North Minneapolis celebrates grand opening of new Thor Companies facility

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More than a year after breaking ground on the corner of Plymouth and Penn avenues in North Minneapolis, the Regional Acceleration Center has opened its doors.

For Richard Copeland, the founder and chairman of Thor Companies, it’s been a long time coming.

“It seemed to be such an inspiration just talking about relocating down here, but we couldn’t fathom the impact it’s having on people. It’s unbelievable,” Copeland said during the grand opening ceremony Friday.

Thor Companies, the largest black-owned business in the state, will share space with Hennepin County, Target and several small businesses.

The $36 million building serves as a beacon of hope in a community that has faced economic and social hardships for decades.

“It’s an untapped resource,” said Copeland of North Minneapolis. “It just needs to be engaged and we think that we’re the economic engine to produce that result.”

Thor Companies CEO Ravi Norman said this is also an opportunity to help change the narrative of the city’s north side.

“I want people to imagine North, sometimes differently than the way it’s portrayed,” Norman said.

The north side hasn’t seen a development of this magnitude in more than 50 years. 

“What this shows here is that we’re not going to look at North Minneapolis from a deficit standpoint,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.  

In North Minneapolis, it's a day of celebration that many here hope will set the foundation for the future.

“We are here providing economic initiatives and be an economic initiatives and be an economic engine and we hope others will join us to revitalize this community,” Copeland said.

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