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

Growing MPLS

August 2015

Upcoming Events

Preserve Minneapolis Walking Tours

Several locations, dates & times
Fee: $9 per person

Preserve Minneapolis hosts tours throughout the summer in different historic Minneapolis locations with the help of volunteer tour guides. Call 612-695-7572 with questions.
More Information

Battle of the Badges

Saturday, August 15, 11am-4pm
North Commons Park
1801 James Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Minneapolis Police Officers and Firefighters will compete to cook the best ribs for a large judging panel of community residents and local celebrities. As the competitors fire up the grill and smokers, there will be free beef hot dogs and hamburgers. The Fire Department will have its smoke trailer and Police will have its K-9 and Mounted Patrol units. Other entertainment will include radio station KMOJ and performances.
More Information

Seward Co-op Career Fair

Saturday, August 15, 10am-2pm
Sabathani Community Center
310 East 38th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55409

A fair will be hosted where you can talk to Franklin and Friendship store managers about job opportunities.
More Information

Lake Street Cabaret

Saturday, August 15, 5pm-10pm
Elsa’s House of Sleep
3540 East Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55406

$25 tickets for reservations
$10-30 sliding-scale tickets available only at door
**Please note that these tickets are only for the dinner and performances at Gandhi Mahal at 7pm. Everything else is free or with a suggested donation and do not require reservations.
A collaborative performance event celebrating the many cultures and traditions along Lake Street. One night only!
Purchase a Ticket
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OpenStreets: Franklin

Sunday, August 16, 11am-5pm
Franklin Avenue Minneapolis

Event is free and open to the public.
More Information

Made Here Market
Sunday, August 16, 23, 30
Loring Cornors Alley
1382 Willow Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403

The Made Here Market will feature local artisans displaying and selling Minnesota-made handicrafts and art. Event is free and open to the public.
More Information

Experience Minnehaha

Saturday, August 22, Noon-6pm
Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis

Dance! Shop! Meet neighborhood artists! A series of events for the whole family to visit and experience everything that's popping up on Minnehaha Avenue!
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OpenStreets: Downtown

Sunday, August 23, 11am-5pm
Downtown Minneapolis

Event is free and open to the public.
More Information

Cinema in the Cemetery

Starting on Saturday, August 29, the Friends of the Cemetery in partnership with The Trylon Microcinema will show four films to benefit Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery located at 2925 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis.

August 29
Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters

September 12
The Haunting

September 26

October 3 
Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages 

More information


The Small Business Revolution Starts Now

For Deluxe Corporation’s 100th Anniversary, the company started a project called The Small Business Revolution where it will reward the top 100 stories of small businesses in America. Seven Twin Cities small businesses are already featured in this national project.
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Minneapolis Restaurants Finalists for Bon Appétit Magazine

Bon Appétit, a food magazine known as an authority on restaurants, named three Minneapolis establishments as finalists for its Hot 10 list of the country's best new eateries; Spoon and Stable, Hola Arepa, and Heyday join 47 other nominees from across the nation. Click here to view the whole list. 
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Thomas Boemer is The King of Porc

The chef and co-owner of the wildly popular Corner Table and Revival, Thomas Boerner, won the national Grand Cocho culinary competition for 2015.
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Minneapolis Ranks Fourth Nationwide for Digital Health VC Funding

Minneapolis digital health startups raised $145 million through the first half of the year, earning the city fourth place in a national ranking. Topping Minneapolis are San Francisco Bay area ($1.5 billion) in first place, New York City ($304 million) in second, and Boston ($272 million) in third.
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New & Expanding Businesses






Coworking Space


How Did Your Neighborhood Look Decades Ago? Find Out with New Online Historical Aerial Photographs

Minneapolis has changed a lot since the 1930s, and now you can see those changes for yourself.

As part of a collaborative effort with the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Historical Society, the University of Minnesota Libraries has completed digitization of more than 4,500 historical aerial photos of Minneapolis. All of the large-scale, detailed aerial photos, dating back to 1938, are freely available for viewing by the public.

The Minneapolis photos were added to the Libraries’ existing Minnesota Historical Aerial Photographs Online collection, which includes more than 121,000 aerial photographs from around the state that date back to 1923.  
View Photos

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: Local D'Lish

Local D'Lish Collage

In 2006, while living in her husband Yulin’s hometown of Wuhan, China, Ann Yin visited the local farmers market every day. She found it refreshing to know exactly who and where her food came from. Shopping at the market, Ann felt a strong connection with her food and the farmers - something she missed upon returning to the United States.

Ann began thinking of ways to strengthen the connection with her food back in the U.S. In 2008, after receiving funding from the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), Ann opened Local D’Lish at 208 N 1st Street, Minneapolis, a “farmers market” in retail format. The store has become a platform for the local food movement, helping plant seeds for Minnesota brands such as Lucille’s Kitchen Garden and Bliss Granola. In 2013, MCCD partnered with the City of Minneapolis to provide additional financing which enabled Local D’Lish to expand its deli operations and enhance their cooking classes. The City provided financing through its Two-Percent and Homegrown Business Development Center loan programs. Local D’Lish is now a North Loop staple, filling the need for a specialty grocery store for residents, workers and local food enthusiasts.

In addition to food, Local D’Lish sells kitchenware and offers cooking classes that focus on local food products in a casual format. The store also hosts a weekly “Farmer-in-the-Market,” which takes place each Wednesday and features produce from the McKinley Urban Farm in North Minneapolis.

Ann says that her greatest achievement is helping bring awareness to the local food scene in Minneapolis and is proud that her store is able to help small food brands gain a stronger foothold. Currently, Local D’Lish is selling products from Minnesota brands including Minnesota Nice Spice, Sally’s Simple Syrups, Blue Henn Tonic Syrup, Superior Switchel, and Nordic Cinnamon Sprinkle.

STEP-UP Hosts 12th Annual Graduation Ceremony

STEP-UP Graduation Ceremony Collage
Top Left: Audience watching performance by Toki Wright; Top Right: Mayor Hodges talks about the importance of STEP-UP interns in the 21st Century; Bottom: Ribbon Dance performance by Iny Asian Dance Theater and Asian Media Access

On Monday, August 10, the City of Minneapolis’ youth-employment program, STEP-UP, hosted its 12th annual intern graduation event at the Guthrie Theater. At the event, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and STEP-UP Co-chairs R.T.  Rybak, Executive Director of Generation Next and Richard Davis, President and CEO of U.S. Bank, announced the 2015 Employer, Intern and Supervisor of the Year awards.

2015 Award Winners:

Employer of the Year

  • Pillsbury United Communities
  • Xcel Energy

Intern of the Year

  • Imani Evege, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
  • Logan Allen, Little Earth of United Tribes
  • Jessie Vang, Ebenezer
  • Juan Sanchez Garcia, U.S. Bank

Supervisor of the Year

  • Marques Bates , Community Bridge
  • Tina Johnson, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
  • Diane Collins, HealthPartners
  • Colin Owens, Metropolitan Council

The event was hosted by STEP-UP Alumni Matthew Vue, with reflections from current STEP-UP interns Abdirahim Mohamed and Lor Vang. The graduation featured a performance by Toki Wright, a former City of Minneapolis intern, now a musician, radio host, educator, and community organizer. In addition, Iny Asian Dance Group and Asian Media Access performed two Asian-American dance fusion numbers featuring six STEP-UP interns.

The STEP-UP program is a partnership with AchieveMpls, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Project for Pride in Living, serving Minneapolis youth ages 14-21 who face some of the greatest barriers to employment, including youth of color, youth from low-income families, and youth with disabilities. Learn more about STEP-UP at the City of Minneapolis website

City of Minneapolis Hosts a Downtown Public Realm Community Meeting

Downtown Public Realm Collage
Nearly 50 attended the Downtown Public Realm meeting at Central Library on August 10

On August 10th, the City hosted a public meeting of nearly 50 people at the Central Library to discuss the Downtown Public Realm Framework Plan (DPRF). The DPRF will establish a framework and policies to enhance pedestrian experience downtown, prioritizing streets and public spaces. The agenda of the meeting included comments by Council Member Jacob Frey and CPED staff, Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb, and Steve Cramer (Downtown Council). Attendees also had the opportunity to give their own feedback.

The Downtown Public Realm Framework contains existing policies and practices in the public realm, intended to guide future outcomes in capital planning, site plan review, and public/private partnership toward public realm enhancement. “If we expect developers and businesses to make investments that benefit the public realm (and we do), the City must get everyone on the same page,” said Council Member Jacob Frey. “This framework is a great step towards that end.” You can learn more about the Downtown Public Realm Framework on the City’s website and comment on the Downtown Public Realm Framework by taking this survey

Lake Street Station Offers 64 Units of Senior Affordable Housing

Lake Street Grand Opening Collage
Top: Lake Street Station senior affordable housing located on 2220 East Lake Street; Bottom Left: Ribbon cutting; Bottom Right: Station garden

On July 23rd, Wellington Management, Inc. held the official grand opening of its new affordable senior housing development in Minneapolis, Lake Street Station, with an official ribbon cutting with representatives from the City of Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County, Wellington Management, Inc. and Steven Scott Management.

Lake Street Station is a 64-unit senior housing project located between the Lake Street/Midtown Station Light Rail Stop and Hi-Lake Shopping Center. The new building also contains 5,300 sq. ft. street-level retail space on East Lake Street. According to Ninth Ward Council Member Alondra Caro, the building “provides much needed affordable housing options for the elders in our community while being conveniently located along one of the most highly used public transportation areas of our city.”

The project was funded through Low Income Housing Tax Credits, TCF Bank, the City of Minneapolis, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LSC), the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County, and WNC Associates. 

Business Profile: Five Watt Coffee

Five Watt Coffee Collage

With over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry, Five Watt Coffee co-owner Caleb Garn always knew he wanted a coffee shop of his own. He met his business partner, Lee Cater, while working at Bull Run Coffee Bar in South Minneapolis. The two quickly connected over their affinity for the bass guitar. After realizing their great dynamic and shared vision, Caleb and Lee opened Five Watt in the Kingfield neighborhood.

Before they could open their new shop, the building (built in the early 1900s) needed extensive renovation. After stripping the outdated drop ceiling and linoleum floors, Caleb and Lee discovered the building’s original tin ceiling and wooden floors, which they left exposed. They received a Great Streets façade grant from the City of Minneapolis through a partnership with the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association (soon to change their name to the Southwest Business Association) that paid for Five Watt’s storefront, signage, and bay door (left open on warm days.)

Now, Five Watt has a communal vibe, tons of regulars and serves a variety of unique coffee drinks, from the Kingfield (vanilla, coriander bitters, espresso, milk, and sea salt) to the Big Easy (cold press, house-made chicory nutmeg simple syrup, black walnut bitters, and cream.) They also host “Sunday Service,” a $5.00 oatmeal bar with live music that takes place each Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Beyond the Five Watt shop, Caleb and Lee continue to increase their presence throughout coffee world. They have their own roasting facility, Five Watt Roasting, located in St. Paul. In addition, by November 2015, they plan to open Big Watt, a brewing facility for cold press, bitters and sodas, located in Minneapolis. 

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro Tours Minneapolis Promise Zone

HUD Collage
Photos provided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

On Thursday, August 6th, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro toured the Minneapolis Promise Zone, located in North Minneapolis, along with Congressman Keith Ellison, Mayor Betsy Hodges, Council President Barbara Johnson, Council Member Blong Yang and other invited guests. The tour began in the West Broadway Commercial Corridor at Dupont and West Broadway and ended at the EMERGE Career and Technology Center. On the tour, Secretary Castro spoke to youth interns at Appetite for Change and Cookie Cart.

In January 2014, the Obama Administration announced the Promise Zone initiative, a cross-Cabinet collaboration that uses federal and community resources to create opportunity and to revitalize undeserved neighborhoods. Promise Zones recognize and reward cities that develop innovative approaches to revitalize high-poverty communities. In April of 2015, Minneapolis along with eight other areas, including Indianapolis, Sacramento and St. Louis were welcomed into the program, which aims to designate a total of 20 Promise Zones nationwide.

North Minneapolis was selected as a Promise Zone because of its plan to ensure high-quality education through mentorship and data-driven instruction and deterring crime through supporting entrepreneurs and small-business development.

City Introduces First City-Funded Multi-Generational Homes

Green Homes North
Homes located at 4700 and 4704 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis

On July 29, the City of Minneapolis and City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT) celebrated the completion of the first two city-funded multi-generational homes in Minneapolis with a program and tour. The homes, located at 4700 and 4704 Bryant Avenue North, were built as a part of the City’s Green Homes North initiative, an effort to build 100 affordable, sustainable and energy efficient homes in five years. The project began as a way to revitalize the North Minneapolis neighborhoods hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

CLCT in partnership with architect Marnie Peichel and general contractor J. Lewis Building & Remodeling built each multi-generational home featuring a 1600 sq. ft. main unit with three bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms and an unfinished basement. Each home also has an additional 500 sq. ft. attached accessory dwelling unit with one bedroom, one bathroom and a kitchenette. Council President Barbara Johnson stated the homes are, “a unique opportunity to meet the needs of families who care for extended, aging family members including new American and immigrant families that stay housed together as part of their culture.”

Currently, 28 Green Homes are complete with another 28 in progress. In addition to being funded by the City of Minneapolis Green Homes North program, they are also  supported by Minnesota Housing, Family Housing Fund and Twin Cities Community Land Bank.

STEP-UP Interns Explore Technology Careers with Silicon North Stars

SNS Collage
Top: Silicon North Star group at FaceBook; Middle Left: Students brainstorming ideas for new companies; Middle Right: Students in class session; Bottom: Students participating in activities at Stanford University

The City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program partnered for a second year with the Silicon North Stars, a nonprofit organization founded by Google employees Steve and Mary Grove.

Silicon North Stars is an experiential education program that gives a group of high-potential incoming ninth-graders (eight from Minneapolis STEP-UP and eight from St. Paul high schools) the opportunity to spend a week in California's Silicon Valley, learning about technology from some of the top tech companies and startups in the world.

Steve Grove, who grew up in Northfield, Minnesota said, “We felt like we can make the biggest impact with students who show a lot of promise but may not have as much opportunity.” 

The group spent the week of July 26th visiting Google, Facebook, YouTube, Indiegogo, Lyft, and several  tech startups.  Mid-week they shifted gears and learned about design thinking and created a tech solution to a problem posed to them. At the end of the week they pitched their start-up ideas to Silicon Valley tech leaders at an event in San Francisco. 

“I feel more inspired in high school to work hard and get good grades,” Camryn Franke, 14, said. “Now I feel like I can reach my goals.” 

Trip chaperone Anna Peterson, Program Manager for STEP-UP, remarked, “We want to spark that interest while they’re young so that they can continue to grow and develop throughout high school.”

Learn more about the program