Downtown Minneapolis in Midst of a Building Boom

Updated: 07/30/2013 7:41 AM By: Todd Wilson

It appears downtown Minneapolis is in the midst of a building boom.

There's a demand for retail space, rental housing and office space. Local developers are aggressively seeking out those opportunities.

Jeremy Hanson Willis is the Director of Community Planning and Economic Development in Minneapolis. He said "In an average year the city of Minneapolis sees about $770 million of construction. Last year we saw more than $1.2 billion in construction and this year we are already ahead (of where) we were last year."

This is historic growth happening downtown primarily in the residential rental market, according to Hanson Willis. Construction companies like Ryan, Hines and Opus have all jumped in the game.

They all see the same demographic shifts, with baby boomers and Millenials, those in their 20s and 30s.  

"A lifestyle where they don't need a car, they can bike and use mass transit to everything they do," Hanson Willis said.    

There are roughly 30,000 people living downtown. Dr. Tom Musil with the University of St. Thomas says developers must be aware of a tipping point.

"These tipping points are there. Over building, recessionary economies, consumer skepticism about real estate investment in a certain area all add to that tipping point," Musil said.

Maxfield Research Incorporated, a Minneapolis real estate research company, says downtown has roughly 18,000 units available. We're set to see another 3,700 in the next three to five years.

Amenities are growing downtown too, there will soon be a Whole Foods, the new Vikings stadium, and a revamped Nicollet Mall.