The city of Minneapolis issued more than $1.7 billion in building permits last year, the fifth year in a row that the city has burst the billion-dollar bubble.
The 2016 tally, announced Friday, is the second highest Minneapolis has seen since 2000. The only year to dwarf it was 2014, when the city issued $2 billion in permits with the construction of the new U.S. Bank Stadium and surrounding development.
"These numbers prove Minneapolis is the economic engine for the state of Minnesota," Council Member Lisa Goodman, chair of the community development and regulatory services committee, noted.
Goodman, who has been a critic of stadium subsidies, added, "It also is proof that we don't need to provide public subsidy to every project in order to attract quality development in Minneapolis."
Much of the construction in 2016 occurred in downtown, with the two City Council wards that cover the city's center and surrounding neighborhoods making up more than half of the total value. Last year was the fastest that the city reached a billion in building activity, passing the mark by the end of the summer.
Hotel construction continued to be a boon for the city. Last year, more than 1,200 hotel rooms opened or were being built in Minneapolis. Several hotels opened in downtown within months of one another such as the AC Hotel Minneapolis, the Hewing Hotel and Radisson Red.
Last year also brought more housing demand with apartment construction increasing from 2015. The city permitted a total of 2,645 new dwelling units. "This growth has clearly resulted in thriving communities with bustling sidewalks and new business openings happening every week," said Council Member Jacob Frey, whose ward includes downtown, in a statement. "Where surface parking lots previously reigned supreme, an energy packed city is coming to fruition."
The top five projects for the year were the Hennepin County Medical Center's Ambulatory Outpatient Specialty Center, $134.9 million; the 365 Nicollet apartment tower, $110.7 million; the Kraus-Anderson mixed-use development, $86.5 million; the Target Center renovation, $78.7 million, and the NordHaus apartments, $75 million.