Mill District - Minneapolis
Named for the flour mills that once lined the Mississippi River, Minneapolis’ Mill District has deep roots in the city’s history. First popping up in the early 19th century, these mills used the natural waterpower provided by the river, and Minneapolis quickly became the milling center of the upper Midwest. It only took a few more decades before the district became the largest producer of flour in the world, with corporate behemoths General Mills and Pillsbury contributing to the flour production. This trend continued until the 1930s, when fossil fuels replaced water power, forcing a significant decline in the milling business and shuttering the mills.
It took some time, but those once-mighty, then-abandoned mills came to life again in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the city of Minneapolis encouraged development along the neglected riverfront area. Today, the Mill District is a crossroads of yesterday’s past and today’s culture as historic buildings were converted into homes and offices, resulting in a vibrant residential and business population. Residents, workers and visitors to the area find many things to see and do in the Mill District, including the world-famous Guthrie Theater, the Mill City Farmers Market, the Milwaukee Depot, and the fortified ruins of the famed Washburn “A” Mill, which is a National Historic Landmark and home to the Mill City Museum.
Office Space In The Mill District
As part of the East Town Business District, The Mill District continues to attract a mix of businesses, offering space out of both converted historical buildings as well as new office complexes. With its iconic Guthrie Theater building and its rows of converted warehouse buildings fronting the stunning Mississippi River Parkway, the Mill District is a special place to be. Many of the premier office buildings have almost no turnover, creating high demand for spaces in the area. After all, two of the country’s biggest food companies played a vibrant and important role in the area’s past.
Eating, Drinking and Entertainment
With the Mississippi River to the north, the I-35W Bridge to the east, Washington Avenue to the south and 5th Avenue to the east, The Mill District is small but mighty. Within its borders, you will find ample places to eat, drink, gather, exercise or just be. Some notable spots include Izzy’s Ice Cream, Spoonriver, Day Block Brewing Company, Dunn Brother’s Coffee, and Zen Box Izakaya. The beloved Mill City Farmers Market is a year-round favorite, taking place outside on Saturdays May through October, and inside the Mill City Market during the winter months. Gold Medal Park is often the site of yoga classes, picnics and people taking in the views of the Minneapolis skyline. And regardless of the season, people are out walking, running or biking the paths along the Mississippi or across the Stone Arch Bridge to St. Anthony Main and Northeast Minneapolis. The area recently welcomed a new Trader Joe’s and a number of hotels to support corporate events and travel.
Photos: Meet Minneapolis
Getting Around The Mill District
The Mill District is located on the edge of Downtown Minneapolis and is close to two major interstates, making it easy to access by car, or public transit, but it’s also easy to access via bike and via foot. The Blue and Green light rail lines go through the area, with a stop at nearby U.S. Bank Stadium. There are multiple parking garages if you visit by car, as well as plenty of metered spots on the street.