Community Planning & Economic Development

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Public Service Center
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Minneapolis, MN 55415
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New Public Service Building/City Hall Renovation Project

The City of Minneapolis has over 4,000 employees. While many of these individuals work in City Hall, many also work in six other buildings spread throughout Downtown. This often causes confusion for residents and businesses interacting with the City. It also creates inefficiencies for staff that often need to travel between buildings sometimes several times a day.

In July 2016, the Minneapolis City Council endorsed the concept of creating a new Public Service Building which would strategically collocate downtown City employees between City Hall and a new adjacent office building. This would offer a higher quality of service to the public, reduce the City’s overall real estate footprint, and provide effective space for the diverse needs of employees.

office building illustration

(Above: An illustration of the new Public Service Building.)

Project Design Team

The City Council has approved moving forward with the design team of MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle) in partnership with Henning Larsen to design a new public service building for the City of Minneapolis.

The goal of the new Public Service Building is to strategically collocate City employees who are now working in several leased and owned sites scattered around downtown Minneapolis. It will be a sustainable and resilient building designed to better serve residents and businesses and to improve productivity for a multi-generational workforce.

The winning team of MSR and Henning Larsen was selected through a competitive four-stage process that began in March 2017 and included a request for qualifications (RFQ), request for proposals (RFP) and two rounds of interviews. The selection panel focused on relevant past experience, key team members, understanding of the project objectives and fit with the City’s team.

M.A. Mortenson Construction has been selected as the construction manager for the project. The City issued a RFP on June 12. Four proposals were received and forwarded to an evaluation panel for consideration.

The design team worked on the schematic design phase from September through December 2017. During schematic design, the City and the design team will work together to finalize the space program and budget for the project and will also facilitate a stakeholder engagement process that will include City employees, service center clients and visitors, nearby neighbors and members of the public.

Following the completion of schematic design, detailed design will follow and be completed by late summer of 2018. Demolition of the existing ramp will begin in summer 2018 and construction of the new building is expected to begin in fall of 2018 and be completed by summer of 2020. There will be a variety of subcontracting opportunities including goals set for women, small businesses and minority-owned vendors.

The City expects the building to be occupied and open to the public by the fall of 2020.

Planning and Background

The City of Minneapolis has been exploring a new Public Service Building/City Hall Renovation project since 1999. Current conditions are making the project economically feasible at this time. 

  • City of Minneapolis working downtown are spread over seven buildings.
  • Hennepin County currently occupies 40 percent of City Hall, making consolidation of services and departments within not feasible.
  • In 1999, the Minneapolis City Council directed staff to defer nearly all additional capital investments, renovations and improvements to current facilities and to explore options for long-term staffing needs. Costs to rehabilitate and improve current 1950s-era facilities were estimated as high as $40 million. 
  • Debt from previous projects will be paid off in 2022 and bonding costs are at a historic low making this project financially feasible.
  • The sale of two buildings currently owned by the City (Public Service Center, City of Lakes) offers significant private development opportunities for these City-owned parcels:
    • generation of new City tax revenue estimated from $2 million annually by adding this land to our property tax rolls plus at another $2 million to the county, parks and school district
    • offsetting a portion of the new building’s construction costs
  • Renovation and maintenance costs of old buildings are significant and would be greatly reduced with a new public service building and renovations to City Hall. Renovating or replacing on the same site the City’s existing facilities would be costly and require years of relocating staff, exacerbating service inefficiencies.
  • City leases for space in private office buildings plus City operating expenses in its own, outdated facilities total almost $4 million per year. Operating expenses will be much lower in a new, operational and energy efficient building. The savings will contribute to the capital costs of the new building.
  • The new public service building and renovations to City Hall are currently estimated at $210 million. We have not separated out the price tag of the two buildings at this time because of the contingencies and unknowns. We expect roughly 75% of the $210M cost of renovations and new construction to be the new public service center building itself.
  • Approximately $2 million of the project cost is for public art. Possible art opportunities include, but are not limited to the façade, exterior spaces, floors, walls, ceilings, staircases, railings, lighting and opportunities to interactively engage the visiting public. Public art contracts will be awarded over the next year or so. One contract to Tristan Al Haddad has been signed to advise the architect on potential art locations (we have not yet defined the art locations yet).


City Leased/Owned Facilities in the Downtown Core

Sites Options Studied

Site Options Studied

City Owned & Leased Buildings

Project Process

  • The City contracted local design firm Perkins + Will to collect predesign and programming input from City staff across the enterprise about the long-term facility needs for  a new public service building. This internal feedback provided critical information to the strategic planning process.
  • The City issued a request for proposal seeking to hire an architecture and engineering firm to design the new public service building with proposals due June 12, 2017. The design team of MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle) in partnership with Henning Larsen was hired.
  • In the month of June 2017, the City issued a request for proposal for a construction manager firm as an advisor and demolition consultant. MA Mortenson was hired.
  • In partnership with the design team of MSR and Henning Larsen, the City has been conducting external outreach to residents and businesses. The information will help inform the strategic planning process. To date, community engagement meetings were held on December 11, 2017 and February 27, 2018 and another is planned for April, 2018. All are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn about the project and provide feedback. Additional meetings have or will take place with users of the current Minneapolis Development Review Customer Service Center and the Business License Center. The City’s Neighborhood and Community Relations department will be hosting meetings with additional user groups as well. To receive up to date messaging regarding this project and meeting invitations sign up for the Public Service Building email list on the bottom of this website.
  • The City will award multiple construction contracts in 2018. Construction on the project would begin in 2018. There will be a variety of subcontracting opportunities including for women, small businesses and minority-owned vendors.
  • The City is currently seeking public artists to apply to collaborate with the design team for the new Public Service Building to identify several public art opportunities to be integrated into the future building and to design one signature artwork. More information.



Anticipated Project Timeline

 Project timeline

Community Presentations

Public art planned for Public Service Building

The City has selected 15 artists to create public artworks for the City's new Public Service Building.

Project and artists selected to date include:

  • Bird safe glass art designs for windows by Futures North, represented by lead artists Molly Reichert and Adam Marcus.
  • A suspended lobby sculpture by Tristan Al-Haddad.
  • Five mural projects on glass reflecting life in Minneapolis by Angela Two Stars, Connor Rice, Kao Lee Thao, Marlena Myles and Witt Siasoco.
  • Seven unique elevator lobby ceilings incorporating lighting and greeting guests and employees as they enter each floor by Aaron Marx, Alexander Tylevich, Andrew Lucia/Iroha Ito, Christopher Harrison, James Brenner, Laurie Borggreve, and Rory Wakemup.

Thirteen of the artists are local. Adam Marcus is from California and Tristan Al-Haddad is from Georgia. Al-Haddad also worked with the project design team of MSR Design and Henning Larsen to select the art opportunities for the building.


Presentation for Subcontractors

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Last updated Apr 30, 2019



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