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Minneapolis mayor taps interim planning director

Photo: David Frank, shown here at the Nicollet light rail station in downtown Minneapolis in June 2014, will be Minneapolis’ interim executive director of the Community Planning and Economic Development division. Frank currently serves as director of Economic Policy and Development. (File photo: Bill Klotz)

 July 12, 2017

D. Craig Taylor

D. Craig Taylor

The city of Minneapolis is losing its top development boss.

City spokesperson Rose Lindsay confirmed Wednesday that D. Craig Taylor is leaving his post as the executive director of the Community Planning and Economic Development division, which he has led since August 2014.

Taylor will be in the office through Aug. 1, Lindsay said. After that he will be using his vacation days for the remainder of August.

For the near term, he will most likely be replaced by a subordinate, David Frank, who currently serves as director of Economic Policy and Development.

On June 26 Taylor announced to the staff and city officials that he had decided to leave to pursue other opportunities, according to Eric Fought, spokesman with Mayor Betsy Hodges’ office.

Four days later, Hodges announced she would nominate Frank as interim executive director of CPED, Fought said, with the intention of having Frank helm the division through the end of her current term.

The appointment needs to be approved by the City Council’s executive committee. The committee next meets on July 17, according to the city calendar.

Fought said Hodges has asked the city’s human resources department to begin a search for a permanent replacement for Taylor, and has directed them to hire an outside consultant for that purpose.

Hodges, Taylor and Frank were not available for comment on Wednesday.

Hodges appointed Taylor to the position in summer 2014. At the time, she described him as a “driven, visionary leader and executive” whose expertise would help spur the city’s economic growth while advancing racial and social inclusivity and equity.

Before joining the city, Taylor served as the executive director of the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business & Community Economic Development, a post he held for 12 years. The office is a subdivision of the university’s Office for Equity and Diversity.

Frank has been Taylor’s second in command since 2015, when he was named director of Economic Policy and Development.

Frank previously oversaw transit-oriented development at the city, a post he had held since 2011. In that role he led the redesign of Nicollet Mall, which is scheduled to conclude by the end of 2017. He also has been a central figure in the city’s efforts to reopen Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street, which has been blocked by a Kmart store since the 1970s.

Before joining the city, he worked as director of development for Minneapolis-based developer Schafer Richardson.