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

Growing Mpls 2

September 2019

Business Profile: Seward Makes

Owners of Seward Makes: Market, Kitchen and Soft Serve

The owners of Seward Makes, Iman Mefleh and Joe Silberschmidt, celebrate the opening of their business in August, 2019. (Source: The City of Minneapolis)

Seward Makes is a shared commercial kitchen at 2211 East Franklin Avenue, in the heart of Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood. Local food makers rent time and space needed for production, to grow their business and thrive as entrepreneurs. But that’s not all. The owners, Iman Mefleh and Joe Silberschmidt (seasoned makers themselves, producing locally sourced kimchi called You Betcha Kimchi), designed the space in Seward Makes for small businesses to easily produce and sell larger quantities of their product, as well as a retail space to bring the community together.

Seward Makes has a retail space for people to enjoy local food artisans’ offerings, as well as discover locally made home goods. In spring of 2020, Seward Makes will also have house made soft serve, which will feature ingredients and menu add-ons sourced directly from the Seward Makes kitchen users.

Seward Makes received guidance on opening the space from Seward Redesign, a partner supported by the City’s Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP). The City’s Small Business Team also helped Iman and Joe with navigating City policies and processes. Seward Makes is receiving a grant through the City’s Great Streets Facade Improvement program to rebrand this prominent storefront on Franklin Avenue.

Minneapolis Homes Development Assistance and Missing Middle Pilot Program Information Session

People gathered for informational meeting

The City of Minneapolis held an information session on the request for proposals for the Minneapolis Homes Development Assistance (MHDA) and the Missing Middle Pilot Program. (Source: The City of Minneapolis)

On July 31, the City of Minneapolis held an information session on the request for proposals (RFPs) for the Minneapolis Homes Development Assistance (MHDA) and the Missing Middle Pilot Program at the Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center (UROC).

About 100 developers and representatives from community-based organizations packed the room to learn about the programs, City procurement rules and the development review process. Attendees asked a lot of great questions and expressed excitement about partnering with the City to build more affordable housing.

MHDA funds new construction of one to four-unit homes on City-owned lots. Missing Middle is a new pilot program that funds the development of three to 20-unit residential housing. The MHDA RFP was due on August 28 and the Missing Middle RFP was due on September 11.

Preliminary Elevator Lobby Ceiling Design Revealed at Public Open House

Illuminated ceiling

Preliminary design level three by Aaron Marx.

On August 7, the City held a public open house unveiling many of the preliminary public art designs for the New Public Service Building, including designs for illuminated elevator lobby ceilings and artist-designed glass patterns for the 10th level and skyway to the Hennepin County Government Center.

Aaron Marx’s design is a slat ceiling relief of the Saint Anthony falls. Working with Wood from the Hood, the project will repurpose ash trees that were slated to go to the landfill. Real-time river data available through the United States Geological Survey will be the basis for shifts of lighting pattern and color. Marx’s themes of the river and mapping connect to the City's years of work along this span of the river, including projects such as the development of the Mill District, the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, the Mississippi River Critical Area Plan, the Upper River Plan and the Upper Harbor Redevelopment.

Nicollet Hotel Block is now RBC Gateway

RBC Gateway

Rendering of RBC Gateway.

In June of this year the City closed on the sale of the Nicollet Hotel Block at the corner of Hennepin and Washington in downtown to United Properties. In July, the developer broke ground on the 34-story, $433 million RBC Gateway tower. The development will be the future home of RBC Wealth Management, along with a Four Seasons Hotel, 31 condominium units, and over 10,000 sq ft of ground floor retail. The project also includes a large public plaza and reserves space for future streetcar service through the site.

The land sale proceeds of over $10 million are going to support the City’s affordable housing programs. The project will generate over $6 million in property taxes each year and millions more in sales and lodging taxes. Development is expected to be complete by late 2021.

The Redwell Groundbreaking

City leaders breaking ground

Community leaders, including Council Member Jeremiah Ellison gather for the groundbreaking ceremony of The Redwell. (Source: Schafer Richardson)

On August 1, Schafer Richardson held a groundbreaking ceremony for The Redwell, a new six-story, 109-unit mixed-use development in the North Loop neighborhood. All 109 units will be affordable at 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) for 30 years and the project includes 22 project-based Section 8 vouchers from the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), making these units affordable at 30% AMI. The Redwell development will provide needed affordable housing in one of the most expensive sub-markets in Minneapolis.

City support in the project included $2.5 million in Tax Increment Financing and 4% Housing Tax Credits. Hennepin County provided Housing Revenue Bonds to the development. The MPHA commitment of project-based Section 8 vouchers for the project represents an investment of more than $6.3 million over 20 years. The project is slated to open in September 2020.

Celebrating the Next Generation of Talent

Step Up End of Summer celebration collage

People gathered on August 15 to celebrate Minneapolis Step Up youths' summer internships. Mayor Frey and Step Up interns share with the crowd their support for the Step Up program. (Source: The City of Minneapolis)

Over the summer, nearly 1,400 Minneapolis youth worked in a Step Up internship with over 200 businesses and organizations across the Twin Cities. The 17th Annual End of Summer Celebration was held Thursday, August 15 at the Guthrie Theater to celebrate the interns’ work and contributions. Collectively the Step Up interns earned more than $3 million in 9 weeks. They shared their ideas, learned new skills and networked within their offices.

The two Step Up Employers of the Year were Thrivent Financial and MIGIZI Communications. Mayor Jacob Frey and co-chairs Kate Quinn of U.S. Bank and R.T. Rybak of the Minneapolis Foundation spoke at the celebration, expressing their appreciation and support for the program. Step Up interns themselves spoke, sharing advice from their experiences; they noted, “communication opens doors, it’s about showing up, and it feels good to have worked with such a great crew, gain new skills and learn financing.”  


Open Streets West Broadway
Sat., Sept. 14, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
West Broadway from Penn Ave N to Lyndale Ave N

Street spots at Open Streets Minneapolis are as diverse and creative as our city. Successful street spots feature local businesses, kid-friendly programming, activities encouraging folks to use active transportation or engaging in healthy lifestyles, live performances, music, opportunities to play or create art and even scavenger hunts.
More Information

North Side Community Career and Resource Fair
Tue., Sept. 17, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
800 West Broadway
Minneapolis, 55411

Meet local employers, network and learn about a variety of careers and resources for you. No registration is necessary and there is no cost to attend.
More Information

people gathered to represent various careers

Food Service Learning Center
Wed., Sept. 18
CenterPoint Energy, Foodservice Learning Center 
700 Linden Avenue West
Minneapolis, 55403  

Join for an engaging session about today's cutting edge technology for food production in commercial kitchens, utility rebates and equipment life-cycle cost-savings analysis. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste foods prepared on site and network with industry peers and equipment vendors. Choose between two sessions at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. The events is free, but registration is required.
More Information

Open Streets Nicollet
Sun., Sept. 22, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Nicollet Ave from Lake St to 46th St W

Street spots at Open Streets Minneapolis are as diverse and creative as our city. Successful street spots feature local businesses, kid-friendly programming, activities encouraging folks to use active transportation or engaging in healthy lifestyles, live performances, music, opportunities to play or create art and even scavenger hunts.
More Information

Welcoming Week Celebration
Fri., Sept. 20, 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Powderhorn Park
3400 15th Ave. S
Minneapolis, 55407

Welcome sign

Join with family to have fun, celebrate, learn about each other and create safe and welcoming spaces for immigrants and refugees in Minneapolis. There will be free food (first come, first served), dancers from Somali Museum of Minnesota and Wellstone International School, volleyball, soccer, voter registration and resources from organizations serving immigrants and refugees. 
More Information

New/Expanding Businesses


Green Bee Juice



Coworking Space

two women hug at Da Hive Co-working Space

Event Space

Business Training & Resources

West Bank Crash Course 2019
Thursday, September 26
Mixed Blood Theatre
1501 South 4th St.
Minneapolis, 55454

The West Bank Business Association is hosting a series of workshops geared towards helping businesses run greener and cleaner as part of the B-TAP Professional Series.

  • Mass Transit = Mass Customers (10:00 a.m.)
    Learn about ways you can leverage Metro Transit to get additional customers, and voucher and incentive programs they have for participating businesses.
  • The Aquaponic Garden for Businesses (11:00 a.m.)
    Learn from the experts at Gandhi Mahal about Aquaponics and how your restaurant or businesses can get started.
  • West Bank / Cedar-Riverside Feedback Session for The Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan (12:00 p.m.)
    RSVP for a Free Lunch! 
  • Walkable West Bank (1:00 p.m.)
    Hear from the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee on ways to make your business more attractive to pedestrians and guests.
  • Organics and Recycling for Business (2:00 p.m.)
    Hear about incentives and programs to propel you into compliance with upcoming ordinances and requirements. 

All sessions are FREE! RSVPs are appreciated.

C-TAP Co-op Feasibility Class
Every Thursday from Sept. 26 to Oct. 24 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Phillips Community Center
2323 11th Ave S, Minneapolis 55404

The City of Minneapolis is offering a class for groups interested in starting or growing a cooperative business in the City of Minneapolis. The class will equip participants with tools to evaluate their co-op idea and/or refine their model for those that are already in the process of incorporation. Learn more and REGISTER by September 13.

people and their co-ops collage

In the News

Meet the Women Behind Minneapolis’s Food Revolution
Read in Vogue

Minneapolis is No. 2 for farmers markets in national ranking
Read in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Minneapolis rates a 'B' in small business rankings (gallery)
Read in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Tech Firm Merrill Will Move Its Global Headquarters to Downtown Minneapolis
Read in Minneinno

Marla's is BACK! At least on Wednesdays
Read in Mpls St. Paul

Time names Minneapolis restaurant one of 100 World's Greatest Places of 2019
Read in the Star Tribune

No More New Drive-Thrus, Minneapolis City Council Says
Read in Twin Cities Business

About this Newsletter

Growing Minneapolis is published monthly by the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department. If you have questions, please contact

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