Intro to Business District

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In the latter half of the 19th century, the converging corridors of Hennepin, Washington and Nicollet Avenues provided a foundation for the city’s first commercial center. Nearly a century and a half later, Minneapolis’ central Business District continues to thrive as the financial, cultural and retail heart of the city.

A neighborhood where work meets play, the Business District buzzes with activity 24/7. By day, throngs of professionals zip through the district’s winding, 11-mile skyway system, while more casual visitors meander the area’s favorite shops and cafes along Nicollet Mall. As the sun sets, the bright lights of Hennepin Avenue draw a whole new crowd to it’s collection of trendy bars and restaurants, independent music venues and world-renowned theaters.

Like the busy lives of its residents, the Business District is constantly changing and adapting. For decades the neighborhood has witnessed large waves of urban renewal and renovation. And with even more plans for improvement currently underway, including a redesign of the iconic Nicollet Mall, along with a remodel of the Target Center arena, the neighborhood appears poised for strong growth and economic vitality for many years to come.

Business District apartments

The Business District Lifestyle

Here, stately historic treasures intermingle with gleaming, sky-high towers, evidence of the city’s robust business and financial community.

Dominated by powerful Fortune 500 companies like Target, Ameriprise Financial, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy, the Business District welcomes a workforce of more than 160,000 to its streets daily.

As temperatures dip well below freezing the Business District still bustles, thanks to its climate-controlled skyways. Interlinking a total of sixty-nine full city blocks, you can navigate the neighborhood without ever stepping foot outside.

When the weather’s nice, Nicollet Mall promises the perfect setting for long lunches, shopping sprees and happy hours.

This curving, tree-lined pedestrian thoroughfare beckons both locals and tourists to its outdoor concerts, upscale retail stores, gourmet eateries and lively street life.

From May to October, Thursdays at the Nicollet Mall farmers market become a weekly ritual of fresh flowers, organic produce and handmade treats

Once the sun sets, the Business District’s energy rises.

The neighborhood’s dense concentration of bars, lounges, music venues, comedy clubs, theaters and sports arenas invite a wave of new faces to the downtown scene every night.

For a truly iconic night on the town, grab tickets to a Broadway show at the historic Orpheum Theater on Hennepin Avenue.

Or stop by the Depot for a quick drink before heading to First Avenue, the legendary music venue where artists like Prince and the Replacements first made their mark on music history.


The downtown residential population continues to grow, now up to nearly 40,000. And the Minneapolis Downtown Council (MDC) is hard at work shaping it’s “Live Downtown” campaign to keep the momentum going strong as they move towards their 2025 goal of doubling the population.