Johnson Consulting was retained by the City of Minneapolis’ Community Planning and Economic Development department to undertake an analysis of the potential for an urban village to be developed, or encouraged to evolve, in downtown Minneapolis. Our analysis coincided with the redevelopment of the Hubert H. Metrodome, which is home to the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, and a $400-million mixed-use development adjacent to the stadium, replacing surface parking lots and under-developed parcels with 1.5 million square feet of office space, to be occupied by Wells Fargo, along with 200 workforce housing units, 200 market rate housing units, 22,000 square feet of retail space, 1,600 parking spaces and a 6-acre public use park. The broader study region adjoined the downtown core, the Riverfront, and the University of Minnesota, but suffered from physical and visual separation, thereby creating distinct opportunities to enhance connectivity between these key elements.
Our assessment focused on identifying best practices of similar urban villages, including property and other tax value increases when such districts are executed well, and how a new urban village would affect the overall performance of downtown Minneapolis. We also provided specific recommendations regarding the organization and financial structure that would best ensure the success of the new urban village.