Adam Duininck picked to lead Minneapolis Downtown Council

The Minneapolis Downtown Council has picked Adam Duininck, a former Metropolitan Council chair and a top lobbyist for union carpenters, as its next president and CEO.

“We are thrilled to welcome Adam Duininck as the new President and CEO of the mpls downtown council and Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District,” board chair Karin Lucas said in a statement. “His vision for a vibrant downtown Minneapolis aligns perfectly with our 2035 Planning Process, and his proven track record in leadership and community development makes him an ideal fit for the role.”

Duininck, who currently serves as director of government affairs for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, will step into the role when MDC President and CEO Steve Cramer retires in December.

“The mpls downtown council has an impressive history of civic leadership and advocacy on behalf of its members, Duininck wrote in a statement. “As the city grows and recovers to meet the needs of the future, I am excited about the work ahead to keep our downtown a vibrant place to work, live and play.”

Duininck, who has a background in urban planning and transportation, faces the ongoing challenge of bringing day-to-day foot traffic back to downtown Minneapolis, which still has yet to fully rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to recent data from the MDC, downtown office buildings are at 65% occupancy. And two of the city’s largest employers, Target and Hennepin County, have shown reluctance to bring their staff back to the office full-time.

However, this summer showed the city has a unique capacity to draw hundreds of thousands for marquee events.

More than half a million people descended on the city in June for the joint extravaganza of the Twin Cities Pride Festival and back-to-back shows at U.S. Bank Stadium for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour. A week later, a rebooted Taste of Minnesota came to Minneapolis after an eight-year hiatus, attracting 60,000 visitors on day one.

A DTC report released this spring shows more people visited downtown Minneapolis in 2022 than in 2019.