CNO is Hiring a Community Development Manager


Community Development Manager, Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO)

Job Posted February 2017. Open until filled.

DOWNLOAD the full Job Posting including informational links and How to Apply.

Organization Overview:

Mission: We unite neighbors to strengthen our community. We envision Corcoran as a place that fosters leadership, engagement, and a sense of belonging.

Who we serve: Learn more about our diverse, mixed-income neighborhood at MN Compass.

History and role: CNO was established in 1975 around a grassroots effort to establish Corcoran Park on the site of a closed school. Building on this victory, CNO has continued to unite and equip neighbors to improve and protect the neighborhood. CNO is a non-partisan information source and convener of community deliberation, leadership development, and citizen action on issues that impact our geography, residents, businesses, and community assets. As a matter of Board policy, we strive for Board membership and overall participation that reflects the gender, age, housing tenure and location in the neighborhood, income, and racial and ethnic diversity of the Corcoran neighborhood. Learn more about CNO and our Mission, Vision, and Values here.

Job Description and Background:

The Community Development Manager works with CNO leadership, residents, business and property owners, and other neighborhood stakeholders to improve and protect the physical neighborhood and small business environment. The Community
Development Manager helps the CNO Board identify relevant issues of concern to the community, and coordinates the creation of community capacity, plans, strategy, partnerships, political will, and other resources to realize CNO’s desired outcomes, which are often accomplished by CNO’s partners or other parties.

This is a new position that responds to the CNO Board’s desire to build on the community’s recent successes and CNO’s innovative grassroots approach -- highlighted below -- to helping residents influence significant built environment outcomes. The Community Development Manager is a permanent, senior staff position that reports to the executive director and works closely with CNO’s organizer and other staff. The workplan for this position will evolve along with community needs; an initial draft workplan is outlined below.


Initial Workplan (Draft) -- Community Development Manager (and, find additional background here):

  1. Humanize Hi-Lake. In 2014, Corcoran residents and leadership from CNO and its partners began to discuss the Hiawatha humanize3.jpgAvenue and East Lake Street intersection – the 5th busiest Twin Cities transit hub –as a significant obstacle to all modes of movement and travel, neighborhood livability, and ongoing efforts to develop new homes, businesses, and public uses on adjacent properties. CNO co-organized listening tours and brainstorm charettes with residents, city planners, local press, and elected leaders; as well as experimental activation programming during Open Streets East Lake. These efforts inspired the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County to invest in the 2016 Hi-Lake Interchange study, which outlines three tiers of recommended improvements – ranging from low-cost fixes already underway to a $5M reconfiguration of the roadways – now ready to be funded and implemented.

    • The Community Development Manager will work with neighborhood, government, and other stakeholders to build consensus around a prioritized implementation plan, help government to identify and secure funding sources, facilitate decision making, spearhead advocacy, and expedite implementation of the improvements.

  2. Small Business Assistance and Engagement. Over the last 5 years, CNO has worked with Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) and other partners to develop a repertoire of skills and services to support small businesses, including the 85+ vendors at our Midtown Farmers Market (MFM). In 2016 we served 14 entrepreneurs with a NDC-delivered training curriculum resulting in 13 new business plans; we served 9 businesses with technical support from CNO and our partners resulting in facade improvements, a storefront expansion by a mobile kitchen that began at our farmers market, and more. We also led efforts with NDC to recruit and vet applications for Lake Street retail spaces being constructed by Hennepin County, and we built a collaborative corridor strategy with East Lake Street partners.

    • The Community Development Manager will build relationships and new ways to listen to entrepreneurs and small businesses in our neighborhood; develop relationships with business assistance partners; and provide or refer expert services including but not limited to business planning, marketing, façade or space improvements, lease negotiation, and business expansions. The Community Development Manager will also pursue, secure, and manage funding to support the work -- this currently includes the City’s B-TAP program.

  3. Committee Support and Outreach. The Economic Development committee works to cultivate a retail and commercial space environment that is fully-occupied, stable, and responsive to residents’ needs through strategic support and humanize2.jpgcollaboration with property and business owners. The Land Use & Housing committee engages residents in the planning, development, and improvement of the built environment. The Renters committee works to improve and protect multifamily housing and renters rights through grassroots organizing, and to involve more residents who rent in their neighborhood organization.

    • The Community Development Manager will work with residents, business owners, and property owners in support of committee initiatives, which currently include a placemaking initiative at the 23rd Ave and 35th Street business node; guiding development of a new education facility at 21st and East Lake, fostering redevelopment of additional East Lake properties north of South High school, and the other initiatives described in this job posting.

  4. L&H Station development including Public Plaza. Hennepin County anticipates a Spring 2017 completion of phase 1 construction on its 6.5 acre master plan for 2225 East Lake, while advancing plans for a public plaza to be constructed in phase 2. Corcoran residents and CNO have invested tens of thousands of hours into the planning and implementation of redevelopment of this 6.5-acre site, including the visioning, launch, and operation over 14 seasons of our Midtown Farmers Market. CNO helped Hennepin County hire and oversee 2014-2016 work by The Musicant Group to engage stakeholders and develop a report recommending action steps in the development of plans for the ownership, governance, capital funding, operations funding, and programming of a public plaza to serve as a permanent home for our Midtown Farmers Market and a vibrant and sustainable public space in south Minneapolis.

    • The Community Development Manager will work with resident, CNO, MFM, County, and other leadership to help guide and expedite implementation of The Musicant Group’s “L + H Station Public Realm Framework” report and CNO goals for housing, sustainability, retail, and public realm as outlined in the Cooperative Agreement between the County and City.

  5. Private Rental Housing. In recent years, CNO has been investing significant organizing and coalition-building energies helping renters build leadership and technical skills to address livability concerns in their homes including mold, water intrusion, inefficient building envelope, unfair utility billing, unsecured building entrances, infestations, and other issues driven in large part by aging, undercapitalized buildings and unresponsive or abusive management. A citywide license revocation currently underway will affect and could displace 84 households in the Corcoran neighborhood.

    • The Community Development Manager will work with neighborhood renter leaders, CNO’s Renters Chair and Organizer, colleagues in the Minneapolis Renters Coalition, City officials, philanthropic partners, and others to develop new tactics, tools, and resources to improve distressed, unsubsidized and privately-run rental housing while also preserving neighborhood affordability and preventing displacement.

  6. Small Area Planning. The development or planned development of nearly 1,000 new homes, retail and services, public plaza, and public realm at southwest Lake and Hiawatha were guided to a significant degree by the City- and neighborhood-adopted Corcoran Midtown Revival Plan completed in 2002, and by supplemental development policies researched and crafted by CNO’s Land Use & Housing committee in subsequent years. The CNO Board has recently begun new efforts to scope and advance efforts to develop a new neighborhood-wide small area plan to begin in earnest in 2018.

    • The Community Development Manager will work with the CNO Board and staff to guide the identification of a scope and the necessary resources to launch a new small area planning effort, and will eventually lead the creation of this plan or else coordinate the work of an outside consultant to create this plan -- through an inclusive process to be developed in collaboration with CNO staff and partners.

  7. Fundraising and contract management as needed within the projects outlined above.


Required qualifications:

  1. Experience in one or more of the following: community planning, real estate development, and/or small business development and support. A demonstrated interest and ability to learn the skills needed to excel in the work outlined above. 

  2. Extremely strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to communicate effectively and positively with a diverse range of people and partners.

  3. Strong organizational and management skills.

  4. Ability to work in an ever-changing environment both independently and as part of a team.

Desired qualifications:

  1. Experience working with government agencies and private sector developers.

  2. Experience leading community organizing work and grassroots leadership development.

  3. Experience with place-based work and organizations.

  4. Experience gathering and using research data to define and frame problems and solutions.

  5. Conversant in Microsoft Office, NationBuilder, Google Earth, Adobe products, and various social media platforms.

  6. Language skills relevant to working with the communities we serve and prioritize in our work.

  7. Bachelor’s Degree.


Hours: Full-time position requiring 40 hours per week.  Evening and occasional weekend hours required.


Compensation: $40,000-$50,000/year depending on qualifications, plus Health and Dental, matching retirement plan, and paid time off.


To Apply:

Send a resume along with a succinct cover letter or e-mail explaining your qualifications and readiness to succeed on the Draft Workplan outlined above to: [email protected].  Applicants will receive confirmation their materials were received; we will get in touch if we would like to set up an interview. No calls, please.


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.