Business booming in downtown Minneapolis, but much work remains in 2025 plan

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Business leaders and volunteers were in the middle of a 15-year effort to transform downtown Minneapolis back in 2011 when the Downtown Council announced its “2025 Plan.” The goal of the plan was to make downtown Minneapolis better, busier and more attractive to businesses.

It's been nearly a decade since the council launched an aggressive campaign to grow, improve and better connect the community.

Since it began, the council says more than 100 businesses have moved in. Downtown has also seen the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, the opening of the Green Line, and the overhaul of Nicollet Mall.

"There are more businesses, more apartments, more condos,” said Nikole Harris, general manager of Fulton Brewing. “I find having more down here brings more people.”

Steve Cramer, the president of Minneapolis Downtown Council, said the 2025 Plan was meant to be the foundation for Minneapolis's continued growth in the future.

“The intent of the plan and those 10 goals were really to make sure that Minneapolis could remain a strong and competitive environment downtown for investment, business growth, for economic success,” Cramer said.

But there’s a lot more to do for the goals to be met, such as ending street homelessness, doubling the downtown population to 70,000 and expanding public transportation.

Those are not the only challenges to overcome. In the first precinct, which includes downtown, police records show a rise in violent crime from 2018 to 2019.

“We are committed to coming out of the gates early in 2020 with very comprehensive strategies, some law enforcement-based, others based on community outreach,” Cramer said.

Minneapolis Downtown Council has another five years to reach its goals. A strategy on handling downtown crime is expected to be released in April and the new count of downtown residents is expected to be announced in two weeks.