Nick Halter
Aug 8, 2022 - Business

The Fortune 500 sweepstakes

The 3M headquarters building
Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Local and regional leaders are hoping to convince a soon-to-be Fortune 500 company to put its headquarters in the Twin Cities.

Driving the news: Maplewood-based 3M Co. announced in late July it would spin off its $8.6 billion health care business. After the move, the spinoff would rank as roughly the 400th largest publicly traded company in the U.S. and have thousands of employees.

The intrigue: 3M has not said anything about where that yet-to-be-named company will be based. But there's already a movement afoot in St. Paul to lure the spinoff to downtown.

Why it matters: A Fortune 500 headquarters in downtown St. Paul would breathe new life into the city and solve a decades-long effort to attract a larger daytime population.

  • Whether it's St. Paul or elsewhere in the region, keeping this company in the Twin Cities is important to the regional economy.
  • "It is absolutely incumbent upon us to do our best work to help this spinoff grow here," said St. Paul Area Chamber CEO B Kyle.

What's happening: Downtown's largest landlord, Jim Crockarell, already had renderings drawn up for a 40-story tower in the middle of the city, with a pipe dream of attracting some big company. That was before the 3M news.

  • "This is real now," Crockarell said. "Before it was just our fantasy."

The subsidy question: 3M already has a presence in Texas, a state with no corporate income taxes and a history of generous corporate subsidies.

  • "Other cities are certainly going to offer them incentives for a $9 billion spin off company," Crockarell said. "St. Paul, just to be competitive, has got to offer as many incentives as they can come up with. Bloomington would offer incentives. Edina would offer incentives. Austin, Texas would offer incentives."

Joe Spencer, president of the St. Paul Downtown Alliance, said 3M would be such a major addition to downtown that "everything should be on the table."

City Council Member Rebecca Noecker, who represents downtown, said the city has existing incentive programs for companies that create jobs in addition to built-in advantages of being downtown.

  • “I think there's incentives that we can offer that aren't just financial," she said.
  • A spokesperson for Mayor Melvin Carter's office said Carter "looks forward to connecting with 3M to learn more about their plans."

Of note: 3M did not respond to a request for comment.

State of play: There's not enough vacant high class office space available in St. Paul to house hundreds or thousands of workers for a 3M spinoff.

  • So a developer would have to build. Three logical sites: The Central Station at Minnesota and Fifth streets; the county-owned RiversEdge site between the bluff and Mississippi River; and the parking lot across the street from Treasure Island Center.

The case for St. Paul: 3M is already an east metro company, so a move to St. Paul wouldn't drastically disrupt commutes. Plus, the company has previously been interested in expanding into downtown.

The case against: Many employees are used to free parking in Maplewood. 3M could easily slice off a chunk of its Maplewood campus and lease it back to the new health care business.

  • And there will no doubt be other suitors. Bloomington has a $400 million pot of money it can use for economic development near the Mall of America.

Dinkytown businesses caught off guard by new safety program and road closures

Illustrated collage including elements of road infrastructure
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After crews installed road barriers on heavily trafficked streets in Dinkytown last week, local businesses are questioning whether the effort to combat crime will help more than hurt.

What’s happening: In an effort to deter crime in the area, the city of Minneapolis has shut down parts of 5th Street SE and 14th Avenue SE to car traffic from Thursday afternoons to Sunday mornings.

Twin Cities bookstores thrive as readers look to shop local

Illustration of a wall of book shelves with gold books aligned in a dollar sign.
Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Twin Cities independent bookstores are thriving as customers look to local sources for the latest reads.

The big picture: Though brick and mortar stores are struggling in the age of online shopping, indie bookstores have seen a resurgence nationwide over the last few years, per the New York Times.

Nick Halter
Jul 27, 2022 - Business

What 3M's health care spinoff could mean for Minnesota

3M's headquarters building
Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

3M Inc. announced Tuesday it will spin off its $8.6 billion health care business at the end of the 2023.

  • The health care business makes things like bandages and dental supplies. It accounts for about a quarter of the company's annual sales.

The intrigue: We don't yet know where the new, yet unnamed, company will be located. But the stakes are high — 3M employs 10,000 at its Maplewood headquarters and has been a major economic force in the east metro.

Photos: Esports hits the Mall of America with Wisdom Gaming hub

esports set
The broadcast set at Wisdom Gaming Studios. Photo: Torey Van Oot/Axios

The booming esports industry now has an in-person presence at the Mall of America.

Driving the news: Wisdom Gaming's new 18,000-square-foot broadcast studio and gaming lounge opened on the mall's fourth level over the weekend.

Nick Halter
Jul 25, 2022 - Sports

Pickleball-beer-and-food complex for the west metro

A Pints and Paddle building
A rendering of Pints & Paddle, a pickleball complex planned in Maple Grove. Image courtesy of the city of Maple Grove

A 10-court pickleball facility with a restaurant and self-serve taproom is planned for Maple Grove.

The details: Developer Ryan Cos. has proposed a 33,000-square-foot building near the Interstate 94/Highway 610 interchange, near Maple Grove Hospital.

Liquor Lyle's sold to Tilt Pinball

Liquor Lyles building
Photo: Nick Halter/Axios

The owner of Tilt Pinball Bar has purchased the beloved dive bar Liquor Lyle's on South Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Driving the news: Tilt made the announcement on Instagram.

Minnesota State Fair adds 2 new rollercoasters to lineup

A red rollercoaster.
The Iron Dragon rollercoaster promises plenty of airtime. Photo: Minnesota State Fair

Did you know there's more to the Great Minnesota Get-Together than the food? The new State Fair attractions were announced this week, and there's something for everyone.

  • Here are the highlights:

🎢 Roller coasters: The Midway is adding the Iron Dragon Coaster, which has "plenty of hairpin turns, fast and sudden drops," and the forwards-and-backwards Music Express rollercoaster.

🚶‍♀️Historic walking tour: While the two-mile tour isn't new, five new stops have been created for 2022, including the Plaza Bandstand and Baldwin Park.

🍞 New competitions: Amateur chefs can show off their pandemic bread-making skills at the Supreme Sourdough Bread Contest, or make a healthy meal for the Salad Bowl Tournament.

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