Downtown Greater Council

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Give Your Business an Edge

Bustling Waterfront Setting

The Duluth Downtown Waterfront wraps around the western tip of Lake Superior, where foreign and domestic vessels sail right past your storefront. Our vibrant commercial hub is a strategic location for retailers, service providers and business of all kinds. Just two hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul and two hours south of the Canadian border, we are Minnesota’s fourth largest city and the region's commercial and cultural center. Our two largest employers – Essentia Health and St. Luke’s hospital – employee more than 7,000 healthcare professionals and draw more than 750,000 patients and visitors from outside the region each year.

3.7 Million Visitors Each Year, Outdoor Eating

3.7 Million Visitors Each Year

Each year, more than 3.7 million tourists provide an economic impact of $780 million dollars. The Downtown Waterfront has 12 hotels, more than 50 restaurants, and a variety of popular attractions such as the Lake Superior Maritime Museum, Great Lakes Aquarium, S.S. William A. Irvin, The Depot/Lake Superior Railroad Museum and Bayfront Festival Park. Numerous outdoor activities draw visitors to our shores and keep Duluthians engaged, and for that we were recognized as Outside Magazine's Best Places to Live 2014.

Unprecedented Development

Ongoing, major construction is proof that the Duluth Downtown Waterfront is an ever-expanding hub for business success. Since 2005, more than $300 million have been invested in projects from medical district expansions and hotels, to theatres, condos and building rehabilitations.

Construction is underway for a 200,000 square feet, 6 story building that will be the headquarters of fast-growing clothing retailer Maurices, along with other restaurant, retail and commercial spaces. This $70 million project is due to be completed in December 2015.

Expected to be completed in the Fall of 2014, the Duluth Transit Authority Multimodal Transportation Center includes a parking ramp with 410 spaces, including electric vehicle charging stations, bus loading bays for local, regional and intercity carriers, as well as the renovation of the Skywalk's Northwest Passage connecting Downtown Duluth to the DECC.

Growth in High Income Households and a Built-in Customer Base

A recent study of demographic characteristics and retail sales potential for the GDC by McComb Group, Ltd., projects a 23% increase in Households with incomes over $150,000 by 2015. Duluth’s Downtown Waterfront is a great place to do business and continues to get even better.

More than 18,000 workers converge on Duluth’s Downtown Waterfront every day, creating a hub of activity. The McComb Group put the 2010 spending potential by employees at $123 million.

The Energy of 25,000 College Students

Five colleges and universities within a few miles of Duluth’s Downtown Waterfront means a well-educated, competent, and motivated workforce that equals high productivity and a stronger bottom line for your business.

High Traffic and Plentiful Parking

High Traffic and Plentiful Parking

The average daily traffic volume on Interstate 35, through Duluth, is 59,000 vehicles. This traffic, along with major traffic arteries from all directions, feed into the Downtown Waterfront - right to your business. And, there are nearly 15,000 parking spaces located throughout the district in ramps, lots and on the streets. Additionally, we operate a parking program that allows business to offer free ramp parking to their customers.

 

Economic & Relocation Assistance

Economic and Relocation Assistance

The Greater Downtown Council is a lead organization in helping businesses - including yours - secure assistance from a variety of private and public development agencies.

Ready Sites and Low Occupancy Costs

Ready Sites and Low
Occupancy Costs

While the Duluth Downtown Waterfront continues to attract more and more businesses, there still are attractive storefronts and Class A office spaces available.  Many of these spaces are available at square-footage costs that are lower than the national average.

Extensive Skywalk System

Extensive Skywalk System

The Downtown Waterfront is weatherproof when you want it to be, thanks to 3.5 miles of skywalk that allow pedestrians to travel all across the downtown in climate-controlled comfort.

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