your Business Ideas, The 11th Minnesota Cup is Now Accepting Applications!

The 11th Minnesota Cup hosted by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota is now accepting applicants. The competition provides businesses with a platform to take their ideas to the next level, including the opportunity to win up to $327,000 in prize money. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is among the sponsors of the Minnesota Cup.

Researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and small business owners may apply. The divisions are energy/clean technology/water, food/agriculture/beverage, general, high tech, health IT, social entrepreneur, and student. Entries must contain a description of the product or service, an explanation of the market opportunity, a marketing overview, an operating plan, and financial projections.

There will be a first selection round in June, semifinals in July, and a final division selection in August. The final awards event is on Sept. 9, when judges will announce the winner of the $50,000 grand prize. Last year’s winner, Deepinder Singh of 75F, stated that “since winning the Cup, my company has gone from strength to strength, earning industry recognition and generating substantial capital. It’s been a tremendous experience all around."


Downtown East Commons Draft Alternative Approaches Unveiled at Public Meeting

Renderings of the four alternative approaches
Rendering provided by Hargreaves Associates.

On Wednesday, April 8, the City of Minneapolis, in partnership with Hargreaves Associates, presented draft alternative approaches for the Downtown East Commons. The presentation took place at a public meeting held at the Mill City Museum, with over 200 people in attendance .

The draft alternative approaches presented a range of options for the future Commons, which will be a transformative open space in Downtown Minneapolis. Combining feedback from a public meeting in February and 2,500 survey responses, the design team developed four alternative approaches that responded to priorities identified through this public process. Rather than selecting one scheme presented, the alternative approaches were intended to elicit feedback on key design elements such as the character of the open space, programmable spaces, a potential café, a potential water feature, etc. Public disccusion of the four options will help the City and design team better understand the strengths of each approach and will help shape the development of a preferred scheme.

Following the presentation, attendees broke into small groups to discuss the alternative approaches. Groups summarized the positives and negatives of each approach and selected a spokesperson to report their thoughts to the full meeting. Boards illustrating the four alternative approaches were located around the room and a physical model with inserts of each option also allowed opportunities for discussion and feedback throughout the evening.

The next public meeting planned for this project is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 27, 2015, to present the preferred approach. If you would like to submit a survey to provide your own feedback about the four proposed draft alternative concepts for Downtown East Commons, visit the project's website.

Minnesota Construction Crew’s Trades Hiring Expo Promotes Careers in a Growing Field

Over 280 people attended the Trades Hiring Expo hosted by the Minnesota Construction Crew on April 6 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This is the largest construction hiring event in the state, and with an expected 20 percent increased need for construction workers from 2012-2022, it was a great opportunity for those seeking a career in the construction industry to complete applications and meet with 45 contractors and seven unions.

At the event, exhibitors promoted up to 200 positions in industries such as carpentry, roofing, cement masonry, and bricklaying. Union halls were present to answer questions about specific trades. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to register for Construction Hiring Connection, an online database for hiring opportunities and job leads.

The Minnesota Construction Crew Trades Hiring Expo was produced by a volunteer committee comprised of contractors and organizations such as JeDunn Construction, Ramsey County, and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Additional support for the event came from the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. 

New Beginnings Program Helps Those Facing Cultural Barriers Enter the Job Market

Cedar Riverside New Beginning Grad

In January 2015, EMERGE Community Development launched an adapted curriculum for a new audience at the Brian Coyle Center in Cedar-Riverside. The New Beginnings at Coyle prepares people facing language and cultural barriers to enter the job market.
According to Jama Omar, EMERGE workforce coach based at the Coyle Center, New Beginnings does not ask participants to change their culture. Instead, it teaches them to become aware of it and to communicate about it to potential employers. 
One job-seeker had worked with Jama for over a month, attending many interviews, but never getting called back. He attended the week-long New Beginnings class where he learned how to tell his story and practiced interviewing.  He completed the workshop, got called for another interview, and was hired. Said Jama, “I’m excited about seeing these changes and grateful for an opportunity to help the community.”

The New Beginnings program is supported by City of Minneapolis Employment and Training.

Find out more about New Beginnings 

Minnesota Job Vacancies Climb to 88,900 in Fourth Quarter of 2014

  • Minnesota job vacancies rose to 88,900, a 47 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.
  • 55.4 percent of the vacancies (49,300) were in the seven-county Twin Cities.
  • Vacancies were up 48.6 percent from a year earlier in the Twin Cities.
  • The Twin Cities now has a 1-to-1 ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies.
  • Greater Minnesota has 1.2 unemployed workers for every job vacancy.
  • Health care and social assistance led all sectors with 21 percent of the openings.
  • Accommodation and food services had 13.4 percent of the job vacancies, followed by retail trade (12.6 percent), manufacturing (11.1 percent) and educational services (6 percent).
  • 40 percent of job vacancies were for part-time employment.
  • 39 percent of vacancies required some level of post-secondary education or training beyond a high school diploma.
  • The median wage offer for all job vacancies was $13.29 per hour. On average, the more education and experience required, the higher the wage offer.

This data is from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Job Vacancy Survey. To see more details in the fourth quarter report, please click here.