Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Downtown Minneapolis

Recent article from the Downtown Journal:

Downtown gained 785 residents and lost 3,335 jobs in 2008, the Downtown Council announced at its annual meeting yesterday.

Although Downtown’s workforce declined 6.9 percent, Downtown Council President Sam Grabarski sprinkled his year-end remarks with lots of positive news. The audience applauded when Grabarski noted that TCF Bank recently renewed its lease for 263,000 square feet in the TCF tower.

Grabarski recapped several other corporate comings-and-goings, such as SoftBrands’ move from Richfield to the LaSalle Plaza, Xcel Energy’s expansion to occupy 28 percent of Marquette Plaza, and OLSON’s expansion into four buildings in Loring Corners. Valspar is relocating 400 employees out of its headquarters for the past hundred years into an Ameriprise building at 901 3rd Ave. S.

Downtown’s top employer continues to be Target Corporation, with 10,000 employees. Wells Fargo is next in line with 7,180 employees, followed by Hennepin County with 5,200 employees.

Members of the Downtown Council patted themselves on the backs for creating a new Downtown Improvement District, an initiative they have studied for several years. The budget for the first year is now $3 million, just half of what was originally proposed, and the property assessments will pay for more cleaning services Downtown. The Downtown-based consultant Sarah Harris will oversee the new district as chief operating officer.

As for future initiatives, the Downtown Council staff said they will support “earnest discussions” related to the future of the Vikings stadium. They also noted that it was “critical to stay focused and stay positive” with regard to Downtown retail. Staff said they reached out to hundreds of retail prospects in the past year.

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