Category Archives: City of Northfield

Downtown Developments

There are multiple public and private developments in the planning stages for downtown. The Council meeting tonight on August 8 will include discussion on the Transit Hub, Bridge Square, and 5th and Washington St redevelopment.

To comment on the projects, there are a few options.

  • In person during the meeting (2 minutes per Open Public Comments and/or Regular Agenda items)
  • Virtually during the meeting (2 minutes per Open Public Comments and/or Regular Agenda items)
  • Use the eComment feature on the online agenda item (available from the time the agenda is published until noon the day of the meeting)
  • Email the city clerk
  • Mail the city clerk
  • Contact Council members directly

Your comments will be part of the official public record.

To stay up to date and learn more about the various downtown projects, view the Construction & Development projects page. 

Friends of Downtown Northfield Receives 2023 Main Street America Accreditation

The Friends of Downtown Northfield has again been designated as an Accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of Accredited programs to recognize those programs’ exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

“We are very proud to acknowledge this year’s 862 Accredited Main Street America programs, and their steadfast dedication to nurture economically and culturally vibrant downtown districts,” said Hannah White, Interim President & CEO of Main Street America. “The increase in the size and impact of our network speaks volumes to the power of the Main Street movement to respond to the needs of local communities and drive innovative solutions.”

Christopher Tassava, president of the board of the Friends of Downtown Northfield, said, “I am thrilled that the Friends have been reaccredited! It’s great to see that Main Street America has once again recognized the efforts of the organization and our allies and partners all around Northfield to help maintain a vibrant downtown.”

The Friends of Downtown Northfield’s performance is annually evaluated by Rethos, a Minnesota-based organization which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet rigorous national performance standards. To qualify for Accreditation status, communities like Northfield must meet a set of standards that include commitments to building grassroots revitalization programs, fostering strong public-private partnerships, nurturing economic opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and actively preserving historic places, spaces, and cultural assets.

During the past year, the Friends have formed a partnership with Riverwalk Market Fair to combine the Bridge Square Block Party series and the Saturday Riverwalk Market Fair into a new event, now known as Third Thursdays Downtown. The event features live music, specials from downtown shops and restaurants, family fun activities, and the mix of fine art, crafts, cottage foods, and farmers market that makes Riverwalk notable. Additionally, the Friends relaunched the Artists on Main Street program, which will take place over the summer of 2023 and create new public art works throughout the downtown area.  

In 2022, Main Street America programs generated $6.2 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 7,657 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 29,174 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,688 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,528,535 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $24.07 of new investment back into their downtown communities.

Collectively, 2 million people live or work within the boundaries of designated Main Street America districts. An estimated workforce of 1.1 million people contributes their skills and expertise to advancing the missions of these historic downtowns and commercial corridors. 

Learn more about Main Street America.

Riverfront Enhancement Grant Application Open

Riverfront properties within Northfield can apply for a Riverfront Enhancement Grant from the Economic Development Authority between April 1 and May 15, 2023.

The Riverfront Enhancement Grant Program aims to strengthen, revitalize, and sustain the riverfront corridor by encouraging and assisting property owners to make improvements to buildings within the district. The program aims to stimulate private investment and increase property values. With this program, the Economic Development Authority will match private investment one-to-one up to $10,000.

The program district comprises the entire length of the Cannon River within the Northfield city limits. The program is open to all buildings and properties directly abutting the Cannon River or public property along the Riverfront. Building owners and commercial tenants with owner’s approval can apply for a grant.

Riverfront Enhancement Grants can pay for a variety of exterior building façade improvements as well as aesthetic improvements such as tuckpointing, painting, re-siding, landscaping, decorative lighting, outdoor gathering areas, and enhancing accessibility to the riverfront.

For more information or to fill out an application, visit the city’s website.

Las empresas y los propietarios pueden solicitarlo a través de la página web municipal

Las propiedades situadas frente al río en Northfield pueden solicitar una subvención de mejora del frente del río a la Autoridad de Desarrollo Económico entre el 1 de abril y el 15 de mayo de 2023.

El Programa de Subvenciones para la Mejora del Frente Fluvial tiene como objetivo reforzar, revitalizar y mantener el corredor fluvial animando y ayudando a los propietarios a realizar mejoras en los edificios del distrito. El programa pretende estimular la inversión privada y aumentar el valor de las propiedades. Con este programa, la Autoridad de Desarrollo Económico igualará la inversión privada uno a uno hasta $10,000.

El distrito del programa comprende toda la longitud del río Cannon dentro de los límites de la ciudad de Northfield. El programa está abierto a todos los edificios y propiedades que linden directamente con el río Cannon o con propiedades públicas a lo largo del paseo fluvial. Los propietarios de edificios e inquilinos comerciales con la aprobación del propietario pueden solicitar una subvención.

Las subvenciones para la mejora de la fachada fluvial pueden sufragar diversas mejoras de la fachada exterior de los edificios, así como mejoras estéticas tales como rejuntado, pintura, revestimiento, jardinería, iluminación decorativa, zonas de reunión al aire libre y mejora de la accesibilidad a la fachada fluvial.

Para más información o para rellenar una solicitud, viste el sitio web de la ciudad

Second Round of SMIF Main Street Grants Open

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) was awarded a Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant of $2.34 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development to serve commercial corridors in their service region, with at least $1 million being allocated to Northfield. Eligible applicants can apply for grant funding from SMIF. First round grants were awarded earlier this year and the second round of applications is now open.

In Northfield, eligible properties are within the C-1 (Downtown) and H-O (Historic) Zoning Districts. Eligible projects are for capital improvements of real property.

Projects will be evaluated based on:

  • Project is by or for underserved populations or communities.
  • Project has a positive projected economic impact through job creation, job retention, and projected tax base increase
  • Project feasibility and readiness
  • Project has other positive impacts to the community such as accessibility upgrades, providing access to culturally appropriate spaces, local suppliers, etc.
  • Project resolves a health or safety risk
  • Project meets the objectives of a strategic plan adopted by a public body

The second round of grant applications are due May 1, 2023. Learn more about the grant online at: 

Buildings on Main Conference

Northfield Community members, especially building owners, are invited to attend Rethos’ second annual Buildings on Main Street Conference April 26 – 28 in Winona, MN. The Buildings on Main Street Conference is an opportunity for Main Street districts and any community interested in revitalizing their aging downtown buildings to obtain tools, knowledge, and resources to help their communities flourish.

This conference is focused on providing tools and resources for Main Street staff, board members, and volunteers; Heritage Preservation Commissioners; city staff; building owners; and anyone interested in downtown revitalization. No matter how big or small your community is, the Buildings on Main Street Conference will have tools for you to learn more about preservation activity for your downtown or business district.

This conference will offer sessions on topics including Building Façades and Updates, Maintenance and Rehab Team Planning, Energy and Sustainability in Old Buildings, Building Codes and Changing Occupancy, Main Street Essentials, and much more! Some sessions will be geared towards communities that are in the early stages of downtown development, while other sessions will advance the skills of those that are already deeply immersed in building revitalization. In addition to sessions and keynotes, the conference will feature a downtown building tour, highlighting buildings that have recently been rehabilitated with new uses. All sessions will take place in beautiful historic downtown Winona, MN.

Learn more about the conference online.

​Those interested in attending the conference from Northfield can reach out to Revee Needham for a discount code to use for registration by March 19.