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

Growing Mpls 2

December 2021

Minneapolis Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program

collage of families

The application for the Minneapolis Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program (GBI) is open until December 31, 2021. GBI aims to help 200 low-income families become more financially secure by providing them with monthly payments of $500 over a period of 24 months, beginning in Spring 2022. Eligibility requirements include: 

  • Live in one of the following Minneapolis ZIP Codes:
    57667, 55403, 55404, 55405, 55407, 55411, 55412, 55413, 55430, 55454
  • Meet an annual income requirement
  • Have experienced negative economic impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Be the age 18+ years by January 1, 2022 

University of Pennsylvania Honors City of Minneapolis for the Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan

Minneapolis 2040 award

As designers around the country confront climate change and social inequities in projects of every scale, the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design is recognizing the City of Minneapolis for embracing design as a vehicle for a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable environment. They awarded the City the 2021 Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning for Minneapolis 2040.

The Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning was established by William Witte (C‘73, MCP‘75), an alumnus of the Weitzman School and member of the Board of Advisors at Weitzman, and his wife, Keiko Sakamoto, Esq. to recognize a firm, team, or professional for an exemplary plan that advances plan making in at least four of the following areas: social equity, environmental quality, design, public health, mobility, housing affordability, and economic development.

The City is honored that Penn elected to recognize the City’s work to highlight and address housing, climate, and transportation challenges in a manner that centers racial equity and justice. We are excited by the opportunity this offers to broaden the discussion about race equity in the planning and design profession.

Watch the Weitzman School Awards Minneapolis 2040 video

Catalytic Converter Ordinance Amendment

Most vehicles manufactured after 1975 have Catalytic Converters. These devices contain three rare metals – Platinum, Palladium, and Rhodium – that are collectively known as the Platinum Group Metals or PGMs. Catalytic Converters turn pollutants into less harmful substances before they exit through the exhaust pipe. This process scrubs the exhaust and helps clean up the air that we breathe. Although catalytic converter theft is not new, the recent rise in value for PGMs have increased the market attractiveness for catalytic converters with limited tools in place to combat the rise in thefts.

The proposed catalytic converter sale restriction ordinance intends to establish a criminal offense for any persons or businesses that either:

  1. Sell a used catalytic converter that is not attached to a vehicle, or
  2. Purchase a used catalytic converter that is not attached to a vehicle.

The intent of this ordinance amendment is not to penalize lawful businesses in good standing that purchase these products from licensed auto repair garages, it is an effort to set a penalty against those that are trafficking in stolen merchandise in concert with MN Statute 325E.21. Business Licensing, in partnership with the City Attorney’s Office and CM Johnson worked on the catalytic converter ordinance amendment. City Council approved the amendment on October 22.

City Works with Key Stakeholders to Make Updates to a Loan Fund that Preserves Affordable Housing

On November 30, the City Council’s BIHZ Committee considered significant updates to the City’s Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) Preservation Fund that will enable City staff to consider a wider variety of acquisition loan proposals, creating additional pathways to preserve affordability that could otherwise be lost due to market pressure and gentrification. In the past, the City deployed the fund to successfully support Aeon’s acquisition of 15 buildings with 209 Minneapolis apartments in 2019, and to support the acquisition of existing transitional housing by Avivo in 2020. Changes to the program build on these past successes, and make the program better suited to preserving small and midsized rental properties, in addition to larger portfolios. Changes also create opportunities for the City to partner with mission based lenders and emerging developers of color on NOAH acquisition efforts.

Specifically, updated program guidelines include an expanded eligible borrower definition that will allow for-profit housing owner/operators – in addition to nonprofit groups – to apply for funds. Staff will review proposals from borrowers with demonstrated experience in real estate ownership, operations or development serving BIPOC renters, or other equivalent experience. Emerging developers of color are encouraged to apply.

Additional changes include the following updates to the terms of funding:

  • Changing the minimum portfolio and building size to four units. A minimum portfolio and building size was not previously specified.
  • Changing the loan terms to a maximum of 30 years with 30-year affordability period, instead of a maximum of 15 years with 15-year affordability period. The affordability term must match the term of the loan.
  • Changing the way the maximum loan amount is calculated. Previously, the maximum loan amount was $25,000 per unit. Going forward, the maximum loan amount will be $35,000 per unit affordable at or below 60% AMI.
  • Establishing CPED underwriting standards that will enable the City to consider proposals with a wider variety of debt and equity sources.

Staff recommended the proposed changes in response to feedback from local mission-based lenders and CDFIs, and from past borrowers and prospective applicants to the program.

Gearing Up for Automotive Careers

Goodwill logo

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) is excited to provide youth career exploration in the automotive field. With support and partnership from the MN Department of Labor and Industry, Step Up, and Project for Pride in Living, 16-24 year-old youth will be introduced to essential skills in the automotive field. They also receive support identifying how their experience will transfer to other jobs, the opportunity to explore the various entry level roles and learn more about specialty areas in transportation

Starting in Spring 2022, enrolled students will participate in paid, hands-on automotive training at GESMN’s training location, learning basic skills, earning industry credentials, and deepening their knowledge through an immersive virtual reality lab. Students can connect with other youth, build their professional networks, and develop their future skills including industry-specific resumes and mock interviews. Individualized services also include tours, guest speakers, continuing education consultation and internships. For more information or to learn how to enroll, contact

Join the City to Celebrate New Public Artworks at the Public Service Building

collage of colorful artwork in the public service buildingcollage of colorful artwork in the public service building

Join the City for an event celebrating 17 new public artworks for the Public Service Building featuring the artists, self-guided tours, music and refreshments. This unique public art collection, by a diverse group of artists, features a suspended lobby sculpture, murals, illuminated elevator lobby ceilings, artist-designed bird-safe glass, and a restored 26-feet high stone carving of the Minneapolis City Seal.

Celebrate new public artworks  
Friday, Dec. 10 | 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  
Public Service Building, 505 Fourth Ave. S.  
Remarks will begin at 4:30 p.m. Masks are required at the event.

More information about the artwork and artists.


The Black Market
Saturday, December 11 | 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Case Building
767 North Eustis Street
Minneapolis, MN 55114

Shop, eat and connect. The Black Market is a vibrant new Monthly Market & Annual Event Organizer in the Twin Cities. Tons of food vendors and food trucks, unique shopping, history and art, music, games and fun.

More Information

Holiday Saturdays!
Saturday, December 11 & 18 | 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Browse hundreds of unique and creative works from local artists and creators. Support Minnesota artists and creative businesses!

More Information

Mill City Farmers Market logo

Mill City Winter Farmer’s Market
Saturday, December 18 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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

Mill City Farmers Markets is dedicated to providing a safe and reliable year-round marketplace for small farmers, makers and shoppers. The winter farmers market is inside the beautiful Mill City Museum lobby (no ticket required) with 30+ farmers and makers select Saturdays November through April.

More Information

Outdoor Winter Market
Saturdays | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

4901 Chowen Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Join local farmers and small businesses and buy, eat and learn about local food.

More Information

Plate & Parcel Holiday Market
Saturday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Wagner Garden Centers
6024 Penn Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419

Linden Hills Farmers Market moves indoors for the winter and becomes Plate & Parcel Holiday Market. A charming, festive one-stop shop for unique handcrafted gifts, local, foods, holiday decor and trees!

More Information

Minneapolis Craft Market at Holidazzle
Friday, December 17 (5 – 9 p.m.); Saturday, December 18 (2 – 9 p.m.); and Sunday, December 19 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Loring Park (Mpls College Parking Ramp is located at 1420 Hennepin Avenue)

Join for incredible selection of local foods, beverages and merchandise at this year’s Holidazzle.

More Information

cartoon of viking in winter

New/Expanding Businesses



In the News

Read in the Development Tracker

Read in the Development Tracker

Black Business Spotlight: Elements Heating and Cooling
Read in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder

Black Business Spotlight: Fresh Barbershop and Get Down Coffee
Read in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder

Midtown Global Market, Hmong Village among recipients of new DEED 'cultural mall' grants
Read in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

U.S. Bank to Donate Lake Street Land for Community Project
Read in Twin Cities Business

Minneapolis' riverfront Broadway Pizza has closed — and it's moving into a downtown pub
Read in the Star Tribune

Of Drag Queens and Media Mavens: LUSH Is Reopening
Read in Mpls St. Paul

Mini-Golf, Sculpture Garden Coming to Seven Points in Uptown
Read in Twin Cities Business

Bizzy Coffee Eyes National Expansion
Read in Twin Cities Business

North End Hardware owner calls it a career
Read in the Star Tribune

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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