The City began the Great Streets Program in 2007. It is the City’s primary tool for funding commercial district revitalization – working to create and sustain vibrant, economically strong neighborhood commercial districts. The City partners with community partners through the program’s three sub-programs: Façade Improvement Matching Grants, Business District Support Grants, and Real Estate Development Gap Financing Loans.
When the program began, staff took the approach of restricting the geographic areas that would be eligible given limited resources. Thus, staff recommended, and City Council approved, four areas identified in the Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth, the comprehensive plan in effect at the time, as Great Streets eligible areas: commercial nodes, commercial corridors, 1/2-mile LRT station areas, and activity centers.
Update to Align with Minneapolis 2040
The current Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan differs from its predecessor in its approach to classifying land use categories. The new plan takes a more granular approach to classifying each parcel in the City into one of twelve different land use categories. A cross section of CPED staff considered the applicability of all twelve categories to the Great Streets program. Staff recommends basing the eligibility of parcels for the program going forward on whether a parcel is located in seven of the twelve categories.
Land Use Categories Recommended as Great Streets Eligible:
- Neighborhood Mixed Use
- Corridor Mixed Use
- Community Mixed Use
- Destination Mixed Use
- Goods and Services Corridor
- Neighborhood Office and Services
- Production Mixed Use
Land Use Categories Not Recommended as Great Streets Eligible:
- Urban Neighborhood
- Public, Office, and Institutional
- Parks and Open Space
- Production and Processing
The attached map is an approximate illustration highlighting the eligible parcels, which are designated in one of the seven recommended eligible land use categories. A web version of the map provides parcel-level detail. The map will need further confirmation to ensure it displays each parcel accurately. For reference, the current eligible areas map is viewable on the Great Streets webpage. If approved, the updated eligibility will go into effect for all Great Streets programs on Monday, February 10, 2020, including for outstanding Great Streets contracts.
A second aspect to the Great Streets Program is categorizing the eligible areas according to their relative economic health. Designing the program around these categories increases the likelihood that program resources will go to support commercial districts with the greatest need. Staff is not recommending a particular categorization of eligible parcels at this time. Instead, staff will continue to work with our community partners and return to City Council later in 2020 with a recommendation for categorizing the updated eligible parcels. In the interim period between February 10, 2020 and a Council Action approving a new categorization, parcels that are currently eligible and remain eligible under this updated eligibility will remain in their current category: monitor, support, or intervene. Parcels that are newly eligible will be treated as support parcels, until such time a new categorization is official after a Council Action.