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North Loop Neighborhood

North Loop

The North Loop, also commonly called The Warehouse District, is a neighborhood of the Central community of Minneapolis, Minnesota that was Minneapolis’s main commercial district during the city’s years as a midwestern shipping hub. Although only a little commercial shipping is still done in the neighborhood, the historic warehouses still dominate the neighborhood. Some of these buildings have been repurposed into restaurants, shops, and apartments.

Because of this identity, the neighborhood is commonly known as the Warehouse District. It includes the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The North Loop is located northwest of the central business district between downtown Minneapolis and the Mississippi River. Streets in the North Loop are oriented to be parallel to the river, which means that they run at a 45-degree angle relative to the grid of the rest of the city.

Although the neighborhood technically extends further to the south, the main residential and commercial area of the North Loop is roughly a rectangle bounded by the railroad tracks as Cedar Lake Trail (in the southeast), Plymouth Avenue (in the northwest), the elevated 4th street freeway entrance/exit in the southwest, and the Mississippi River in the northeast. Washington Avenue is the main thoroughfare through the neighborhood.

The James I. Rice Park, which is in the northeast portion of the neighborhood along the river, is popular with residents during the summer months. The bike trail and West River Parkway that runs through the park are part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. The park added a playground in 2010 located where 4th Ave North intersects with West River Parkway.

For most of its history, the North Loop was an industrial area. It was home to a large railroad yard and numerous warehouses and factories. Much of the warehouse district (very roughly bounded by Second Street North, First Avenue North, Sixth Street North, and the BNSF Railway tracks, except for the Interstate 394 and Interstate 94 ramps) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The warehouses that characterize the district are mostly six to eight stories high, and about 62 structures on seven square blocks contribute to the district. The predominant form of design is the Chicago Commercial style, but many other styles were built, including Italianate, Queen Anne style, Richardsonian Romanesque, Classical Revival, and early 20th century commercial styles. The warehouse district was in turn associated with the railroad transportation network that was under development at the time, which connected Minneapolis with the rest of the Midwest and the rest of the country. These warehouses were used for wholesale and storage of goods related to milling and manufacturing. The nomination for the National Register of Historic Places states that the district, as a whole, comprises a cohesive district of buildings with a common physical appearance, as well as a common age and original use.

In the 1980s, the Warehouse district was the epicenter of the Minneapolis art scene until the area’s buildings became more commercially desirable in the 1990s. At its peak, the Wyman Building, 400 First Avenue North, was home to more than twenty contemporary art galleries. No Name Gallery was formerly located in the eastern part of the neighborhood, before it moved out of the district and became the Soap Factory.

About The North Loop
What used to be a neglected, largely-abandoned section of Minneapolis is now one of the city’s most vibrant and walkable neighborhoods, with award-winning restaurants, fashionable boutiques, bustling taprooms, live music and Major League Baseball just steps away. The North Loop has become the neighborhood in which to live and work, as well as an arts, entertainment, shopping and dining destination.

Forbes magazine calls the North Loop “One of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods.” Fodors Travel Guide puts us on a list of 25 places in the world that avid travelers should check out. Thrillist raves about our “rags to riches” story.

It’s not just that the old warehouses and factories have been given new life here. It’s the fact that many of them have been transformed into something truly exceptional.

For instance, a former horse stable is now a nationally-acclaimed restaurant, Spoon and Stable, run by James Beard award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen. An old farm implement warehouse is now the stylish Hewing Hotel, proclaimed “Best Hotel in the Midwest” by Conde Nast Traveler readers and one of the Most Instagrammable Hotels in the U.S. by National Geographic. A former moving and storage facility is now an event center known as Aria, which Brides Magazine declared one of “America’s Best Wedding Venues.” And the former headquarters of the city’s horse-drawn streetcar system is now home to high-end shops, most notably MartinPatrick3, which Forbes Magazine called “the hottest retailer in America’s hottest retailing city.”

Businesses, especially creative and tech firms, have also gravitated to the North Loop, finding the old warehouse spaces, ease of transportation, neighborhood amenities, and neighborhood energy particularly well-suited to their needs.

The North Loop is also home to a gorgeous section of the Mississippi Riverfront where cyclists, joggers and pedestrians enjoy well-maintained trails and families enjoy the playground in a city park that features tall trees and views of the Minneapolis skyline.

Our light rail station at Target Field provides direct access to MSP airport, US Bank Stadium, Allianz Field, the University of Minnesota, downtown St. Paul and other destinations.

And the North Loop’s momentum just keeps building as more people and businesses take note of this urban success story and decide they too want to invest in its future.


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