Target, the largest employer in downtown Minneapolis, said Thursday it will move out of the City Center building, a major downsizing of office space as it plans to let workers combine remote and on-site work after the pandemic ends.

The company is the building’s largest tenant, leasing nearly a million square feet of office space in the 51-story downtown skyscraper. In exiting City Center, Target will reduce its office space downtown by about one-third.

Target’s City Center offices have been sitting mostly empty in the past year as the retailer, like many corporate employers, have transitioned to working from home. About 3,500 of Target’s 8,500 downtown Minneapolis employees worked in City Center before the pandemic.

Those employees will be given a new “home base” in one of the Target’s other three downtown Minneapolis buildings along Nicollet Mall or at its Brooklyn Park campus, where another 3,300 employees are based, the company told employees this morning.

Last month, Target told employees that it was postponing its return to the office to this fall, after previous expecting to come back in June.

The move is the first by a major Twin Cities employer to signal that office centers like downtown Minneapolis will be vastly different from what they were before the pandemic. It is likely to affect mass-transit patterns, real estate values and the futures of other downtown businesses.


In an email to Target employees, Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human-resources officer, said that the company is re-imagining the future of work at headquarters and will adopt a hybrid “Flex for your Day” approach in which employees will be able to work remotely as well as in person at the office as they “gradually return to headquarters” later this year.

“Our headquarters will always play a central role in who we are and how we work at Target,” she said. “We believe in the culture, collaboration, and competitive advantages of working together at our vibrant headquarters in the Twin Cities and around the world. But the reality is that “Flex for Your Day” will require less office space, so we’ll be ending our City Center operations in downtown Minneapolis.”

Target was an original tenant of City Center when it first opened in 1983. The complex sits along Nicollet Mall between Sixth and Seventh streets.

In 2018, the City Center complex, which includes a three-level retail mall, was sold by HNA Property Holdings to Samsung Life Insurance for $320 million. At the time, the sale price broke a record for a single asset sale in the city.

Target’s other two million square feet of downtown office space is spread out between Target Plaza North, Target Plaza South, and Target Plaza III near Nicollet and 10th Street. Its Brooklyn Park campus provides a little over another million square feet of office space.