Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
uptownbro
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby uptownbro » July 15th, 2021, 11:05 am

That will be a huge boost to that side of downtown. Just in time for Vikings games. Wells Fargo and Target are still Labor day. Im not sure about US bank or any other large players downtown Doesnt Deluxe move to downtown this fall as well? That will add some new life to the CBD

dimabima
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby dimabima » July 15th, 2021, 12:05 pm

Today is by far the busiest I've seen core downtown since covid.

twincitizen
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby twincitizen » July 15th, 2021, 12:22 pm

One would think the City (and county) would be more aggressive about getting their workers back downtown as soon as possible, to help boost skyway businesses and perceptions of activity/safety around downtown. But that doesn't seem to be the case. City leadership has a vested interest in livening up downtown, more than any large company does. The City should be leading the private sector in this return to the office, not following. Kind of frightening to think that either the city or county would entertain the idea of letting large numbers of employees primarily work remote long-term. Might be fine for certain small departments that don't need to be in the office much, but allowing a majority of the workforce to work from home 3-4 days a week is not good for downtown.

I also think public sector workers are less likely to quit in favor of seeking employment elsewhere that allows WFH flexibility than private sector workers are (whereas private sector folks who want more WFH will change jobs to get what they want). Public sector employees aren't exactly known for jumping over to the private sector.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby SurlyLHT » July 15th, 2021, 1:58 pm

They're probably afraid of being accused of being discriminatory to some group by forcing people back. I talked to a security guard at the new city office building and said that it was a beautiful place to work and his response was that he loved the building. Are they going to ever do or have they done a Grand Opening?

dajazz
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby dajazz » July 15th, 2021, 2:20 pm

For most businesses it's not as simple as flipping a light switch on and saying everyone should come back starting next week. It wasn't that long ago that our Covid numbers were high, and even the state's own vaccine rollout plan indicated that the general population wouldn't be eligible for vaccines until summer. Based on that many businesses targeted late summer/early fall for return. Many employees, especially those with small children, made plans based on that guidance. Many parents are opting to keep their kids at home during the summer instead of sending them to camps/care programs, since they're at home themselves. Plus you know, the fact that children under 11 can't get the vaccine yet. Downtown will return, but it's not fair to point at any particular entity and say they should be bringing everyone back in immediately.

Silophant
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby Silophant » July 15th, 2021, 3:36 pm

Xcel has allowed anyone who's vaccinated to voluntarily come back since the beginning of July, but isn't requiring people to come back (to hybrid work) until after Labor Day. The stated reasons were childcare, like dajazz said, and also the availability of transit, which will be much improved at the end of August. I hope more businesses are taking that into consideration - people tend to not change their routines, and if people come into the office and have to drive for the first month because their commuter bus isn't running yet, a fair number will keep driving indefinitely.

MinneapBliss
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby MinneapBliss » July 15th, 2021, 3:45 pm

They're probably afraid of being accused of being discriminatory to some group by forcing people back. I talked to a security guard at the new city office building and said that it was a beautiful place to work and his response was that he loved the building. Are they going to ever do or have they done a Grand Opening?
FWIW, yesterday someone with Mpls Development Review told me their staff is not fully moved into the new Public Services Building, so naturally they're still only accepting online applications for building permits, etc. He did, however, say that the building is open to the public, so I'm hoping to get down there to check out the lobby at least, and whatever else of the interior is open.
"That rug really tied the room together, did it not?" -Walter Sobchak

alexschief
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby alexschief » July 16th, 2021, 8:16 am

I really don't think anyone should be hyperventilating about downtown offices until after schools reopen, and I'm not sure it'll be fair to say anything definitive until the start of 2022 at the earliest.

Everyone has their own timeline depending on their own circumstances, and it's important to be a bit sensitive to that.

uptownbro
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby uptownbro » July 16th, 2021, 8:27 am

I think the major holidays do provide benchmarks to see who is coming back, is there plan the same, what type of numbers are coming back. I do think the city leadership needs to be out in front of this so they are not playing catch up if its bad but it isnt time to panic as only now are some of the big players coming back to downtown.
I have no doubt there will be some anxiety on the part of office managers to workers about it all. I will say the times I have gone into my office during this they did a deep clean everyday which per the CDC does little to stop the spread but it did provide peace of mind during the winter spike.

xandrex
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby xandrex » July 19th, 2021, 2:56 pm

One would think the City (and county) would be more aggressive about getting their workers back downtown as soon as possible, to help boost skyway businesses and perceptions of activity/safety around downtown. But that doesn't seem to be the case. City leadership has a vested interest in livening up downtown, more than any large company does. The City should be leading the private sector in this return to the office, not following. Kind of frightening to think that either the city or county would entertain the idea of letting large numbers of employees primarily work remote long-term. Might be fine for certain small departments that don't need to be in the office much, but allowing a majority of the workforce to work from home 3-4 days a week is not good for downtown.

I also think public sector workers are less likely to quit in favor of seeking employment elsewhere that allows WFH flexibility than private sector workers are (whereas private sector folks who want more WFH will change jobs to get what they want). Public sector employees aren't exactly known for jumping over to the private sector.
The county has already made clear to employees that remote work is the default going forward if your job allows for it. There's going to be a significant reduction is total square footage and most people won't have desks. The plan is that you only go in when absolutely necessary.

I guess I don't know how likely people are to leave, but remote work seems particularly popular with parents and those with long commutes (amazing how many Hennepin folks live in Washington County or beyond). Those of us who have small homes and quick commutes because we live in the city? More of a mixed bag.

To make a long story short: Don't count on the public sector revitalizing downtown Minneapolis. :(

Silophant
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby Silophant » July 19th, 2021, 6:46 pm

Didn't the county just buy the old Thrivent building a couple years ago?

Didier
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby Didier » July 19th, 2021, 7:02 pm

I can also confirm, anecdotally, that the county is reducing office space. My wife's department was always mostly remote, but now it sounds like they won't even have the option of going in anymore.

dajazz
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby dajazz » July 19th, 2021, 7:51 pm

Didn't the county just buy the old Thrivent building a couple years ago?
Yes. They sold the Family Justice Center and are consolidating services & locations. Most hearings will be in the government center. Child support, and other admin functions, will be in Thrivent’s old building.

uptownbro
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby uptownbro » July 19th, 2021, 8:00 pm

Wait they found a buyer for the Family justice center? Wasnt there a push to have that plot redeveloped

dajazz
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby dajazz » July 19th, 2021, 10:17 pm

Sorry, I meant to say they’re vacating it, it’s not sold yet

xandrex
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby xandrex » July 19th, 2021, 10:57 pm

There’s nothing firm yet, but the county seems to be eyeing something like cutting their overall (not just downtown) footprint in half. Given that so many admin functions are downtown, you can bet they’re going to be offloading a greater percentage of downtown space than satellite sites.

icelake
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby icelake » July 20th, 2021, 9:55 am

In the interest of reducing greenhouse gas emissions & traffic congestion shouldn’t we be happy to see more flexibility in telework schedules? Is there a future mix between DT office work, residents and entertainment that would create a better, more balanced downtown?


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alexschief
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby alexschief » July 20th, 2021, 11:35 am

In the interest of reducing greenhouse gas emissions & traffic congestion shouldn’t we be happy to see more flexibility in telework schedules? Is there a future mix between DT office work, residents and entertainment that would create a better, more balanced downtown?
In terms of GhG emissions, there's still a lot of questions about remote work. But from what I've seen, the thought is that increased utility use at home wipe out reduced commuting emissions.

If you have 200 people on the floor of an office tower, that's actually a pretty efficient use of energy. If those 200 people are all lighting, cooling/heating 2,000 square foot detached homes instead, that's not great.

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LakeCharles
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » July 20th, 2021, 11:52 am

In the interest of reducing greenhouse gas emissions & traffic congestion shouldn’t we be happy to see more flexibility in telework schedules? Is there a future mix between DT office work, residents and entertainment that would create a better, more balanced downtown?
In terms of GhG emissions, there's still a lot of questions about remote work. But from what I've seen, the thought is that increased utility use at home wipe out reduced commuting emissions.

If you have 200 people on the floor of an office tower, that's actually a pretty efficient use of energy. If those 200 people are all lighting, cooling/heating 2,000 square foot detached homes instead, that's not great.
Lighting is relatively negligible here (how many lights do you have on in your house during the day?), and homes are still being heated/cooled without people in them. Many people don't have a thermostat programmed, but even for those that do, lowering the heat to 60° instead of 68° in the winter or raising it from 72° to 77° in the summer does not eliminate those emissions entirely.

alexschief
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis - News & General Topics

Postby alexschief » July 20th, 2021, 12:21 pm

In the interest of reducing greenhouse gas emissions & traffic congestion shouldn’t we be happy to see more flexibility in telework schedules? Is there a future mix between DT office work, residents and entertainment that would create a better, more balanced downtown?
In terms of GhG emissions, there's still a lot of questions about remote work. But from what I've seen, the thought is that increased utility use at home wipe out reduced commuting emissions.

If you have 200 people on the floor of an office tower, that's actually a pretty efficient use of energy. If those 200 people are all lighting, cooling/heating 2,000 square foot detached homes instead, that's not great.
Lighting is relatively negligible here (how many lights do you have on in your house during the day?), and homes are still being heated/cooled without people in them. Many people don't have a thermostat programmed, but even for those that do, lowering the heat to 60° instead of 68° in the winter or raising it from 72° to 77° in the summer does not eliminate those emissions entirely.
This is partly why I said there are big questions. We don't have a clear idea of what the emissions effects of a long term WFH trend would be because we don't know what % of white collar workers will ultimately WFH, we don't know how their energy use will shift long term, etc.

You can imagine a scenario where the people with the longest commutes and the most wasteful home energy consumption are the ones most likely to stay at home, and the net effect is a small increase in home energy use and a drop in commuting emissions. You can also imagine a scenario where working from home drives the purchase of more wasteful homes which lead to more VMT for other trips and an increase overall on both counts. It's complicated.


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