Population of Downtown Minneapolis Increased 2.9% in 2023

Population of Downtown Minneapolis Increased 2.9% in 2023 | Image Credit: supermoney.com
Population of Downtown Minneapolis Increased 2.9% in 2023 | Image Credit: supermoney.com

As per the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the current population residing in the city’s urban center is 58,409.

The most recent statistics available from the Minneapolis Downtown Council shows that the population of downtown Minneapolis increased by 2.9% to 58,409 in 2023.

That was an improvement over the 1.2% population growth rate in 2022, although it is still far short of the 14.5% rise observed in 2018.

Advocates for downtown, however, view all expansion as positive progress. The city’s urban center has welcomed 7,100 new inhabitants since 2020, according to Anna Coskran, partner with Minneapolis-based real estate company NTH, who made this observation during the downtown council’s annual meeting on Wednesday at The Armory.

Concurrently, new building went up quickly. According to Coskran, last year, developers in the Minneapolis area obtained new building permits totaling $1.5 billion. With $441 million worth of permits being drawn in wards 3 and 7, which both include portions of downtown, the majority of the activity was concentrated there.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaking on stage at The Armory at the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s 2024 annual meeting.
Image Credit: tcbmag.com

Nonetheless, compared to the previous year, when the city recorded $1.9 billion in permits, the overall value of permits last year was lower in 2023.

The council asserts that more individuals are going back to work in the downtown area in the meantime. Council statistics indicates that 65% of workers in downtown come to work “in some form each week,” with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays being the most common days to work in the office. In downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin Healthcare has surpassed Target as the largest employer.

The council claims that Target employs 7,100 people downtown, compared to 7,208 at Hennepin Healthcare. Third place went to Hennepin County, which has 5,654 companies and hasn’t yet forced its employees back into the office.

Mayor Jacob Frey chastised employees and firms who aren’t giving time in downtown workplaces priority. Frey has been beating the drum for a mass return to work for a long time.

“Everyone here is here because they adore Minneapolis. You’re all here because downtown is important to you. And you have persisted in it. Are you taking your staff back with you? Frey said, “You’re bringing your staff back,” before responding in the affirmative.

The mayor continued his jest, saying that those who have the choice to go back to the workplace but chose to work from home are “losers.”

“I’m not sure if you saw this study the other day,” joked Frey. “But it showed unequivocally that if people who have the means to go to an office in the city stay at home, lounging on their couch with their ugly cat blanket and fiddling with their laptop for a few months, they turn into losers.” It’s research. Are we really losers?

Even other speakers at the council meeting acknowledged that there is still disagreement about whether a mass return to the office will rejuvenate downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Foundation noted in a December study that it is doubtful that downtown’s pre-pandemic weekday workforce will ever fully recover and suggested that residential population development should take precedence.

The incoming president and CEO of the council, Adam Duininck, stated, “I want to celebrate the CEOs, executive teams, and other leaders who are emphasizing return-to-office.” “But to be clear, individuals who live here full-time—not simply for work—are what give downtown its energy.”

Like his predecessor Steve Cramer, Duininck pushed for a different perspective on downtown, emphasizing the idea of imagining a new future rather than restoring the area’s past splendor. It’s entering the “next season” of downtown, as Cramer put it.

Public safety, inclusiveness, and creativity, according to Duininck, are the three main pillars of his downtown vision.

“Change is the one constant in life,” Duininck remarked to the gathering. “Therefore, rather than discussing how we want to revive downtown and return it to its former state, we will discuss how we envision downtown.”


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