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

Growing MPLS

August 2016

CPED's Mission: Grow a vibrant, livable, safely built city for everyone. 


This Is Our City Youth Docent Led Tours

This Is Our City is a new interactive visual art exhibition highlighting the recent work of the innovative Creative CityMaking Minneapolis artist-City collaborations. Visit the exhibition on a tour lead by youth docents. To register, email Intermediate Arts or call 612-871-4444.

Fri., Aug. 12, 2pm-3pm
Sat., Aug. 20, 3pm-4pm
Fri., Aug. 26, 4pm-5pm
More Information

2016 Summer Filmmaking Showcase

Thursday, August 18, 
Intermediate Arts
2822 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Intermediate Arts is showcasing short films about important local teen issues made by their summer
STEP-UP interns!
More Information

Open Streets Minneapolis

Sunday, August 21,
Franklin Avenue
See Map

Sunday, September 10,
West Broadway
See Map

Open Street events create miles of safe, car-free streets so that residents of all ages can walk, bike, participate in spontaneous play activities, and get to know one another. Event is free and open to the public.
More Information

Preserve Minneapolis Summer Walking Tours for August
Historic East Hennepin

Learn about the history, culture, and urban design of Minneapolis with Preserve Minneapolis Walking Tours! Tickets cost $9 with limited space.
More Information

Night Out North Loop

Thu., Aug. 25, 5pm-8pm
Thu., Sept. 29, 5pm-8pm
North Loop Minneapolis

Explore the shopping and dining North Loop has to offer along with special events, amusements, and discounts at the Night Out North Loop. Event is most definitely free and family friendly!
More Information


American Indian OIC Recognized for Outstanding Work

A partner of the City of Minneapolis’ MSP TechHire initiative, American Indian OIC (AIOIC), was recently recognized by the First Nations Development Institute, the Kresge Foundation, and the National Urban Indian Family Coalition for its outstanding work in helping Native Americans living in urban areas attain meaningful employment.
Read More

Minneapolis Selected as Location for New U.K. Trade Office

The United Kingdom has plans to open a trade office in Minneapolis due to the city’s economic productivity and well established research and development institutions.
Read More

Solve Named Midwest Small Agency of the Year

Minneapolis ad agency Solve was a winner at the Advertising Age Small Agency Awards, taking home the honors of Midwest Small Agency of the Year.
Read More

Bunker Labs Launches Minneapolis Chapter

Bunker Labs expanded its footprint into Minneapolis this summer to provide a peer-learning environment for military veterans turned entrepreneurs. 
Read More

Twin Cities 1st Place for Restaurant Spending

According to a recent study by CBRE, the Twin Cities is the fastest growing city for restaurant spending! This means more people are dining out then grocery shopping.
Read More

“Freedom Square” on West Broadway

Drum circles, concerts, barbecues, yoga and dance parties will all have a home in the commercial heart of north Minneapolis at a new “Freedom Square” plaza unveiled July 29th.
Read More

City of Minneapolis Investing in Local Small Businesses

The City of Minneapolis’ Great Streets program helps put a fresh face on Minneapolis businesses that needs financial assistance with grants. Great Streets has given out $1.7 million in eight years.
Read More

Grants Help Youth Prepare for Careers

City of Minneapolis Employment and Training was among 13 groups receiving Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) grants to help high school students from specified racial, ethnic and at-risk groups in future career planning. The grant, awarded through DEED’s Youth Development Office, came into effect July 1, 2016 and is being used while students are out of school this summer to host career workshops at the two State workforce centers in North and South Minneapolis.

Read the Minneapolis Spokesman Recorder article about the project.

New & Expanding Businesses






Co-working Space

Contact CPED

612-673-5001 or 311
Staff Directory

Crown Roller Mill
Executive Administration
105 Fifth Avenue South
Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Public Service Center
Development Review
Customer Service Center
250 South Fourth Street
Room 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Map and Parking

City Hall
Business Licensing
350 South 5th Street
Room 1C
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Business Profile: Taqueria La Hacienda

Photo of Miguel's mural
Miguel’s mural is even brighter and more colorful since installing LED lights with support from Great Streets program funding

Miguel Zagal opened Taqueria La Hacienda in 1999 in Mercado Central at 1515 East Lake Street. Since then, he has expanded his business with two more locations: one at 334 East Lake Street open 24 hours on weekends and another at 2000 Williams Drive in Burnsville.

In January 2015, Miguel was approached by the Lake Street Council, an organization supported by the City of Minneapolis’ Great Streets Program, for improving the lighting and recycling of his 334 East Lake Street location. Though skeptical at first, he decided to take on both projects after seeing the long-term savings in utilities and the rebates he could receive with assistance from the Council and the Great Streets Program. Both projects took place throughout 2015 and included employee training to improve recycling efforts, which Miguel uses with new employees to this day, and LED lights inside and outside the building.

Since the upgrades, Miguel has noticed savings on his bills and is very happy with the results. Along with new, colorful chairs in his restaurant, he is now looking to paint the exterior and add clay trim to his windows. 

Community Joins the City of Minneapolis in the Grand Opening of the Commons Park

Commons Collage (Top): Instead of cutting a ribbon, Frisbees were tossed to officially open the park. (Bottom, left to right): The Asian Dance Team an
Top: Instead of cutting a ribbon, frisbees were tossed to officially open the park; Bottom (left to right): Asian Dance Team and CorePower Yoga providing entertainment and activities for all attendees

Elected officials, partners, and community members gathered at Downtown East Commons on July 21st to celebrate the grand opening of the 4.2 acre, dynamic green space located in the heart of downtown.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges; Council Member Jacob Frey; Pat Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ryan Companies US, Inc.; Mark Wilf Owner/President of the Vikings; and Mary Margaret Jones, President of Hargreaves Associates kicked off the opening ceremony. Event attendees forwent a traditional ribbon cutting and tossed Frisbees to officially commemorate the opening. The event also featured food trucks, dance performances by Asian Dance Team, and free yoga by CorePower Yoga.

The Commons is a key part of the broader, five-block Downtown East development project that has brought over $400 million of investment to downtown. The East Block officially opened first and includes: a great lawn, promenades, areas for play, and plantings.  The West Block will open later this month.

Visit The Commons website for upcoming events or to reserve the space. 

Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments Under Construction

Rendering of Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments and Ground breaking pictures
Top: Rendering of Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments provided by Urban Works Architecture; Bottom (left to right): Michael McGovern, Associated Bank; Jim Steiner, National Equity Fund; Michelle Smith; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Stephanie Johnson, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization; Commissioner Linda Higgins, Hennepin County; Commissioner Mary Tingerthal, MN Housing Finance Agency; Paul Williams, Project for Pride in Living; Council Member Blong Yang, City of Minneapolis; Dave Ellis, Hawthorne Neighborhood Board Chair; and Tiffany Glasper, City of Minneapolis

On July 13, elected officials, community and business leaders, friends, and neighbors arrived at 617 Lowry Avenue North to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments. Developed by Project for Pride in Living (PPL), Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments will feature one apartment building and four townhouse units that together create 75, high-quality affordable rental homes.

Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments will be the first major redevelopment along Lowry Avenue since the street was renovated in 2007-2008. It will feature numerous green and sustainability features including a state-of-the-art system to treat and infiltrate rainwater, a green roof on a portion of the main apartment building, highly efficient mechanical systems, and a ground floor bike storage room to encourage use of alternative transportation modes. Other amenities include onsite property management, a playground for children, patio with grills, underground parking, and a fitness room.

Construction is expected to be completed in September 2017 with the first residents moving in later that same year. 

Partner Profile: Small Business Development Center

Alex French and Andrew Healy with Bizzy Coffee, a startup business that received assistance from SBDC and B-TAP. Photo taken by Antonio Sundquist of B
Alex French and Andrew Healy with Bizzy Coffee, a startup business that received assistance from SBDC and B-TAP. Photo credit: Bizzy Coffee

In 2015, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University St. Thomas became a business service provider for the City of Minneapolis' Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP). Since then, the SBDC has increased their attention to serving more startup companies while also assisting more home-based companies find external locations. This shift in focus allowed SBDC to help smaller businesses like Brighter Minds Music School accomplish their expansion goals of moving into a bigger commercial space and adding more instructors. SBDC is also able to leverage strong relationships with other B-TAP providers like the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) to provide access to non-traditional bank loans to their clients.

SBDC’s complete business support services include business planning, loan packaging, buy-sell packaging, financial management, as well as market strategies.  They have 10 experienced consultants offering a broad set of skills in business-ownership experience ranging from restaurant management to social media marketing strategies. Entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business can also take advantage of a monthly three-hour workshop, “Smart Start for Business,” offered by the organization.

City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County Sponsoring Series of Hiring and Training Events

Looking to change jobs? Looking to get back into the workforce? The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County are co-sponsoring a series of hiring and training events that may just help you land your next job. Employers are seeking people interested in culinary, hospitality, health care, construction, and other industries. The Hiring and Training Events are also offering pre-event workshops to help with resume writing, interviewing, job counseling, and more!

Attend one or both of the events below with more to come this fall. Remember to dress professionally and bring a government issued ID, multiple copies of your resume, and a list of professional references.

  • Pillsbury United Communities Hiring and Training Fair
    Thursday, August 18, 3pm-6pm
    Harrison Recreation Center
    503 Irving Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55405
    More Information
  • Sabathani Community Center Hiring and Training Fair
    Wednesday, August 24, 12pm-4pm
    Sabathani Community Center
    310 East 38th Street, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55409
    See Flyer

Over 2,800 Attend 3rd Annual Taco Tour on Lake Street

More than 2,800 participants enjoying authentic Mexican food at the 3rd annual Taco Tour on Lake Street
More than 2,800 participants enjoying authentic Mexican food at the 3rd annual Taco Tour on Lake Street

Growing larger every year with 1,500 participants in 2014 and just over 2,000 last year, the famous Taco Tour on Lake Street held its third annual event on July 17th with more than 2,800 attendees – making this year the biggest success yet! Participants walked, biked, and drove down the bustling East Lake Street Corridor feasting on some of the best Mexican food in the metro area from 9 restaurants. The event was funded in part by the City of Minneapolis' Great Streets program to promote and strengthen the diverse business community within East Lake Street and hosted by the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC).  

STEP-UP North Minneapolis Worksite Tour Offers a Glimpse into Intern's Experience on the Job

Top (left to right): Cookie Cart STEP-UP intern panel and STEP-UP intern Amira speaking at U.S. Bank; Bottom (left to right): Minneapolis Public Schoo
Top (left to right): Cookie Cart STEP-UP intern panel and STEP-UP intern Amira speaking at U.S. Bank; Bottom (left to right): Minneapolis Public Schools STEP-UP intern panel discussion over lunch and STEP-UP tour guides Ayanna King, Samiyo Mohamed, Anyia Spears, Larry Sanchez, Abdi Musse and Ashley Yang

On Tuesday July 19, STEP-UP interns guided elected officials, program partners, and funders on the annual tour of STEP-UP worksites to give them a glimpse into the STEP-UP intern experience. 

The focus of this year’s tour was North Minneapolis which has a total of 65 STEP-UP jobsites employing 529 interns this year.  Four worksites in North Minneapolis, all located on West Broadway, were featured including Cookie Cart, West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, U.S. Bank, and Minneapolis Public Schools.

From working as a baker to a bank teller, interns shared the highlights and challenges of their job experience so far this summer.  Their employers and supervisors also shared what they have taken away from the experience. 

This summer, nearly 1,700 youth and young adults aged 14-21 are being employed by STEP-UP at one of 230 government agencies, nonprofits, small businesses, and corporations throughout the Twin Cities metro area.                 

Learn more about STEP-UP

Young People to Learn about Justice Service Careers

The City of Minneapolis was recently awarded $500,000 from the Department of Labor to implement a Justice and Emergency Services Pathways Project. The 33-month project began July 1, 2016.

Over the course of the project, 125 Minneapolis youth from North Minneapolis, Phillips and Cedar Riverside will have hands-on and work experience-based opportunities to learn about careers in justice and emergency services. Youth will participate in industry sector mini-academies and summer internships in the targeted sectors. Participants will be juniors and seniors and largely opportunity youth with risk factors or previous exposure to the justice system. Each youth will have a Check and Connect case manager that will meet with them weekly to keep them on target toward high school graduation and help them gain access to resources they need to be successful. Youth will also be matched with mentors in the justice and emergency services sectors.

Partners on the grant are Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis Workforce Centers, Hennepin County Medical Center and city departments including Fire, 911, Police, and the City Attorney’s office.

Sign-up for the Urban Forestry Tree Program

Urban Forestry Tree Program photo of green tree

To maintain Minneapolis’ wonderful urban forest, we need the help of private property owners and local businesses to plant more trees. The City offers a program to plant trees for qualifying businesses and nonprofits through the Health Department's Urban Forestry Project. These trees provide a great service to our city through reduced storm water runoff, lower energy use, and cleaner air for the communities where we live, work, and play.

Trees are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Sign up by September 1 to be included in our fall 2016 planting. Businesses and commercial property owners that pay a pollution control annual bill may apply here to reserve their trees for 2016. To qualify, the property must have enough space to accommodate a tree, and the owner must commit to maintaining and watering the tree.

Over 200 businesses have already taken advantage of the program. For more information visit the Minneapolis Urban Forestry Project

New Minneapolis Workforce Council Members Approved

Four new Minneapolis Workforce Council members were approved by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday, July 1st.

The new members are:

  • Philomena Morrissey Satre, Vice President, Human Resources-Org Development and Diversity and Inclusion, Wells Fargo
  • Siyad Abdullahi, CEO/Entrepreneur/Health Care Executive Pro-Health Care and The Language Banc, Inc.
  • Steven Kuntz, Program Specialist, State of Minnesota
  • Terrence Harris, Store Manager, VILLA

"We are excited to have such a talented group of business leaders join the Council," expressed Deb Bahr-Helgen, Director of City of Minneapolis Employment and Training. "I'm looking forward to working with them all to help grow an inclusive workforce in Minneapolis."

The vision of the Minneapolis Workforce Council is to be Committed to Growing a Competitive Workforce. To accomplish this, the Council designs career pathway programs and creates partnerships to eliminate racial employment disparities, assures access to community-based and culturally appropriate employment resources, and utilizes community-knowledge and business guidance to respond to the shifting dynamics of the 21st century labor market. The Council also oversees two Workforce Centers in the City of Minneapolis.
Learn more about the Workforce Council