In the early 2000s, our community began Envision 2020 planning process, a comprehensive planning document spanning across municipal jurisdictions and connecting to the broader region. In 2006, the 400+ stakeholders of Envision 2020 rolled out a set of goals in 6 Key Performance Areas.
The following year the City of Mankato kept the momentum going rolling out another planning document identified as a need from Envision 2020: The City Center Renaissance Plan. This document focused on the downtown and identified potential projects and programs.
As you look through Envision 2020 and the City Center Renaissance Plan, most of the items on the lists have been checked off. The downtown of our community has transformed in alignment with the community vision painted nearly 20 years ago.
But how does that translate to dollars invested into the City Center? Well, since the beginning of Envision 2020, there have been 293 buildings built, remodeled, and renovated…some multiple times. This strategic efforts has generated $175,853,313 in direct capital investment. If you look at job growth over the same period of time, our employment has grown by 14.8%, leading all regional centers in Minnesota.
And the investment continues to grow with Bridge Plaza ($16 million), the Rooftop Bar + Kitchen, the Gateway West project ($23 million), and the Silo Art Project in the development pipeline.
If you add in other public infrastructure efforts to make the city center more pedestrian and bike friendly, murals, and other aesthetic enhancements under City Art, the investment figures continue to rise.