Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Highlights

In the Central Community, one can find the Downtown Minneapolis neighborhood. Much of Minneapolis’ history is nestled in this area. Beginning in 1880, Minneapolis was known as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World.” This is from where Minneapolis’ nickname, “The Mill City,” comes. The Washburn A Mill was at one point the most technologically advanced and the largest in the world. At peak production, it ground enough flour to make 12 million loaves of bread in a day. It received grain via rail lines that stretched into Duluth, the Dakotas and Canada. The flour was exported as well as used domestically. Minneapolis sprouted up around the mills. The city exploded from 13,000 residents in 1870 to nearly 165,000 in 1890.

After about 50 years, however, the boom ended. After World War I the milling industry in Minneapolis began to decline. As the industry moved out of Minneapolis, the old mills fell into disuse and the Washburn A Mill closed in 1965. In 1991 the mill was nearly destroyed by fire. With the help of the Minneapolis Community Development Agency, Minneapolis cleaned up the site and fortified the walls of the mill in the late 1990s. The Minnesota Historical Society has since then developed the Mill City Museum at the site.

The downtown Minneapolis Riverfront District is a unique blend of old and new, with lodging, dining, historical landmarks, and other attractions. The past and present unite along the banks of the Mississippi. One can find the Nicollet Mall Farmer's Market in downtown Minneapolis every spring, summer, and fall.

Downtown Minneapolis offers a unique feature to its residents in the Skyway system. It is an enclosed pedestrian walkway which connects 69 blocks and nearly every core building in the Downtown area. Minneapolis has the largest continuous system of its kind with over 8 miles of skyways.

In addition to the skyway system, miles of trails along the shores of the Mississippi River offer residents of downtown Minneapolis opportunities for hiking, walking, jogging, in-line skating, and biking. Not only is the neighborhood walkable, but most everything is within walking distance. If you work in area, you can choose to walk or bike, bus, drive, or take the light rail.

Downtown Minneapolis is divided into two sections, Downtown West and Downtown East.

Downtown West neighborhood is the core of downtown Minneapolis. It extends from the Mississippi River to 12th Street and from Third Avenue North, Washington Avenue North and Hennepin Avenue to Portland Avenue, Fifth Street South and Fifth Avenue South. It is bordered by the North Loop, Nicollet Island/East Bank, Downtown East, Elliot Park, and Loring Park neighborhoods.

Downtown West is the center of the busy downtown districts. This area contains tall office towers, bustling malls and shopping centers, fine dining, and theater, particularly on Hennepin Avenue. Downtown West is home to the Nicollet Mall and to Minnesota Orchestra. This area is home to many of the city's financial and corporate residents. The Downtown West Minneapolis neighborhood has been attracting an increasing number of young professionals and families. Beautiful and urban, Downtown West offers residents a wealth of entertainment, recreation and shopping options.

Downtown East is a diverse and thriving neighborhood in Minneapolis’ metropolitan district. Its boundaries are the Mississippi River to the north, Interstate 35W to the east, 5th Street South to the south, and Portland Avenue to the west. It is bounded by the Downtown West, Elliot Park, and Cedar-Riverside

Downtown East is a busy urban center with a low percentage of residential housing, though that has been changing. Old developments are being renovated and some new developments are under construction as well. Many of the old mills and factories have been converted into residential or commercial uses. Between 1990 and 2000, the proportion of owner-occupied housing and residential housing overall increased tenfold. The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association has helped to turn the area into clean, attractive and well maintained neighborhood. Residents tend to be courteous and friendly toward each other and there are regular activities to engage residents.

The Downtown East Minneapolis neighborhood is home to several parks along the river, some of which have themes around the history of Minneapolis. There are several museums in the area, including the Mill City Museum. The new Guthrie Theater opened here during the summer of 2006. Downtown East is home to the H.H.H. Metrodome, where the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, and Minnesota Gophers play home games.

This is a primarily commercial and business district, though there is great housing available. Home options in Downtown Minneapolis tend to be giant single-family houses converted into multi-family dwellings, warehouses transformed into lofts, and condos in brick apartment buildings. In June 2007, the average home sales price for a single family home or condo in the Minneapolis Central, MN was $329,896.

Since the year 2008 began, the average price at which a Downtown Minneapolis home sells is $297,420, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities. Condos start out at around $50,000 and go up to around $3,500,000. Though there aren’t many single family homes here, they do start as low as $30,000 and climb to over $500,000.

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