Community works

Community works projects are developed in partnership with communities, cities and other stakeholders to focus public and private investment along designated corridors. This approach is grounded in the robust participation of residents, businesses, government agencies and community organizations and embraces five key principles:

  • Stimulate economic development
  • Promote effective planning and implementation
  • Maintain and improve natural systems
  • Strengthen community connections
  • Enhance the tax base

Contact us at HCWTmail@hennepin.us

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Community Works 20th Anniversary

In the fall of 1993, Hennepin County established a commission to develop recommendations and principles for a cross-jurisdictional, collaborative community redevelopment approach that would later become the hallmark Hennepin Community Works program. Twenty years, and millions of dollars in community reinvestment later, the county will celebrate with partners and other stakeholders the anniversary of community works with a series of acknowledgements and events throughout 2014 recognizing this groundbreaking program that continues to leverage substantial public and private investment in key county corridors for the benefit of all.  

Midtown community works

In the fall of 1993, Hennepin County established a commission to develop recommendations and principles for a cross-jurisdictional, collaborative community redevelopment approach that would later become the hallmark Hennepin Community Works program.

An under-used rail corridor running across south Minneapolis attracted crime and contributed to blight in nearby neighborhoods. The Midtown community works project supported redevelopment and job growth in the area, and created a commuter bicycle trail from the chain of lakes area to the Mississippi River while preserving the corridor for future transit.

Outcomes

  • Estimated market value within a quarter mile of the project increased by 227% vs. 126% city-wide average from 1999 through 2012.
  • The greenway was named best urban bike trail in the nation by USA Today in 2013.
  • Allina Hospitals and Clinics leased more than 400,000 square feet of office space at Midtown Exchange.
  • Crimes in Midtown corridor neighborhoods dropped 33% vs. 18% city-wide average from 2000 through 2010.

Midtown Greenway project report card (PDF)

Midtown Community Works Partnership

Since 1998, this work has been led by the Midtown Community Works Partnership, leaders in the community who realized that while a renaissance of south Minneapolis was underway, a largely neglected, yet extremely valuable area of the city had been overlooked. The 29th Street rail trench is now transformed into the Midtown Greenway. As discussion among these influential leaders progressed, a vision of an economically, socially and environmentally revitalized corridor emerged. Learn more about the partnership.


Mission and principles

Mission

To enhance how the communities of Hennepin County work together to create good jobs, provide access to employment, and build the long term value of communities by investing in infrastructure, public works, parks, and the natural environment and by improving the existing implementation systems.

Principles

  • Stimulate economic development
  • Promote effective planning and implementation
  • Maintain and improve natural systems
  • Strengthen community connections
  • Enhance the tax base

Project characteristics

  • Established by county board action
  • Represent long-term, legacy investments with variable time commitments
  • Encourage public and private investment along important corridors and in challenged neighborhoods
  • Provide a framework for collaborations with other agencies to guide, coordinate, and leverage investment and increase the tax base
  • Facilitate robust participation of residents, businesses, government agencies and community organizations
  • Offer an integrated, flexible approach to transportation infrastructure, land use, and economic development

Outcomes

Community works projects focus on outcomes that address the needs of the project area, including but not limited to:

  • Bicycle/pedestrian improvements
  • Blight removal
  • Crime reduction
  • Environmental cleanup
  • Green space
  • Housing
  • Redevelopment
  • Tax-base enhancement
  • Transit access
  • Transportation improvements
  • Water quality improvements

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