NY snack maker moves to MPLS' burgeoning North Loop

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Way Better Snacks, a snack food maker launched in 2011 in Long Island, is moving to Minneapolis, signaling a commercial boom in the downtown neighborhood north of the Warehouse District.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal says owner Jim Breen, 47, who attended Metropolitan State University and worked for the Creamette Co. in the Twin Cities before moving to the East Coast, says the Journal, plans to hire up to 20 people locally in a new location in the North Loop.

Way Better, whose tortilla chips boast natural ingredients, expects revenue of $12 million to $14 million this year, reports the Star Tribune.

The headquarters will be the century-old Tractor Works Building at 800 Washington Av. N., according to the Star Tribune, in what writer Neal St. Anthony calls "the born-again North Loop."

Aside from particulars about Way Better, St. Anthony digs into the business numbers of the North Loop, which has seen a relatively healthy housing boom for 10 years. "But the gradual expansion of commercial enterprises has been significant as well," St. Anthony writes.

The downtown area, including the North Loop and Warehouse District, is back to prerecession employment levels approaching 160,000, according to St. Anthony. He also notes that Developer Hines acquired a 6-acre swath of North Loop land last year, mostly parking lots, for $13.7 million near Target Field, and has plans for a nearby office tower "with enough space to fill five small Target stores."

Where's the North Loop? Why, it's right here (shaded purple) ...

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