Northeast’s public realm needs a makeover

I’ve spent a bit of time in the St Anthony area recently, looking for homes and reminiscing about my runs along the river during college, attending the midnight opener for Snakes on a Plane at St Anthony Main, and memories of the church my wife and I were married in. The area is quite beautiful, with some great date spots, places to grab a bite, or simply some utilitarian walking. The commercial areas are starting to see some major investments in addition to the great concentration of existing retail, restaurants, townhomes, condos, and century-old residential to the east and west. This development is even more impressive when you consider we’ve made no major transit investments recently (though the Nicollet-Central streetcar certainly won’t hurt). Continue Reading

New bus route connecting North and Northeast Minneapolis starts running March 10

Metro Transit has announced a new weekday local bus route that will connect North and Northeast Minneapolis starting March 10, with service on Broadway extending to the west end of St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. The westernmost point in the route is Golden Valley Road and Xerxes; it travels Broadway starting at Girard. The easternmost point is Pillsbury Street and Charles Avenue in Saint Paul (just east of Hampden).

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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

Northeast Minneapolis parents offer praise and questions for MPS Five-Year Enrollment Plan

The proposal to add more Early Childhood education programming to Minneapolis Public Schools sites was a hit with many parents at the October 14 Northeast Minneapolis forum on the Minneapolis Public Schools new Five-Year Enrollment Plan.Parents and community members filled the Northeast Middle School Media Center to listen to Area A Superintendent Michael Thomas explain, using a PowerPoint presentation, the district’s new five-year plan and how it would impact their neighborhoods. Following Thomas’ presentation, people split into groups consisting of one district employee and five or more attendees.Anchoring one of these small groups was North High School Senior Academy principal David Branch. Branch expressed support for the proposed new early childhood centers, one of which would be located at North High School. Bringing young children into the building would be a good fit for North, Branch said, and would give older high school students a chance to gain valuable skills, and offer their services, by reading with the younger children.The district’s efforts to bring more focus to young children brought both hope and concern for downtown Minneapolis resident Denise Holt. Holt, who does not yet have children, was at the meeting as an advocate for the growing neighborhoods of downtown Minneapolis.   Letter from Downtown School Initiative to school boardDear Minneapolis Public Schools -We are aware of the Minneapolis Public School’s Five-Year Enrollment Plan and the accompanying attendance boundaries proposals for the downtown Minneapolis area. In order to maintain neighborhood cohesion and continue to build a community in this relatively new residential area, we strongly urge the Minneapolis Public Schools to consider downtown – North Loop, Downtown East, Downtown West, Elliot Park, and Loring Park – as one community when drawing attendance boundaries. Families choosing to raise their children in downtown Minneapolis share the same culture and values; they support building a dense, vibrant and walkable community. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Sharing a meal: Great turnout for Eastside Meals on Wheels’ Mission Nutrition Dining Edition

Eastside Meals on Wheels’ first restaurant night fundraiser, Mission Nutrition Dining Edition, had a wonderful turnout! Local restaurants Anchor Fish & Chips, The Bulldog N.E., Emily’s Lebanese Deli, Hazel’s Northeast, Moose on Monroe, Kramarczuk’s, and Red Stag Supperclub all donated a portion of the proceeds made on Thursday, September 19th to ensure that homebound folks in the area continue to receive warm nutritious meals.Preliminary calculations estimate that the total intake of the event at over $2,444. “Since it was percentage based, we really had no idea what to expect,” said Executive Director of Eastside Meals on Wheels Eileen Hafften. “It was a bit nerve wracking! But we couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turned out.” The nonprofit, which serves Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading

El Taco Riendo: A great go-to spot for tacos in Northeast Minneapolis

Since becoming a Minnesotan, I have discovered the winter blahs. They usually set in during the month of February. Fortunately, with the variety of restaurants offered here in Minnesota, a staycation to a warmer place is well within reach: sunny Mexico will be the first stop on our tour around the world. That’s right, this year I’ll be taking you on a journey across the globe by featuring an eating establishment representing a different cultural cuisine each month. So, United Foodies of Minnesota—get your passports out and have them ready to be stamped!First stop: El Taco Riendo On 24th & Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis sits my little slice of Mexico. Continue Reading