Future of downtown Minneapolis in the air, new economic numbers show – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – New figures show things are improving for the economy of downtown Minneapolis.
Between COVID-19 and civil unrest, the city has seen an unprecedented exodus of businesses. But there are new signs that the economy of the largest city in the Upper Midwest is booming.
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Two years ago, downtown Minneapolis was very busy. A year ago it was a ghost town. These days, it’s somewhere in between.
Patrick McCutchan runs a long-time family business, Nibbles Hot Dogs.
“I think things are starting to improve a bit. The wood is starting to come off the windows, business owners are starting to get back to work, ”McCutchan said.
McCutchan’s family business has served Nicollet since 1983.
“When all the restaurants closed, we were the only ones here feeding people and people need food,” he said.
And a lot of these restaurants are still closed, especially in the skyway. The once thriving midday market is now trying to survive. But according to the downtown council, there is hope.
Restaurants in the city are at 35% for sit-down dinners, hotel occupancy is up 19%, tram ridership up 36% and 23% of downtown workers are back in the office, which is perhaps the biggest deal of all.
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“As these office workers return, a lot more things will start to happen and we will start to see positive resuscitation,” said Steve Cramer, CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
And positivity is clearly in the air.
Theophilus Hayes works downtown as an Ambassador for the Downtown Improvement District.
“There are more people here today than I’ve seen in a long time,” said Hayes.
Richard Mofan of Minneapolis drove through downtown on Tuesday.
“Being able to come back to my community is also a good thing,” said Mofan.
A community that is forever changed.
“Our future downtown won’t be exactly like our old downtown, but it will look a lot more like what people remember than last year,” Cramer said.
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Another sign of a rebound: the farmer’s market will return to Nicollet Mall on June 3.