East Town is a thriving district of 120 square blocks (300 acres) in the most accessible and visible sector of Downtown Minneapolis. It is bounded by the Minneapolis Central Business District on the west, the Mississippi riverfront to the north, Interstate-35W to the east, and Interstate-94 to the south.
The East Town Development work group was formed by the Minneapolis Downtown Council-Downtown Improvement District and the East Town Business Partnership and includes more than 60 organizations and 100 leaders representing businesses, non-profits, elected officials, universities, and neighborhoods. This inter-disciplinary group advances the development goals of Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan and hosts monthly strategic presentations ranging from planning and design to projects and critical path with a special focus on diverse housing growth.
Great cities are whole cities, made up of distinctive parts, each of which derive their identity from the whole. Whenever the vitality of a part of the urban network is suppressed, the energy of the entire city is diminished.
East Town Minneapolis is an urban district, definitively characterized by location, as well as by opportunities for development that offer prospects for creating a new 21st century complete community. The complete community is defined as a self-sustaining neighborhood with a unifying identity that offers a diversity of choices in housing, retail, entertainment and services; provides attractive public spaces; and is vitally connected to other sectors of the City. The complete community must offer a welcoming pedestrian environment, attractive places to safely gather and socialize, and affordable, convenient modes of transit.
Three Neighborhoods, One Community
Mill District: Riverfront locale where Minneapolis industry began, now a residential, entertainment, and cultural center. Key Institutions, Amenities and Programs: The Guthrie Theater, Mill City Farmers Market, McPhail Center for Music, The Mill City Museum, Gold Medal Park, The Stone Arch Bridge, Izzy’s Ice Cream.
Downtown East: Emergent enterprise zone replacing surface parking lots with an array of mixed uses around a regionally important transit LRT hub. Key Institutions, Amenities and Programs: New multi-purpose stadium, Wells Fargo Office complex, The Commons public park, Valspar Global, Ryan Companies Corporate Headquarters.
Elliot Park: Residential neighborhood with historic and intimate character, home to health services and educational institutions. Key Institutions, Amenities and Programs: Hennepin County Medical Center, The Armory Event Center, North Central University, Elliot Park with Collegiate Size Soccer Field, Kraus-Anderson Corporate Headquarters, The Band Box, Gamut Gallery.
Central Marquee Public Feature: “The Commons” Park
The Commons is a 4.2 acre, new public green space downtown bounded by Park Avenue and 4th and 5th Streets. The Commons was designed as a place for respite, everyday activities, and events for residents, workers, and visitors. The Commons is for everyone.
Whatever your lifestyle or interest, East Town is the place to connect. The community is a regional focal point that offers a diverse range of activities near the center of Downtown. You’ll walk streets that are rippling with life and too many activities to choose from, all surrounding a new metropolitan park, where you can rest, play or catch a performance and a stadium where you can watch the big game.
“Full of energy and enthusiasm: a vibrant cosmopolitan city.”
A Vibrant Urban Community
East Town is not a community you go to if you want to get away from it all. The streets are full of life and there are activities for everyone. From the area’s history as a bustling center for milling, commerce and medical care, to its future as a city hub of activity, with sports, performing arts, healthy living, shopping and more. East Town is the dynamic new place for Downtown growth.
“Having many facets, as a gem; having many different parts.”
A Multifaceted Enclave Welcoming a Diverse Population
There’s no one way to enjoy East Town. The community includes the Mill City and Elliot Park Neighborhoods, as well as the Mississippi Riverfront, and welcomes a diverse population and wide variety of lifestyles. Stroll down our streets and you’ll see families who have lived nearby for generations, young professionals kicking back on posh patios, empty nesters rediscovering the joys of urban activity and seniors enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. In East Town, no matter who you are or how you spend your time, you’re welcome.
“Having parts or elements joined or linked together.”
A Focal Point of the City
As a multi-modal hub ranging from bicycle, to rail and automobile transportation, located near the center of the city, it’s not hard to reach East Town, and you can get anywhere from here. If Minneapolis is the hub of the Midwest, East Town is a focal point. Whatever your interest, this is where people come to connect. You’ll find a centerpiece of the region’s history, sports, performing arts, health care, shopping and more. East Town is the place to get educated, to get energized, to get connected.