Minneapolis Downtown Council reimagining the heart of the city
The Minneapolis Downtown Council held its annual meeting to analyze the ups and downs of 2023 while looking forward to the future of downtown.
City leaders called 2023 a pivotal year and they explained the heart of the city is making progress.
Some Minnesotans said the tempo of downtown Minneapolis is changing because more feet are hitting the pavement than normal.
“I have definitely seen the increase,” Jasmine Pearson, downtown business owner, said.
Pearson is taking a chance on downtown by opening up a clothing business on Nicollet Mall.
“I’ve seen a lot down here. It’s different,” she said.
The Downtown Council said different could be a good thing.
“We’re going to talk about how we’re going to reimagine downtown,” Adam Duininck, Minneapolis Downtown Council president, said at the annual meeting. “Our story’s going to continue to be centered around public safety, inclusion and reimagining the future of downtown.”
Downtown safety continues to be a concern for some Minnesotans.
Taking a look at 2023 city data, violent crime is down about 14% downtown compared to 2022.
In the last year, there has been a big focus on community policing with Minneapolis police beefing up patrols and community organizations patrolling the streets and providing outreach services to those in need.
“We recognize that we have our part to do and I’ll tell you we’re making a lot of progress,” Jacob Frey, Minneapolis mayor, said.
Looking ahead, city leaders said there will be challenges, but 2023 was a turning point to reinvent what downtown could be.
“On Nicollet Mall, we can have a fully pedestrian world-class mall. We can set a tone for other cities to follow,” Frey said. “Why can’t it be more like Times Square? Why can’t we have digital billboards off and tons of light and activity? Why can’t we use that excess revenue to do more programming to make sure that there’s activity 100% of the time?”
Another goal has been to get people back in the office downtown.
According to the Downtown Council, 65% of people are working downtown about three times per week,
The 2035 strategic plan is a big part of reimagining the future of downtown. The Council said more details will be released this spring.