A Minnesota-based Fortune 1000 company with a 100-year history in the state is moving its headquarters from Shoreview to downtown Minneapolis.
Deluxe Corp.'s decision to relocate about 525 employees provides a much-needed boost to Minnesota's largest and most valuable business district at the end of a summer of turmoil.
The move indicates confidence in the future of downtown Minneapolis despite increased crime and demonstrations that sometimes devolved into looting and vandalism.
In addition, downtown businesses have suffered since COVID-19 struck in March, with an estimated 85% to 90% of employees working remotely.
The convergence of negative events prompted the Minneapolis Downtown Council to warn that some companies wanted to leave the city and others that were considering locating downtown were having second thoughts.
In addressing those issues on Monday, Deluxe CEO Barry McCarthy expressed welcome confidence in the city's ability to reclaim its vitality for workers and residents. He said he watched with "sadness" as some of those problems unfolded, but that Deluxe wanted to be "part of the solution."
"Moving to downtown Minneapolis is an exciting next step, helping accelerate our transformation while deepening our community commitment," McCarthy said in a statement. "Our new headquarters will offer our employee-owners access to everything downtown offers, including walkable amenities, robust public transportation, warm hospitality venues, engaging entertainment and a spirit of innovation and optimism."
To help attract the company from Shoreview, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development provided a $1 million forgivable loan, DEED Commissioner Steve Grove told an editorial writer. According to a spokesperson for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Deluxe received no financial assistance from the city.
Deluxe has already sold its current 314,000-square-foot headquarters in Shoreview to an Indianapolis-based developer. Its new office downtown will have a much smaller footprint. The business-technology company is building out space inside the 801 Marquette building, previously the home of TCF Financial Corp.
Deluxe signed a 16-year lease for 95,000 square feet and will occupy the top two floors of the 801 building as well as one in the connected tower. Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2021. Employees will continue to work remotely until then.
For decades, Deluxe has been almost synonymous with personalized check printing and business forms. However, as more and more financial transactions are done electronically, the company diversified to now offer a mix of small-business services.
Frey noted that the announcement from Deluxe came on the same day that the federal government authorized full funding of the Southwest light-rail line from downtown to Eden Prairie.
"This is a really big deal," he said. "It signals a transformation of our downtown. It signals renewal. It signals a whole lot of momentum that we have at this moment."