Minneapolis 2040 Housing Plan Guide: What You Need To Know

Updated February 16, 2021

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It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

So what is the Minneapolis 2040, and what does it mean for the housing market in Minneapolis. The plan itself is extremely complex and doesn’t seem to be completely decided when it comes to how it will play out in the future. As you can imagine, a plan designed to roll out over the next 20 years will need to be extremely fluid.

No matter the amount of time it takes to roll out this plan, there will be a large impact on the Minneapolis 2040 housing market. One of the biggest things that this aggressive plan will address is the ever-increasing need for housing.

Outline of Plan

minneapolis 2040 plan

Within the next 15-20 years, Minneapolis is projecting an increase of over 250,000 single families within city limits. The city has always been a place where apartment buildings often outnumber single-family homes. Still, Minneapolis has mostly stayed true to its roots and often offered many single-family homes to its residents. Unfortunately, if the population in Minneapolis does continue to rise dramatically over the next few years.

As it currently stands, around 75% of the Minneapolis population lives in single-family homes or areas that only allow for single-family or small multi-unit buildings.

The Crisis

Because so much of Minneapolis’s city is single-family or small multi-unit housing, the cost of housing is extremely high and almost always on the rise. While the local and federal governments can help by offering low-income housing and assistance to those that don’t currently make enough income to afford to house. Unfortunately, that’s not a scalable plan for any city as residents grow and the need for more housing drives up the cost.

Many have said that their only a few rent hikes away from not being able to afford to house any longer. Additionally, the housing availability in Minneapolis is sitting at only around a 2% vacancy. This is a great number for property managers, but the number really hurts those looking for housing because a shortage of supply is always going to increase the cost.


Instead of fighting the need for more housing, Minneapolis’ 2040 plan seeks to quickly address the issue by building more large multi-family housing units on its skyline. This is a particularly big move for Minneapolis because there haven’t been many major additions to the skyline in several years. Additionally, the city plans to build multi-family housing where it did not in the past.

The Proposal

The city’s more recently elected major, Jacob Frey, worked with his team to propose the 2040 plan early in 2020. The plan will specifically use what’s known as the fourplexes or as proponents to the plan like to call it, “freyplexes.” A fourplex is, in essence, just a multi-family housing unit with four different units. These types of houses are especially profitable for investors and offer privacy and seclusion for residents. Fourplexes in and of themselves aren’t bad at all. They offer a lot of advantages to residents that live in them. They also offer a lot more room than apartments. An average fourplex unit can offer anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 sqft.

So, where are these buildings going to go? That’s where the opposition really begins to make their case. Major Frey and his team have talked a lot about changing the zoning code in many of Minneapolis’s historic neighborhoods. These affected neighborhoods with changes in zoning code will be the hardest to convince.

Neighborhoods Affected

Minneapolis neighborhoods

The Minneapolis city council likely predicted many neighborhoods aren’t happy with the proposed zoning code. It’s hard to pick out the exact neighborhoods that will be directly affected by the zoning code. But one thing that has already changed is the zoning in some of the first affected areas. Starting in January of 2020, the new zoning code allows new apartment buildings up to three units present on all residential properties.

Permitting that the city council approves the January 2021 implementation of the plan. This next implementation would put into place the built form plan and zoning. This will change some of the laws about buildings’ size and their location will differ. To learn more about the built-form zoning plan, see the Minneapolis 2040’s implementation online guide.

What This Means for Minneapolis 2040 Housing

Ultimately we have to understand what this will mean for Minneapolis housing in the future and whether it’s a good idea to buy or own a home in Minneapolis. Minneapolis’s future can seem to be somewhat shaky when it comes to whether or not it will have a lot of individuals flocking to it for housing. The city has recently imposed tax laws that have forced many businesses to leave the area, causing the workforce to look for housing in the suburbs closer to their jobs.

When it comes to building a new home or buying a home that you’d like to own for some time, we recommend you have a good understanding of the Minneapolis 2040 plan. It might be more expensive to buy land and build houses in the surrounding Minneapolis suburbs, but over time, we suspect that the suburbs will continue to increase in value as the city grows and spreads out. If you’re interested in a custom-built home or renovating your existing home, reach out to Sustainable 9 today! We’d love to hear from you and help you on your journey towards a dream home!


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Sustainable 9

It’s not just a vision for tomorrow: Sustainable 9 Design + Build creates homes for tomorrow today, reflected in its enduring commitment to green, high performance, energy-efficient homes that are stunningly designed and custom-built.

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