By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State leaders are hoping a new business brings more life to north Minneapolis.

As the ribbon was cut at the new THOR Companies’ Regional Acceleration Center, it meant more than just the opening of a business.

“This has been a collaborative effort that highlights the extraordinary work that is happening right here in north Minneapolis,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Gov. Mark Dayton was also present for the official grand opening that state leaders hope will become a beacon of opportunity for the surrounding area.

“This is where a McDonald’s was, and I remember walking up and down the street thinking about what I wanted to be in the future,” said Minnesota State Sen. Bobby Joe Champion. “What this building represents is hope and opportunity.”

THOR is the state’s largest minority-owned company.

They built the 92,000-square-foot metal and glass multi-use building along with investments from Target and Hennepin County.

It’s part of a bigger $100 million redevelopment project at the intersection of Plymouth and Penn.

“We don’t think it’s going to be one singular building or one singular entity that’s going to be able to lead to that type of transformation that we’re talking about,” said Ravi Norman, CEO of THOR. “We think it’s a cooperative model.”

Still, the surrounding area is often in headlines for gun violence.

THOR’s leadership hopes the new businesses will help people focus on the good the community has to offer.

“Far less often do we see the stories of the assets that already exist and we think there is a burgeoning economy here,” Norman said.

Kate Raddatz