MINNEAPOLIS — As downtown Minneapolis finds a new groove, seasonal changes are breathing new life into the heart of the city.
The number of people downtown is increasing, comparable to pre-pandemic levels, even as storefronts remain vacant.
"One of my favorite statistics from last year is that we had 8.5 million people come to events downtown, and we expect to blow the doors off that number in 2023," said Downtown Council President and CEO Steve Cramer.
The change comes at a time when Cramer has announced his retirement after ten years at the helm, in addition to his 45 years of service to the city.
"All of the signs are in the positive direction in terms of where downtown is heading so I think there's a great future ahead of us and nothing wrong with somebody with a little bit different vision, maybe a little more energy perhaps, kind of picking up that ball and running with it," explained Cramer.
From sporting events to concerts and conventions, the foot traffic is back, but challenges still await Cramer's successor.
"Office occupancy is at about 64, 65 percent of people," said Cramer. "Mayor's also appointed a working group that I'm co-chairing to look more specifically right now at the issue of vacancies in some of our storefronts and what we can do to fill them."
As for another important note...
"I'm betting on downtown. Everybody whether you think so or not, you really have a stake in the success of downtown Minneapolis in terms of its role in the economy, and really being the front door for our city and our state," said Cramer.
Cramer's last day on the job is December 1.
He says the city has hired a firm to conduct a thorough search to find his successor, which they hope to announce in early October.
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