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A leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors

Burnsville, MN

Success Story:
Heart of the City

Mayor: Elizabeth Kautz (1994-Present)
Institute Session: 2004 MICD Midwest

Burnsville, Minnesota is a suburb located 15 miles south of Minneapolis. Its downtown redevelopment area is a 54-acre site called the Heart of the City (HOC). The city envisioned HOC as a vibrant, mixed-use community that offers multiple housing options and transportation choices for residents. Mayor Elizabeth Kautz presented a case study at the Mayors’ Institute in 2004, seeking development options for a 6.2-acre site within HOC that would incorporate a new 750-seat performing arts center, achieve the retail-housing balance, and maintain HOC’s walkable, mixed-use character.

Opened in January 2009, the Burnsville Performing Arts Center is now a thriving cultural hub of the city. Crediting MICD for its success, former Deputy City Manager Tammy Omdal asserted, “We project the Heart of the City will generate $2-$3 million in property tax compared to $200,000 that was being collected prior to this redevelopment.” “MICD gives mayors the tools and confidence. When you have professionals give you good feedback… that’s currency you can bring home,” Mayor Kautz added.

Landing page photo by cityofburnsvillemn