Andy Bollig is the Development Assistant for the Development division of Sherman...more details »
A collection of recent and significant news articles about Sherman Associates, Sherman Associates' properties and employees.
On a warm, Saturday afternoon in May, people were drawn to Downtown Minneapolis for a new event that was just being unveiled as of 10 a.m. Those taking part were noticeable, even among those who live, work, play, visit and explore downtown on a regular basis. This group, donning little white “passport-looking” booklets, were on a mission.
They were out to Explore Downtown Living.
The event, created to help showcase all the amenities and benefits available for those living downtown, was born out of the Minneapolis Downtown Council’s Intersections: Downtown 2025 Plan Development Committee’s goal to double the downtown population to 70,000 by the year 2025. A task force, co-chaired by Jennifer Webb and Brent Gordon, began working from scratch and tried to get the event called Explore Downtown Living off the ground in its first year with hopes that it would raise awareness about downtown residential life.
It was wildly successful, and as a result Gordon, Webb and the Explore Downtown Living event were awarded one of this year’s six 2025 Plan Leadership Awards for their efforts. They’ll receive their award October 20 at the Minneapolis Downtown Council Gala.
Explore Downtown Living took place on May 16-17 and September 19-20 this year and included free tours of 23 residential communities, two dozen local businesses offering discounts and freebies, and an incredible amount of publicity highlighting all that downtown living has to offer. In total, there were 2,250 people who signed up and 8,423 residential unit tours offered in those four days. And the event accounted for 2.9 million impressions in earned and paid media, which also helped spread the word about downtown living to the metro and greater Minnesota.
“Making it easy for people to explore downtown and its living options is key,” Gordon said. “It takes away the barriers like fear and time spent, and allows people to just come and enjoy themselves while learning something new.”
The event essentially opened doors for easy access that would otherwise take a fair amount of time and effort to set up. Some participants went to all 23 residential communities, others just a handful. But the options were there, and parking was available throughout so people could easily move from Point A to Point B.
The Explore Downtown Living website, built by VON91, included an interactive map that allowed people to find their own custom directions easily and effectively no matter where they were.
“Many of our efforts were validated in our sponsors: Target—being the first and our foundation for future sponsors, MSP Magazine and VON91,” Webb said. “Because of these key sponsors and the tight community amongst property management companies, we were able to work with many of the general manager and onsite staff that help create the unique experience of living downtown.”
The continuity across the board was easy to see throughout the properties. The event was free to the public, and there was no solicitation to try and create rental agreements on the spot. The overall consensus was Explore Downtown Living is simply an opportunity for people to browse all that downtown has to offer. If they do want to sign an agreement, great, but there will be no pitching involved. Only tours that show the amenities and opportunities available for those interested in downtown life.
From proximity and location near jobs and entertainment to all the options for neighborhood living, there’s a lot to be excited about if you’re interested in living downtown today.
“I love the walkability, proximity to the huge natural amenity of the river and the great restaurants,” Webb said. “It’s exciting to see so many great places opening, especially in the North Loop.”
For Gordon, the best part about Explore Downtown Living was seeing so many people and organizations coming together to help showcase what downtown has to offer.
“Making it easy for people is key,” Gordon said. “Working together for a common goal creates more success than tackling a challenge alone.”
Mark Remme | October 6, 2015