Northeast Minneapolis has historically been a working-class community with strong ties to Polish, Italian, Finnish, German, and Russian immigrants that worked in grain mills, sawmills, breweries, rail yards, and factories throughout Northeast Minneapolis.
Today Northeast Minneapolis is still a diverse community and is home to bustling shops, restaurants, an acclaimed arts district, a growing microbrewery industry, and progressive cooperative businesses.
Central Avenue in Northeast is sometimes called the lifeblood of Northeast due to being an important transportation corridor and important business district located at Central and Lowry. Central Avenue has struggled with investment over the years with numerous vacant buildings hindering potential development. One reason for this is that Northeast Minneapolis exists in a nowhere-land – not sufficiently blighted to stimulate public investment, yet not appealing enough to produce an adequate return on investment for private investors.
These vacant buildings and lack of investment were the inspiration for the NEIC model and are why NEIC is committed to focusing its development effort on Central Avenue. NEIC also realizes that as development on Central Avenue increases, we are open to other potential areas of Northeast needing further investment.