Economic health:

Commercial building investment

Square feet of commercial construction by type and location, 2004-2014

The Upper River and the Central Riverfront represent two distinct submarkets for commercial buildings (see chart above). The Central Riverfront, which is at the edge of the city’s central business district, has built a substantial amount of new office space, as well as a considerable amount of general commercial space - generally retail storefronts and the like. By comparison, the Upper River has a fairly even mix of investment in industrial, light industrial and office space. While both Central and Upper River have seen substantial office space construction, the nature of office space in the Upper River is different than typical downtown office towers; much of it is tied to a related industrial facility, such as at Coloplast or Graco.


Source: City of Minneapolis Building Permit Databases, including all project permits filed in 2004-2014, whether open or completed.  Categorizations (major rehab versus new construction, as well as project use) made by the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership, based on familiarity or additional research on the question, including permit database background, review of city meeting minutes, staff reports, contacts with city staff, news accounts of project, or the Hennepin County Parcel Dataset (2004-2014) as acquired from either MetroGIS Datafinder (2004-2010) or Hennepin County (2011-). Determination of use not necessarily indicative of project zoning.

Commercial, new and major rehab, 2004-2014

1.3M sq. ft.

Upper River

3.7M sq. ft.

Central Riverfront

Wells Fargo mixed use project

The single biggest commercial construction project in the riverfront area is the Wells Fargo Mixed Use project, under development by Ryan Companies and adjacent to the Vikings’ new US Bank Stadium, which will add 1.4 million square feet of office space in two mirrored towers along 4th Street.


Wells Fargo Mixed Use photo courtesy Wikipedia user Runner1928 under CC BY-SA 4.0 license via Background aerial photo of downtown and riverfront area courtesy Tony Webster under CC BY 2.0 license via