Great Streets - Neighborhood Business District Program
Whether already vibrant or in need of additional investment, our neighborhood business districts are our Great Streets- essential elements of a great city. The City Council established the Great Streets Neighborhood Business District program in 2007 to cultivate and sustain vibrant neighborhood commercial districts in the City of Minneapolis. There are substantial differences between business districts across the city and therefore commercial revitalization takes multiple forms and varying levels of targeted public investment. The Great Streets program utilizes a variety of investment tools, including commercial real estate development and business loans, grants for business technical assistance and district-wide marketing and recruitment efforts, and façade improvement matching grants to business and property owners.
For more information on Great Streets programs, contact Rebecca Parrell at (612) 673-5018.
Business District Support Grants
Some non-profit neighborhood groups, business associations, and community development corporations have grant contracts with the City of Minneapolis to implement specialized Business District Support strategies in business districts throughout the city.
Technical Assistance Grants
The Small Business Technical Assistance Program provides funding to local non-profit business consulting organizations to deliver technical assistance services to Minneapolis businesses and entrepreneurs.
Façade Improvement Matching Grants
Some non-profit neighborhood groups, business associations, and community development corporations have contracts with the City of Minneapolis to provide Façade Improvement Matching Grants to businesses and commercial property owners.
The City recognizes that businesses, both small and large, are the backbone of our economy and has a variety of loan programs to provide support to existing, expanding, and new businesses. One of the most popular loan programs for financing building improvements and equipment purchases is the Two-Percent Loan Program.
Real Estate Development Gap Financing
The City has gap financing resources for real estate development and development acquisition for transformative commercial development projects located on designated commercial corridors, nodes, and LRT station areas.
- Application Form
- Examples of Gap Financing Projects:
The City of Minneapolis has access to a wide range of demographic and market data. In order to make this information accessible to those involved in business district revitalization and retail recruitment efforts, the City has created "Market Profiles" or snapshots of Great Streets eligible areas . These reports are meant to provide basic information and ARE NOT conclusive comprehensive market studies.
When neighborhoods use multiple tools and tap a variety of resources, revitalization efforts are often successful. Each neighborhood is unique with its own set of opportunities and challenges and requires a customized approach.
- East Franklin Avenue: Read about how Franklin Avenue used ownership control to attract neighborhood-oriented businesses and eliminate problem businesses. Attention to design was also a key component of their strategy and part of an effective effort to reduce crime.
- East Lake Street: Read about how a powerful combination of catalytic real estate development and entrepreneurial support have activated East Lake Street.
- Central Avenue North: The Northeast Community Development Corporation applied the Main Street model of revitalization to Central Avenue: Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring.
Great Streets program resources are available for businesses located in commercial corridors, commercial nodes, activity centers, and Light Rail Transit Station Areas – business districts where the City encourages concentrated commercial activity (as defined in The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth). The City prioritizes resources for areas with demonstrated need.
- Intervene – areas experiencing economic and social problems and with limited private sector interest in development and investment
- Support - areas with some private sector interest in development and business investment, though with market, infrastructure or assembly barriers
- Monitor – areas experiencing very few social or economic problems and with strong market development and business investment activity
City Council Reports Related to Great Streets
Policies set by the City of Minneapolis guide the Great Streets programs.
- Loan Origination Fee and Underwriting Guidelines Nov. 30, 2010
- Categorization of Great Streets Areas March 10, 2009
- City Council report on Great Streets April 17, 2007
- Presentation to the City Council April 17, 2007
- City Council report on Commercial Corridors November 7, 2006
- The Minneapolis Plan, Chapter 4 Marketplaces: Neighborhoods 2000
- Anderson, Louise. “Flexible Tools Keep Neighborhoods Business Districts Healthy.” International Economic Development Council July 1, 2013 / Volume 13 / Issue 13
Online information from the City of Minneapolis at MinneapolisMN.gov/CPED
Last updated Sep. 18, 2013