On the banks of the Mississippi River across from downtown Minneapolis, the Nicollet Island – East Bank neighborhood is a crossroads linking the downtown, the University of Minnesota, and the Northeast Arts District. It is capturing significant growth during the current wave of development in the city.

The neighborhood has two parts: Nicollet Island, part of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage District, on the Mississippi River just east of downtown, and a portion of the East Bank of the Mississippi River located between Central Avenue and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad line.

Originally called St. Anthony, the area was recognized by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature as a town in 1855. Today, the neighborhood is the smallest and one of the oldest in Minneapolis (along with Marcy-Holmes and St. Anthony East, which were also parts of the original town of St. Anthony). Nicollet Island is the only residential island in the Mississippi River.

It is a neighborhood of contrasts. Nicollet Island provides the setting for 19th-century homes near the river’s edge and Nicollet Island Park with its commanding views of the river, downtown, and the Stone Arch Bridge. The East Bank — with its eclectic mix of low-rise historic storefronts and modern residential high-rises — reminds visitors of both the East Bank’s early days as the city’s first commercial district and then its first rebirth with major industrial compounds.

Nicollet Island – East Bank includes one of the most heavily used park districts in the metropolitan area: The Mississippi riverfront. The city preserves and protects the parks while building better, more attractive connections among the neighborhood’s parks, commercial districts, and residential areas.

The East Bank is again on the cusp of significant change. Increasingly, unique shops and restaurants are opening in this now-trendy neighborhood, while the last of the remaining industrial sites have closed. Major “opportunity sites” are in or open for redevelopment and will become home to scores of additional businesses and at least hundreds of new residents.

View Community Links and a Photo Gallery of our neighborhood.

Love for the neighborhood

We asked some neighbors what they loved about the area.

I love our proximity to the river.  A walk brings fresh air, interesting sites, a connection with others, and even quietness on cold nights. ... catching the bus, buying groceries, and going to the gym are all within a 10-minute walk. I'm active and saving on gas/environmental impact.  Walking the island, both the houses and pavilion areas; feels like a special getaway. – Sarah Woessner

I love... the mix of old and new - urban density and open park spaces. – Roberta Swanson

I love living by the river and having great parks and amenities nearby. Great transit access and a historic neighborhood. – Lee Munnich 

The diversity - parks/green space and urban spaces; historic and new. – Roberta Swanson 

The Island is a small town neighborhood in the middle of the city. – Barry Clegg 

For the 20 years I have lived here, I have enjoyed the healthy and friendly vibe of successful businesses combined with the growing residential community. The overall good vibe understandably diminished during the worst of Covid; but clearly it is building back, and no doubt will be better than ever! – Jeffrey Meehan 

The walkability to shops, restaurants, local businesses, the riverfront with walking paths. Also the history of the area, and access to nature along the river. – Patricia Kelly