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

Growing Mpls 2

October 2020

Celebrate Latino Heritage Month

La Señora Miriam Aguilar

La Señora Miriam Aguilar arrived in California from El Salvador in 1982 fleeing from civil war. Her mom had come to the United States to work and Miriam was able to join her and later raise a family of her own. 

When her kids were young, Mrs. Aguilar lost her job and needed to find a way to make a living. She borrowed her mom’s black pedal Singer sewing machine and $10 to purchase fabric and got to work. Miriam had learnt to sew in El Salvador at a free community center class. She sewed aprons and scrubs; she offered the scrubs at a dentist office and resulted in additional orders from other places. She moved to Minnesota and opened a store at Mercado Central where she sells T-shirts and men’s clothing. Her entrepreneurial spirits and the proceeds allowed Mrs. Aguilar to put her four kids through college; they have successfully graduated.

2020 sales have dropped considerably due to COVID-19 and other adverse conditions along Lake Street. Hortensia Law, a COVID-19 B-TAP provider, has helped Mrs. Miriam in structuring business operations and financing to navigate COVID-19 resources and participate in rebuilding and transforming efforts on Lake Street.

Celebrate #LatinoHeritageMonth this month, September 15 – October 15!

Minneapolis Job Seekers Get Access to Tech

PC's for People truck

Distributing computers to Minneapolis residents. (Photo by DEED)

We are all doing things differently these days, from working remote to training and attending school online, all of which require reliable access to technology. Libraries and computer labs, which previously offered access to computers, are now closed or have very limited access due to the pandemic. 

With this critical need in mind, the City of Minneapolis sponsored a computer distribution event on September 23, at the South Minneapolis CareerForce Center. One hundred low-income Minneapolis residents were provided with a desktop computer package including a web cam, internet adapter, monitor, mouse and keyboard. The computer packages are ideal for taking online coursework, training and job search activities.

The event was held in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and PCs for People, a non-profit organization that refurbishes donated computers. The City of Minneapolis began donating City-owned computers to PCs for People in 2018. Since that time, the City has donated 630 computers earmarked for redistribution to Minneapolis residents.

Job Assistance Services

Need help figuring out your next career step? Thinking you might need training to prepare for your next job? Contact staff at a CareerForce locations near you for help. Visit Minneapolis Employment and Training for locations and assistance in Minneapolis.

Dislocated Workers
Lost your job? Need work now? Dislocated Worker services are designed to help workers who have been laid off get back to work as quickly as possible. Eligible workers may receive counselor-approved training, placement services and more. Visit Minneapolis Dislocated Worker Resources for more information.   

City of Minneapolis Awards $1.5 Million in Housing Stabilization Funds

The City of Minneapolis awarded $1.5 million in funds from the Housing Stabilization Pilot Program to Minneapolis organizations and released a research report to help stabilize households in one to four-unit rental housing. There are about 17,400 rental units in one to four-unit buildings, representing approximately 30% of the rental units in Minneapolis. One to four-unit rentals are typically larger sized units with more bedrooms and are the primary rental type in the Near North and Camden Communities of Minneapolis. The Housing Stabilization Pilot is a complement to broader rental stabilization efforts by the City.

Seven organizations received funding to provide a range of services, including education, advocacy, and direct renter assistance, to support tenants living in one to four-unit rental housing. All organizations will complete quarterly and end of program reporting that includes demographics served and outcomes of programs or initiatives implemented, which the City will analyze to inform future investments and programming to stabilize tenants in one to four-unit rental properties.

Learn more about the Housing Stabilization Pilot Program/list of organizations receiving funding.

SBA Low-interest Disaster Loans

Small Business Association Disaster Loans

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses in the case of a disaster. Learn more about if you are eligible to apply online/by mail for disaster loans. 


How do you stay healthy and grounded?

Stay healthy and grounded video

Many of us are feeling a huge emotional toll with the recent killings, racial injustice and COVID-19. This short video, introduced by the Minnesota Lynx star Napheesa Collier, features seven members of our Minneapolis community talking about some of the ways they take care of themselves so they can show up for their families and community.

Watch and discuss
Take a moment to watch the video with your loved ones and discuss some ways you can heal and stay healthy.

Find a list of mental well-being resources and support compiled by the City.

From Customer Service to Tech Professional

When Pauline Oloo first heard about the free IT Core Skills class, she was skeptical. In her experience, free things usually do not really come without cost. So, she ignored the Facebook ad. But her interest in training for a new career in IT eventually got the better of her. She clicked the link and filled out the interest form. She was soon contacted by Andrew, the Career Navigator at Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota. He told her about the training and set her up to take the assessments that would determine if this course was the right fit for her skills and interests.

Now, just a few months later, she is graduating and will soon earn her IT Fundamentals+ certification. Throughout the three-month training, she continued working her customer service job and do her classroom training for 16 hours per week. She credits her success to the support of Andrew from Goodwill; Stephen, the course instructor from CompTIA; and her connection to her classmates.

Pauline now has what she needs to take the next step in her career. The IT Core Skills training is led by the City of Minneapolis and is an initiative of MSP TechHire in partnership with Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota and CompTIA. The next course starts on October 12 and is enrolling now. The project receives funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). 
More information and details to enroll in the next class.

PERIS Closing

PERIS rendering

Peris Hill, located in the Lowry Hill neighborhood, closed on its financing September 15. The project will provide 45 units of affordable housing that will directly address the specialized housing needs for youth aging out of the foster care system through deeply affordable rents and supportive services.

There will be 15 units of permanent, supportive housing for unaccompanied youth aging out of the foster care system. The remainder of the units will provide additional affordable units for individuals that will act as role models for the residents aging out of the foster care system. The project is expected to be complete towards the end of 2021. (Photo rendering by Graves Hospitality).

The Bessemer at Seward Commons – Project Closing


Schafer Richardson and Seward Redesign, Inc. closed on the financing for The Bessemer at Seward Commons, a new five-story 128-unit apartment project in the Seward neighborhood. The Bessemer at Seward Commons is situated directly adjacent to the Blue Line LRT and the Hiawatha Bike trail and is one block from the Franklin Avenue Station. As the first new construction, non-income restricted housing development in the neighborhood in over 35 years, the Bessemer will provide housing options not currently available in the area.

The Bessemer is part of Seward Commons, a master planned redevelopment led by Seward Redesign. The goal of the redevelopment is to transform the former contaminated industrial site into a walkable, mixed-income neighborhood at the Franklin Avenue LRT station. The redevelopment phases include 100 units of affordable housing and rehabilitation of over 25,000 square feet of retail and light industrial spaces that are now home to local business and arts organizations.

City support in the project included $3.4 million in TIF. Hennepin County, Met Council, and DEED also contributed grant funds to the project. (Photo courtesy of Schafer Richardson).

Proposed changes to the City of Minneapolis 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program

The City of Minneapolis is seeking public comment on the following proposed changes to the 4d program guidelines. The deadline to submit comments is Monday, October 19 by 5:00 p.m. Please provide public comments to staff at 

Proposed changes would allow single family rental homes to enroll in the 4d program. In order to support future affordable homeownership opportunities, the City will release a 4d program declaration of restrictive covenants only if the property is sold to a current tenant, or another buyer with an income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). In either case, buyers would be required to sign an affidavit that says they will occupy the home as their primary residence.

For more information, please review: 

It is expected that these changes will be considered at the following meetings of the Minneapolis City Council and its committees:

Business, Inspections, Housing & Zoning Committee
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

City Council
Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
Minneapolis City Council online meeting information.

Minneapolis Advisory Committee on Housing

Are you a Minneapolis renter? Trying to become a homeowner? Someone who has experienced homelessness? A housing advocate? Apply to be part of the City of Minneapolis’ Advisory Committee on Housing. The committee advises City leaders on all aspects of housing policy at a time when housing issues are more critical than ever. With record low rental vacancy rates, rising rents and a shortage of homes available for first time homebuyers, the City is seeking input from residents affected by the current housing market to help inform and guide City housing policy decisions. More Information

New/Expanding Businesses


El Travieso





Granada Theater

In the News

COVID stresses downtown Minneapolis commercial property owners
Read in the Star Tribune

Minority-owned firms seek leading role in reconstruction of Twin Cities
Read in the Star Tribune

Minneapolis will spend $2 million to speed up demolitions of riot-ravaged properties
Read in the Star Tribune

MOA Opens Space For Struggling Retailers
Read in the 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

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.