GrowingMinneapolis: News and Information from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing MPLS

August 2017

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


STEP-UP End of Summer Celebration 

On Thursday, August 17, the STEP-UP youth employment program will celebrate over 1,600 youth ages 14 to 21 having completed successful summer work experiences. The event is also a special thank you to the supervisors, mentors and 213 Twin Cities’ nonprofits, government agencies, small businesses, and corporations that hosted interns this summer.

Registration Link

Open Streets Franklin

Sunday, August 27
On E Franklin Ave from Portland Ave S to S 28th Ave

Explore your neighborhood and local businesses as you bike, walk, or roll on streets closed to vehicle traffic and opened up to community! Now in its seventh year, Open Streets Minneapolis is a City of Minneapolis event hosted by Our Streets Minneapolis (formerly the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition) and presented by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross).

More Information

City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations Presents Community Connections Learning Labs Series

The Community Connections Learning Lab Series is a set of eight classes to expand participant’s understanding of equitable community engagement. Following are the next set of upcoming classes. 

Latino Community

12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30
City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St., Room 241

5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14
East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second St. NE  

East African Community

5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24
East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second St. NE

12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6
City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St., Room 241

Disability Awareness

12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13
City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St., Room 132

5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12
East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second St. NE

African-American Community

12:30-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27
City Hall, 350 S. Fifth St., Room 241

5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26
East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second St. NE

Learn more


Minneapolis millennials rank tops in homeownership, study shows 

When it comes to homeownership in the 18 to 35 age demographic in the United States, Minneapolis ranks among the strongest big markets.

According to a recent study by Madison, Wis.-based Abodo, an apartment listing service, 42.4 percent of millennials in Minneapolis own a home, the highest percentage of millennial homeownership among the nation's largest 45 metropolitan areas. The group's high percentage can be attributed to a low unemployment rate and low housing costs when compared to other areas.

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First Person Productions goes entrepreneurial

First Person Productions, 1516 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, and its parent nonprofit organization, MIGIZI Communications, works with about 50 high school and middle school students each year.

Now, some of these students are becoming employees and work and learn by producing promotional videos, various training and educational media, public service announcements (PSAs), documentaries, radio programs and podcasts, and advertising and brand promotions that use audiovisual products.

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National Women's Business Conference coming to Minneapolis in October 

This October, Minneapolis will host the 40th annual National Women’s Business Conference, organized by the National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

The opportunity to host the conference has been “something we’ve wanted badly,” Buffie Blesi, executive director at NAWBO-Minnesota, said in a press release. NAWBO's Minnesota chapter is currently made up of over 130 women-owned businesses and its membership grew by over 25% in the past year.

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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: Moroccan Flavors

Moroccan Flavors
Top: Salad Sampler; Bottom Left: Chicken Tagine; Bottom Right: Beef Tagine (Photo Source: Greenspring Media)

Hassan Ziadi was willing to return to the humble beginnings of accepting any cooking position in 2013 when he returned to the US after working abroad as an international executive chef opening several hotel restaurants because he felt Minnesota was the best place to raise his daughter, Rim. As Hassan reconnected with former employers from his first time working in the Twin Cities, he learned about the Midtown Global Market (MGM) and City of Minneapolis Business Technical Assistance (B-TAP) partner Neighborhood Development Center (NDC).  MGM offered a variety of international foods but it did not offer North African cuisine and Hassan made it his goal to educate the Twin Cities on why exactly this fare was so different and special.

Over the next year, Hassan worked multiple restaurant jobs to save for a down payment on the restaurant. He enrolled in entrepreneurship classes through NDC where he studied hard to learn accounting, vendor management, menu design, and other critical restaurant management skills.  During this time he was also working hard to be reunited with his wife and daughter who were still in Morocco.

Finally, Hassan received his required Food Safety license to have a restaurant in the market and the space he had been waiting for became available. He went up against seven other restaurants in a tasting competition. This was his opportunity to really show off Moroccan food.

In October 2016, Moroccan Flavors opened with Hassan’s wife Raja Samlali working at his side as his co-chef and co-owner. NDC provided a $50,000 loan to make the family’s dream possible and they continue to provide technical assistance and support. Hassan says at this point they are still focused on improving the efficiencies of running day to day operations. Raja does plan to expand their business to include selling tagines, ceramics and dishware imported from Morocco based on customer requests in the near future.

The Rise of Downtown East

East Side Downtown
Aerial photo of Downtown East; (Photo Source: Ryan Companies U.S. Inc.)

Once a sea of surfacing parking lots, the Downtown East area has been dramatically reshaped by new development and transformed into one of the most thriving places in Minneapolis.

Approximately $91 million in public funds have leveraged roughly $569 million in private investment in the area, bringing more than 5,000 jobs, hundreds of new housing units, hotels, restaurants, retail and 4.2 acres of new green space to a section of downtown that had long been in need of revitalization.

The development has led to a dramatic expansion of the City’s tax base. The area, anchored by the U.S. Bank Stadium, The Commons and Wells Fargo office towers, will generate an estimated $14.1 million in new property taxes in 2018, bringing an additional $3.5 million to the City’s coffers.

The article on the transformation of Downtown East displays the noteworthy advancements. Read the full story here.

Explore Minneapolis' Public Art Collection with Six New Interactive Map Tours

Public art tour collage
Top: Camden Gateway - Saturn; Bottom Left: PS Wish You Were Here; Bottom Right: Birds of a Different Feather

Did you know that there are approximately 300 individual pieces of public art (and counting) to visit in Minneapolis?  You can now explore the City of Minneapolis’ public art collection through six new interactive map tours. Each of these unique tours is geographically organized for anyone to explore at their leisure. Within each tour you will find detailed information about each artwork and directions to the works through Google Maps. You can choose to follow the numbered tour order provided, or choose your own order and visit individual artworks that peak your interest. To find out the number of artworks, featured artists, and length of each unique tour, visit this interactive website.

Make sure to share your adventure on social media with #TourMplsArt .

City of Minneapolis Hires Heather Worthington as New Long Range Planning Director

Following a comprehensive search conducted by Cohen Taylor, the City of Minneapolis announced that Heather Worthington has been hired as the new Director of Long Range Planning for the department of Community Planning and Economic Development.

Worthington brings over 20 years of government leadership and management experience to the City of Minneapolis with her most recent position being the Deputy County Manager - Economic Growth and Community Investment for Ramsey County, which she held since 2010. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Edina where she was responsible for leading their 2008 comprehensive plan update and facility relocation planning among other duties.   


Worthington has also held leadership roles in the City of Falcon Heights as their City Administrator and she served as the Executive Director and a Community Organizer for the St. Anthony Park Community Council.

As Director of Long Range Planning, Worthington will be responsible for leading and managing a planning and research team who has the responsibility of updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan which outlines citywide policies and priorities related to investment in the built, natural, and economic environment.

Read full news release 

STEP-UP Interns Share Their Summer Work Experience During South Minneapolis Walking Tour

Worksite Tour Event (2)
Top: Participants on the STEP-UP Walking Tour; Bottom Left: Ahmad from Kaleidoscope Place tells about his internship; Middle: Community Bridge Gardens; Right: Lutheran Social Services tech center interns Reyianna, Ariana and Sahra.

On Tuesday, August 1, STEP-UP interns guided elected officials, program partners, and funders on the annual tour of STEP-UP worksites, giving them a glimpse into the STEP-UP intern experience.

The focus of this year’s tour was the Phillips Neighborhood in South Minneapolis.  This summer there are 507 interns working at 70 worksites in South Minneapolis. The tour visited four sites, all located on or near Park Avenue, including the American Swedish Institute, Community Bridge, Kaleidoscope Place, and Lutheran Social Service of MN.

From working as a kitchen aid to being an educator, interns shared the highlights and challenges of their summer job experiences. Their employers and supervisors also shared what they have taken away from the experience.

This summer, 1,687 youth and young adults aged 14-21 are employed by STEP-UP at one of 213 government agencies, nonprofits, small businesses, and corporations throughout the Twin Cities metro area.

Partner Profile: American Indian OIC

American Indian OIC (AIOIC), a partner of Minneapolis Employment and Training for over fifteen years, provides career support services to Minneapolis adults and youth. Services include developing employment plans and résumés, connecting to personal resources, searching and applying for jobs, preparing for interviews, procuring professional clothing, and retaining and advancing employment.

Unique to AIOIC is its integration with Native American culture and staff’s knowledge of culturally-specific resources to address the needs of Native participants. However, most AIOIC programs are open to anyone regardless of race.

AIOIC also offers:

  • The Takoda Institute of Higher Education, a career college, offers accredited training for the occupations of health information specialist, computer support specialist, and administrative professional. The Institute is also a partner of MSP TechHire.
  • Adult Basic Education (ABE) and GED classes
  • A computer lab and digital and financial literacy programs
  • Takoda Prep, a Minneapolis Public Schools alternative high school, provides culturally-infused education to students who are at-risk of not completing high school.

STEP-UP Interns Get a High Tech Jump Start in Silicon Valley

STEP-UP interns Get a High Tech Jump Start
Silicon North Stars at Facebook

The City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program partnered for a fourth year with Silicon North Stars, a nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley dedicated to inspire and educate young Minnesotans to become future leaders in technology.

Silicon North Stars is an experiential education program that gives a group of high-potential, incoming ninth-graders (eight STEP-UP interns from Minneapolis and eight youth from St. Paul) 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.

Co-founder 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 16th visiting Google, Facebook, YouTube, Uber, and a venture capital firm.  They also toured Stanford University and met with industry mentors who worked with them on goal setting.  Mid-week the youth 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 at a “Demo Day” to Silicon Valley tech leaders at an event in San Francisco.  This year a special Minnesota Demo Day was added on August 3rd where youth pitched their businesses again to a crowd in Minneapolis.  Youth will continue to have quarterly meetings in the Twin Cities throughout high school.

Anna Peterson, Director of STEP-UP, chaperoned the trip.  “The youth come out of their shells and shift their thinking throughout the week.  They begin to focus on innovation and big dreams, and they start to believe in all possibilities for their futures.”

Get a Rare Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Minneapolis City Government Works

The Minneapolis City Academy program, which runs five Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9 pm, from Sept. 20 – Oct. 18, gives residents a rare behind-the-scenes look at how Minneapolis City government functions and provides an opportunity to meet City staff and leaders and ask questions. Each session will focus on one aspect of City government.

The program is open to all Minneapolis residents 18 years or older. Participation is free. Registration opens July 26 on the City’s website and will be first-come, first-served. People of culturally diverse backgrounds are encouraged to register.

Participants will:

  • Tour the City’s Emergency Operations Training Facility.
  • Learn the latest in firefighting techniques.
  • Discover how the City’s Water Treatment & Distribution Services operates and tour the water treatment plant.
  • Find out how future developments are planned and constructed.
  • Learn about police procedures.
  • Find out how taxes are levied and budgets approved.
  • Learn about City Boards and Commissions.

Learn more