Minneapolis' downtown population rose 25 percent in 10 years

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The number of people living in downtown Minneapolis rose by 25 percent over the last 10 years.

That's according to the Minneapolis Downtown Council, which in an update to its "2025 Plan" on Tuesday revealed the recent boom in apartment building in the downtown area is starting to bear fruit.

Currently 39,960 people are living downtown, a rise of 2.7 percent compared to the same time last year, when there were 38,909.

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The council's goals

The council has set ambitious goals to attract more people to live downtown, as it seeks to turn it into a vibrant residential, commercial and cultural center.

In its wide-ranging plan released in 2011, it hopes to almost double the downtown population to 70,000 by 2025, adding 15,000 housing units to accomplish this.

It also wants to boost office space by 3 million square feet, add 1,100 hotel rooms and build 200,000 square feet of retail space – including at least two new grocery stores – as well as improving use of transit among downtown dwellers.

Transit use has seen a boost, at least in part because of the opening of the Green Line light rail link between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Metro Transit said last week it has helped propel passenger numbers to their highest level since 1981.

And while it has plans for the expansion of office space, the council revealed on Tuesday there is currently still empty space in existing buildings downtown, with vacancy rates above 11 percent.

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The Star Tribune reported Monday that Minneapolis has seen an "unprecedented apartment building boom" downtown, but notes that much of those built have been tailored towards the luxury end of the market.

There is still huge demand for affordable apartments and rent, the newspaper notes, with a representative of Doughty Mortgage saying the 1,000 affordable units set to be built downtown this year still well short of the 4,200-a-year demand.

Top employers

The downtown council also revealed the top 15 downtown employers on Tuesday, with Target still at number one despite cutting 1,700 jobs from its headquarters on a single day last March.

In total, The Business Journal reports Target's workforce downtown has reduced 25 percent in the past year, after it stood at 10,000 workers in January 2015.

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