Downtown Minneapolis' population has grown by 22 percent in the past nine years, according to new numbers released Tuesday by the Downtown Council.

The population of downtown — which includes the North Loop and Loring Park in the Downtown Council's boundaries — rose by about 1,383 people to 38,909 in the 2014 calendar year. The downtown population grew by about 7,000 since 2006, based on available figures from the business association.

Growth will have to pick up if the council wants to reach its goal of 70,000 residents living downtown by 2025, however. If growth continues at last year's rate, the population will reach only 58,000 by 2025.

Other figures released at Tuesday's annual meeting include the average resale price of a downtown condominium: $400,447. That's 27 percent higher than in 2013.

Reflecting on the past year, Collin Barr, outgoing chair of the Downtown Council's board and Ryan Cos. executive, said the 2014 launch of a nonprofit parks conservancy will one day be compared to the 1880s vision of the Grand Rounds, a national scenic byway that includes downtown, the Chain of Lakes and Theodore Wirth Park.

"The opportunity is now for us to create our own chain of parks and public spaces connected by streetscapes and walkways, rich canopies of large trees," Barr told the luncheon. "Can you see that here in our downtown? Our own downtown Grand Rounds."

Barr said that would begin with design and implementation of the so-called Commons park in Downtown East. He also pointed to a possible "do-over of Peavey Plaza" — despite some legal obstacles — and a Gateway Park on the Nicollet Hotel block.

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