On the banks of the Mississippi River across from downtown Minneapolis, the Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood is a crossroads linking Downtown, the University of Minnesota, and the Northeast Arts District. It is in the midst of capturing significant growth during the current wave of development in the City.
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 for 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 re-birth with major industrial compounds.
Nicollet Island-East Bank includes one of the most heavily used park districts in the Metropolitan Area: The Mississippi Riverfront. This Plan preserves and protects the parks while building better, more attractive connections among the neighborhood’s parks, commercial districts, and residential areas.
Today, the East Bank is once 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 has 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. NIEBNA’s Small Area Plan (SAP) directs that the neighborhood of the future will have safe and bustling streets and sidewalks where people can be found walking at all hours of the day and night. In a compact neighborhood teeming with people, tall buildings will comfortably face shorter neighbors; and no two buildings will look exactly alike. The community will be transit oriented and people friendly. It will include the full spectrum of housing, business and other options that will attract and support residents and visitors from across the region and beyond. The Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood Association invites the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the Metropolitan Council to join it in this journey, pursuing an even brighter future for this already vibrant neighborhood.