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Retail Task Force Launches New Initiative for Enhancing Nicollet Shopping Experience

Via an April 17 News Release from the mpls downtown council:

The mpls downtown council’s 2025 plan development committee and its retail task force announced today a comprehensive plan for shaping downtown’s retail district along Nicollet between 5th and 10th streets.

A group of 33 task force members—including representatives from the City of Minneapolis, downtown retail locations, brokerage teams, property owners and management groups, and other downtown stakeholders—convened regularly to address short-, medium- and long-term plans for enhancing downtown’s retail scene.

The goal is to identify challenges in brick-and-mortar retail happening nationwide, assessing how retail fits the changing downtown landscape and build a platform for finding new tenants for spaces along Nicollet in our city’s core.

“We’ve already seen $300 million worth of private investment along the new Nicollet, including incredible investment in The Dayton’s Project. We know Nicollet is an important gathering destination for our city,” said Steve Cramer, president & ceo of the mpls downtown council. “This task force is assessing how we can position new retail tenants to succeed in our downtown, which continues to see overall business vitality, residential growth and visitor traffic.”

Their findings included the following strategies: 

· Define, publicize and market a core downtown retail district on Nicollet from 5th to 10th streets

· Create a comprehensive booklet used for marketing downtown retail to interested parties

· Organize an ongoing alliance of stakeholders (building owners/managers, commercial and retail brokers, retailers, public officials, business associations) focused on communication and alignment of interests, coordinated messaging, cross promotions, updating useful data and coordinating tenant recruitment

· Examine signage and regulatory requirements

· Work to develop smaller store footprints

· Integrate Nicollet and downtown safety and activation strategies into core retail district

“This is the perfect time to convene the expertise of this task force to work on opening a new era of retail on Nicollet,” said David Frank, co-chair of the 2025 Plan’s retail task force and Director of the City of Minneapolis Community Planning & Economic Development department. “We are embracing this moment of opportunity and a chance to redevelop the shopping scene in our city’s core.”

The retail task force understands the importance of retail throughout downtown, but their specific focus is revitalizing the shopping scene along Nicollet. Through focusing on economics, access and overall perception, the group is looking to re-establish Nicollet as a unique shopping experience in the heart of our thriving city.

“Our retail community downtown understands we need to work together to ensure that our shopping scene continues to grow and thrive,” said Deb Kolar, 2025 plan retail task force member and general manager of IDS Center on behalf of Accesso Services Inc. “This task force has identified a collective strategic approach to enhance retail here in downtown and help us reach new audiences looking to expand in our market while building a corridor that consumers will love.”

Other important aspects of the retail task force committees work include street-to-skyway wayfinding, working on coordinated efforts to lure new businesses downtown, and addressing new approaches to targeted retail businesses.

The Development Committee is one of six 2025 Plan committees, and the retail task force is one of five sub-committees carrying out the Development Committee’s initiatives. These six main 2025 Plan committees, comprised of more than 350 volunteers, are working to create an extraordinary downtown by addressing the 2025 Plan’s 10 key initiatives established in 2011.

For more information on The 2025 Plan’s initiatives or overall development downtown, follow @mplsdowntown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #mplsdowntown and #2025plan.

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