Mills District South is an honorable-mention-winning entry for the 2013 ULI Hines Urban Design Competition.

Three principal agents currently define Mills District South: the emerging arts and cultural district along the Mississippi riverfront to the north, the central business district bracketing Nicollet Mall to the west, and the Metrodome Stadium at the east. Mills District South’s future growth depends on its ability to link arts with business, while at the same time accommodating both the daily needs of a local, residential population and those of a regional, touristic population, visiting to experience entertainment and recreation.

The future neighborhood of Mills District South draws on the existing anchors and exploits untapped synergies to create multifaceted and sustainable development that brings much-needed density and residential growth to Minneapolis’ geographically compact downtown. It strikes a balance between the need for climate-controlled interior public spaces and outdoor open spaces that accommodate the game day surge of visitors. It strategically integrates vehicular parking and prioritizes bicycle and pedestrian circulation. It combines sensitive infill housing with full-block development sites in order to amplify the neighborhood’s existing strengths while laying the foundation for an identity that is distinct yet complementary to that of Downtown West. Finally, it exemplifies the height and density that will allow Minneapolis to reach its target downtown population in the coming decades and sets a high bar with its energy efficient buildings and district heating strategy.