Growing Minneapolis: News from the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing MPLS

January 2017

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


Thinking About Business Workshop

Saturday, January 21
9 am - 12 pm 

Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON)
1007 West Broadway Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55411

This workshop is for beginning entrepreneurs that are considering going into business. The workshop will touch on things to consider before going into business as well as assist attendees with building an Action Plan for preparing to transition into being business owners. We encourage those in the start up phase to start here.

Eventbrite Registration

"Transforming the Lock"- Public Input Open House

Tuesday, January 24
6 pm - 8 pm

Mill City Museum 
704 S. 2nd Street 
Minneapolis, MN 55401

The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in Minneapolis was closed to navigation in 2015. It now serves as a visitor center for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the national park in the Twin Cities. Help us identify ways to improve access to the lock, provide a rich visitor experience at the site, and connect the lock to the surrounding riverfront. 



Applications Now Accepted for STEP-UP Interns and Employers 

STEP-UP, the City of Minneapolis jobs program for Minneapolis youth is accepting applications for 2017 summer internships and is also seeking businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits to employ the interns in 2017. The intern application closes on February 5th, 2017. Interested eligible Minneapolis youth and businesses can view and complete applications on the new STEP-UP web page here.  

The North Minneapolis WorkForce Center has Moved 

The North Minneapolis WorkForce Center has moved into its new location at 800 West Broadway, the new collaborative center, bringing the Minneapolis North WorkForce Center, Minneapolis Public Schools, and North Point Health and Wellness under one roof to connect residents to education, health, and employment opportunities.

How Co-working Space The Pitch Hopes to Make Minneapolis a Sports Tech Hub

When SportsEngine(formerly called Sport Ngin), a Minneapolis-based tech company that creates applications for sports organizations that had raised $39 million in funding and has over 5 million active users, was acquired by NBC Sports this summer, the question loomed: What would be the local impact from one of the Twin Cities startup success stories?

Five months after the acquisition, SportsEngine is not only sticking around and growing in Minneapolis, it's setting the groundwork for Minneapolis to be a hub of sports tech nationwide through, a sports tech co-working space run directly next door to SportsEngine’s headquarters in Northeast Minneapolis. Launched this July, it's the only sports-focused co-working space in the country, and it could help make Minneapolis, thus far a strong, though still second-tier tech community, into a destination for startups nationwide.


"Spirit: Made Here" Is Initiative's Latest Installation in Downtown Minneapolis Storefronts 

The Hennepin Theatre Trust recently launched the seventh season of its window art installation series, Spirit: Made Here. Consisting of more than 30 window displays filling empty storefronts and commercial spaces in downtown Minneapolis, the project’s installations include an array of art mediums including painting, paper sculpting, photography, fiber art, three-dimensional mixed media, video and an interactive light show. The window art is on display in a six-block stretch between 6th Street and 10th Street from Hennepin Avenue to Marquette Avenue.


Zeus Jones Releases Eat Street Cookbook 

Fans of restaurants in the Eat Street area have a chance to try their hand at making their favorite dishes with a new cookbook put out by Zeus Jones.

The branding firm moved into their current space on Nicollet Avenue about six months ago.
“We wanted to get to know our neighbors and also just share what was interesting about this neighborhood,” said Dana Bedessem, a strategist with Zeus Jones. “We thought, what better way to get to know the neighborhood and share what’s great about it?”


New & Expanding Businesses







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: Adobe DeSigns

Photo of Adobe DeSigns staff
Adobe DeSigns Staff

After years of working under managers and craving more autonomy, Vivian Guerra and Lisa Owen were inspired to start their own business. With complementary backgrounds (Vivian bringing over 15 years of project management and construction experience and Lisa bringing financial management and community development expertise), the two make ideal business partners. So, they opened Adobe DeSigns in June 2014, a company that designs, installs and fabricates turnkey signage, architectural films, and printing services.

In just three years, Adobe DeSigns has amassed an impressive portfolio of work, creating signage for locations including the U.S. Bank Stadium, CHS Field, the Duluth Transit Authority, and Hennepin County Facility Services. They expanded operations in 2015 and moved to a bigger location, hired more staff, and acquired additional equipment with the assistance of the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) through the Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP). They were also awarded NDC’s New Business of the Year Award in 2016. Both Native American women (Vivian is Tigua Pueblo of the Ysleta Del Sur and Lisa is Flandreau Santee Dakota), Vivian and Lisa say their ultimate goal as small business owners is to motivate more people of color and women to achieve success.  

2016 Partner of the Year Awards

On November 29th, City of Minneapolis Employment and Training and the Minneapolis Workforce Development Board presented awards to two agencies that have provided outstanding employment services to Minneapolis youth and adults in 2016. The ceremony took place in Minneapolis City Council Chambers during the meeting of the Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee meeting.

RESOURCE team photo
Pictured left to right: Minneapolis Workforce Development Board Chair Laura Beeth, RESOURCE client Shekyia Kendrick, Minneapolis Workforce Development Board member Philomean Morrissey Satre, RESOURCE staff members Emily Schloesser, Becca Lopez, President/CEO Kelly Matter, and Debbie Ferry and Minneapolis Employment and Training Director Deb Bahr-Helgen.

RESOURCE was recognized Youth Service Partner of the Year for delivering exceptional services to Minneapolis youth and young adults ages 14-24.

In 2016 RESOURCE provided 95 young people with the counseling and support needed to land a first job or to think through career choices. It also operated a high quality internship project for 23 participants and assisted 30 young clients to obtain industry specific credentials.

JCFS team photo
Pictured left to right: Minneapolis Workforce Development Board Chair Laura Beeth, JFCS staff members CEO Judy Halper, Leah Temkin, Margie Earhart, Sheilah Howard, Christina DeVries, Lee Truer, Sue Thompson, and Marah Johnson, and Minneapolis Employment and Training Director Deb Bahr-Helgen.

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) was selected as Adult Service Partner of the Year for outstanding employment services to unemployed and underemployed adults.

JFCS offers outreach, intake, eligibility determination and assessment through Minneapolis Employment & Training’s Individual Referral Program, and provides case management services to low-income individuals with barriers to employment. 

JFCS’ thorough assessment process and strong relationship building with clients has proven effective. They currently have met or exceeded all of their performance goals.  

City Giving Away 200 Free Radon Test Kits

Starting January 16th, the City of Minneapolis will give away 200 free radon test kits, donated by the Minnesota Department of Health, to encourage people to test their homes. Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., killing more than 21,000 people each year. It is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and enters homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that two in five Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon, posing a potential health risk. Fortunately, radon problems in homes can be fixed. Test kits will be available while supplies last at the City of Minneapolis Development Review, 250 S. Fourth St., Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Once the supply of free radon test kits runs out, they will be available at the same location for $9 each.

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 here.

Partner Profile: Minneapolis Urban League

MUL at LEAP Careeer Fair
Minneapolis Urban League LEAP program career fair

The Minneapolis Urban League (MUL)  has partnered with City of Minneapolis Employment and Training for more than 20 years to provide one-on-one job counseling, resume preparation, interview coaching, and other resources to help Minneapolis adults achieve meaningful employment at a family-sustaining wage.

As a 90-year old civil rights organization serving the African American community, MUL offers a culturally specific service approach that encourages, equips and empowers clients to effectively navigate complex challenges and barriers to employment.   MUL also supports and advocates for its clients after they have been hired to help smooth their transition to employment.

MUL is particularly proud of its new Urban Tech Jobs Program (UTJP), an accelerated technology training for unemployed adults ages 18 and over who have a high school diploma or GED. UTJP includes free classes and training at MUL and at partner agency sites. The classes offer training in technology programs from Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, and others. The program also provides job readiness and personal resiliency development workshops, counseling and paid work experience.

New! City of Minneapolis Target Market Program

Target Market Program Stock Photo

Are you a small business owner looking for new ways to get contracts with the City of Minneapolis? The City’s Target Market Program is for you. Through this new program, businesses located in the 13-county metro area with sales that do not exceed certain limits for their industries will have the opportunity to compete for City contracts under $100,000 against other small businesses – not larger, more established businesses. This is a great additional opportunity for current City suppliers, and an opening for new small businesses to get a foot in the door. To learn more about the Target Market Program’s eligibility criteria, and to enroll, click here.  If you have questions, please email the City of Minneapolis Procurement Office or call (612) 673-2500.

City Approves Over $1 Billion in Minneapolis Construction for Fifth Consecutive Year

On December 30, 2016, the City processed its final building permit and closed with a total of $1.757 billion in construction, making it the fifth consecutive year the City has approved more than $1 billion. The hotel and housing industry saw a large increase in new construction, proving that Minneapolis is a great place to visit, work and live. In preparing for Super Bowl LII and other future event opportunities, Minneapolis is adding 1,244 new hotel rooms. This includes the construction of the AC Hotel Minneapolis, the Hampton Inn and Suites, the Hewing Hotel and the Radisson Red, as well as an addition to the Depot Hotel.

Housing developers kept up with the rising demand with an increase in new apartment construction compared to 2015. In total, Minneapolis permitted a total of 2,645 new dwelling units this year. New apartment buildings currently under construction include 365 Nicollet by Opus, NordHaus by Lennar and Rise at Prospect Park by Harlem Iriving. Development will remain strong in Minneapolis in 2017, with trends predicted to rise.   

News Release 

CPED Staff Member Attends White House TechHire Summit

On December 21, the White House brought together more than 100 educators, IT employers, and business and community leaders from across the country to celebrate the success of TechHire to date and to share best practices. The goal of the TechHire initiative is to close the workforce skills gap in the high tech economy by building a path for diverse workers to access training, support and tech jobs.

Tammy Dickinson, from CPED’s Employment and Training team, represented Minneapolis Saint Paul TechHire. “I was able to talk to city leaders and employers to learn what IT professional training and recruitment strategies are working in their communities,” said Tammy. “The experience was invaluable and I learned several best practices we can implement in Minneapolis.” 

Minneapolis has already trained nearly 500 people through MSP TechHire since May of 2015.

Learn more about the program on the Minneapolis Saint Paul TechHire website.

New Unemployment Insurance Videos for Non-English Speakers

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and ECHO, a Twin Cities Public Television program, teamed up to produce videos on applying for unemployment insurance in Hmong, Spanish and Somali. The videos are available on the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) website.

The website also offers print materials, online services, and an interactive voice response self-service phone system in Hmong, Somali and Spanish. In addition, UI offers interpreters in over 100 other languages through a partnership with the AT&T Language Line.

Two Grocery Stores are Coming to North Minneapolis in 2017

A north Minneapolis neighborhood that hasn’t had a supermarket in a decade is expected to get one in 2017.

North Market, a project of nonprofit Pillsbury United Communities, is scheduled to set up shop this fall at 4414 Humboldt Av. N. The site is in the middle of a federally designated food desert — a low-income census tract where a significant portion of the population lives more than a mile from a supermarket.

North Market will offer both food and health services. The area is home to nearly 70,000 people, 30 convenience stores and just one supermarket, according to Pillsbury.


Minneapolis Foundation Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grants

The Minneapolis Foundation has awarded almost $5 million to 87 Minneapolis organizations, it announced Jan 3.
The grants will go toward organizations doing work around civic engagement, economic vitality and education, supporting partners such as Minneapolis Public Schools, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and the Northside Economic Opportunity Network. All of the organizations are working to create a community where racial, social and economic equity thrives, the foundation said in a press release.