Northeast Minneapolis residents weigh in on improving Lowry Avenue traffic problems

Northeast neighbors did a lot of wishing and hoping about improving Lowry Avenue last Thursday. Fast, heavy traffic hit the top of the “weaknesses” list, along with a hazardous one-lane overpass, bad lighting, and inaccessibility for people with handicaps. Residents also identified its positives: many see it as an effective east-west connector and gave kudos to the new bridge.

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From craft breweries to furniture showrooms: Many Northeast developments are underway

You don’t see many light bulb factories, seed distribution companies, paper warehouses or metalworks in Northeast Minneapolis, anymore.What’s here now—thanks to local developers who have a growing appreciation for the area—are new craft breweries, boutiques, coffee houses and furniture showrooms, housed in repurposed older buildings that are showing off their unique architectural features.First & FirstPeter Remes, president of First & First Creative Real Estate, has bought and renovated three such properties in Northeast since 2006. The company owns 945 Broadway —formerly home to the Land O’ Nod mattress company and Twin City Paper Supply Company. Its new tenants include the microbrewery 612Brew, and Spyhouse Coffee, a coffeehouse and roastery. About 10,000 square feet are still available in the 60,000 square foot building, Remes said, but they are close to leasing out the remaining area. Core Power Yoga recently signed on as a tenant, he added.Last fall, First & First bought the Alamo, a building at 1517 Central Ave. Continue Reading

Yinghua Academy expansion underway

Northeast resident and parent Jennifer Shadowens said that her two children giggle when she tries to speak Chinese to them.Both youngsters are students at Yinghua Academy, a K-8 Chinese immersion public charter school at 1616 Buchanan St. NE. Shadowens, who is Yinghua’s board chair, said she doesn’t mind when her attempts to replicate the language’s tonal sounds amuse her kids.“It’s empowering for them to be experts at something.” She added that she and her husband—who met in a Greek language class in Athens—resolved that their children would learn another language when they were young. “The program has helped them be successful. It makes learning a language a way of life. Continue Reading

Minnesota Transitions Charter School relocates K-5 to 1800 Second St. NE in Minneapolis

It’s part of the largest and oldest charter school system in the Twin Cities, and nobody’s ever heard of it, said Minnesota Transitions Charter School (MTS) director Sheila Casey, half joking.MTS Elementary, a K-5, is new to Northeast, having just moved to 1800 Second St. NE, into a space vacated last spring by New Visions. MTS Elementary shares the building with A Chance to Grow and Turnquist Childcare Center. The building lies on the west side of Second Street between East Side Neighborhood Services and Bottineau Park.The school relocated from St. Albert the Great church in South Minneapolis. Continue Reading