Regional Acceleration Center

Location: 1256 Penn Ave N., Minneapolis, MN 55411

Nominated by: THOR Companies

The Regional Acceleration Center (RAC) is the largest private sector-led investment in North Minneapolis in the last 25 years and is a result of a strong public-private partnership to make the project viable. Developing the RAC involved overcoming many obstacles, but the vision for the RAC to be an economic incubator on the community was the driving force that allowed for this redevelopment to succeed. THOR Companies was the project leader and has moved their headquarters to the new RAC. The RAC will bring 300 new jobs to the North Minneapolis intersection of Penn Avenue N and Plymouth Avenue and help to spur future economic activity for an area of Minneapolis that has historically been overlooked.

The lot where the RAC now sits was the former site of two gas stations, which complicated the redevelopment as most of the soil contained petroleum impacts. In order to accommodate the redevelopment plan of having two levels of underground parking, there was a great amount of contaminated soil that needed to be removed. Some soils contained other contaminants, such as phosphorus, and many soil tests were conducted to assess if the impacted soil could be received at the proper landfills.

Convincing national lenders that the RAC was a good investment sometimes proved difficult for THOR Companies, but they persevered and found some alternative local funding options to help their dream become a reality. This added challenge demonstrates the dedication that was needed to see the RAC come to fruition. Serving as the new economic engine for North Minneapolis, the RAC was completely leased prior to construction being completed. New businesses and restaurants are opening up in the RAC, offering new opportunities for small business owners, their employees, and the greater community. The immediate success of the RAC is already being felt, but the coming years will display the long-lasting effects of bringing economic opportunities back to this area of North Minneapolis.


Project Financing

  • Private Capital/Equity
  • $197,441 – Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • $303,000 – Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • New Markets Support Company
  • US Bank

Project Partners

  • THOR Companies, Inc.
  • Target Corporation
  • Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • New Markets Support Company
  • Old National Bank (formerly Anchor Bank)
  • US Bank Community Development Corporation
  • Northside Job Creation Team
  • Urban Research and Outreach Center – University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • NorthPoint Inc.
  • North Point Health and Wellness
  • Greater MSP
  • The Itasca Project
  • The Center for Economic Inclusion
  • Minneapolis Urban League
  • Northside Resident’s Redevelopment Council
  • African American Leadership Forum