Do you know how many people live in downtown Minneapolis? Or how many people work at the Target Headquarters office on Nicollet Mall? The answers to these questions and many more were presented at the annual meeting of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
Mayor R.T. Rybak, the city council members from all 13 wards in Minneapolis, and many other elected public officials and business leaders attended the annual meeting and luncheon at the Hilton Minneapolis hotel on February 3. Opus College of Business Dean Christopher Puto was appointed to a three-year term on the council, which consists of 50 local leaders from the government, non-profit, and private sectors.
Members of the council provided updates about current initiatives to make downtown Minneapolis better for residents and visitors alike, as well as highlights about events that took place during the past year. Interesting statistics included a 17% decrease in violent crime from 2008 to 2009, zero murders in downtown Minneapolis in 2009, and huge increases in the number of people using public transit due to improved options. These include the new Northstar commuter rail from the northwest suburbs to downtown, additional Hiawatha Line light rail service, a free shuttle bus running up and down Nicollet Mall, and improved city bus service along the renovated Marquette Avenue corridor.
Minneapolis has two of the top 100 theaters in the world (State and Orpheum) in terms of number of annual guests, and the Target Center ranks in the top 30 nationwide for concert attendance. With Target Field, the new Twins stadium, opening in April, downtown is going to be livelier than ever this summer!
Oh, and in case you were wondering what the answers were to my questions at the beginning of this blog post, 35,000 people live in downtown Minneapolis. 9,800 people work at Target Headquarters—making it the biggest employer in downtown.