North Loop

The North Loop planning district occupies a very large area, extending diagonally more than a mile, from near the Basilica of St. Mary to the Plymouth Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi. Most of this is a crazy quilt mosaic of non-residential land uses. However, two areas within the North Loop are especially oriented to residential. One of these is the warehouse district, a visual extension of the First Avenue North entertainment district—through here, between Washington Avenue and the riverfront, an intriguing mix of industrial, commercial, and offices, along with a small amount of residential loft space.

This area in effect serves as a gateway to the residential neighborhoods north of Washington and west of 3rd Avenue North. Rehabilitation of obsolete multi-floor manufacturing buildings along First Street North began with loft conversions in the 1980s. The popularity of these historic loft spaces led to the construction of brand new loft-like apartments and condos, garbed in traditional imageries, on adjacent lots. Separately, new luxury townhousing was developed along the newly constructed West River Parkway. Although these two neighborhoods exist back-to-back, they serve different residential markets. The townhousing is physically tucked away into an enclave to a greater extent than any other housing near Downtown.

Because virtually all of the North Loop's housing was created in the past two decades, population has shown very strong growth from a small base—from 338 residents in 1980 to 1,115 in 2000. Overall household income is well above the citywide median, though almost certainly this average is skewed upward by the West River Parkway households. Beyond the superior visual amenity of a location on the parkway, all of the housing benefits from a location near Downtown, and direct, parkway access to the University.

Fifth Avenue Lofts, 401 North Second Street, Minneapolis

Conventional amenities meet modern attributes in the acute design of this new building appropriately placed in the historic warehouse district just minutes away from the bustle of Downtown Minneapolis. With a brick exterior, tall ten-foot ceilings, and wide hallways, the Fifth Avenue Lofts successfully replicate the airy floor plans and hardwood finishes characteristic of an earlier time period in its neighborhood. Luxurious comfort is key with its top-of-the-line kitchens, granite accents, and heated parking. Whether residents want to enjoy the Mississippi River and Downtown skyline from the wonderful view inside their complex, or venture to the shops and shore themselves, the Fifth Avenue Lofts make the perfect match for any cosmopolite with a soft spot for historic charm.


212 Lofts, 212 North First Street, Minneapolis

Located in the warehouse district, the 212 Lofts allow for an urban way of life similar to that of the new lofts being constructed just outside of Chicago. Built in 2004, the 212 Lofts pride themselves in industrial design. Every unit features exposed ten-foot concrete ceilings and nearly raw shell spaces that give an artist’s license to residents who wish to personalize and creatively design each living area. The variety of unit sizes available from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet make it easy for any resident to find the perfect fit. Furthermore, climate-controlled parking, a rooftop sundeck, and exercise facilities add a luxurious twist to the industrialization of the lofts. Conveniently placed on 2nd Avenue, this complex neighbors the new Twins ball field and the Target Center. For life outside the city, it is only miles away from the many direct freeway connections available from Third Avenue.

710 Lofts, 710 North 4th Street, Minneapolis

The 710 Lofts have been newly constructed with an industrial flare. From inside to out, the lofts successfully duplicate the spaciousness and sharpness of historic warehouses with the modern characteristics of today’s construction. The poured-concrete interior features its exposed structure and uncovered ducting, while its exterior boasts stunning brickwork. Each unit offers standard finishes and materials, as well as unique characteristics such as fireplaces and island kitchens. Specifically, the two-bedroom floor plan features a rare borrowed-light corridor wall with French doors.


720 Lofts, 720 North 4th Street, Minneapolis

Immediately following the construction of the 710 Lofts next door, the 720 Lofts have been built to feature a sophisticated version of industrial-residential design. The interior’s modern finishes and materials outweigh its subtle industrial characteristics, giving it an overall genteel and unique look in comparison to most Minneapolis lofts. Other glamorous details such as bathrooms complete with Italian glass tile and a private rooftop veranda with all-encompassing views easily broaden its appeal to cosmopolitan residents.

801 Washington Lofts, 801 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis

Placed in the midst of the former North Washington manufacturing district, the 801 Washington Lofts provide a variety of units, each unique in its size, materials, floor plan, volume, exterior connection—and especially price! The industrial renovations are genuine, trademarked by exposed masonry walls and tall ceilings ranging from 15 to 30 feet. While most industrial renovations feature sharp contrasts between the old and new, the interior character of the 801 Lofts feature stylish touches, perfectly blending past and present into one unified look.

918 Lofts, 918 North 3rd Street, Minneapolis

Situated in a genuinely gritty neighborhood, 918 Lofts are a part of the working industrial district just south of Washington Avenue. As a pre-war structure that has been renovated into thirty generously-sized living spaces, the building is not afraid to embrace its strong concrete construction. Uncovered ducts, pipes, concrete piers, tall ceilings of 11 - 14 feet, and polished concrete floors further sharpen its industrial character. Finished features such as painted drywalls and modern kitchens nicely compliment and add balance to the overall raw feel of each unit.

Bassett Creek Lofts, 901 North 3rd Street, Minneapolis

Converted from a robust manufacturing building originally constructed in 1917, the Basset Creek Lofts now occupy a North Loop location, while still preserving its initial structural frame. Exposed original surfaces are balanced with new window walls, balconies, and updated finishes and materials. Situated near Downtown Minneapolis, these lofts boast impressive skyline views at comparatively affordable prices.

Bookmen Lofts, 525 North 3rd Street, Minneapolis

With easy access to Downtown Minneapolis, and situated only a few blocks away from the new Twins ball field, Bookmen Lofts prides itself in its convenient location within the North Loop. Each unit is trademarked with a 20th century industrial style, featuring unique “lotus” column capitals. As with most loft renovation projects, Bookmen Lofts classically embraces its older attributes by allowing them to play off the modern updates. Residents find the new finishes and materials throughout a pleasant contrast to the unit’s original rugged shell.

Bookmen Stacks, 345 North 6th Street, Minneapolis

Situated in the North Loop among neighboring century-old industrial buildings, this modern high-rise housing complex constructed in 2005 expresses an image that is dramatically distinct from the historical character typical of its area. For Bookmen Stacks, location is everything: its position off the Third Avenue Distributor provides easy access to the local freeway system, the Target Center and First Avenue North sites and sounds are only a brief stroll away, and the new Twins ball field considers itself a neighbor. In contrast to many North Loop housing complexes, the property draws residents outdoors with its beautiful landscaping. Indoors, units are both airy and spacious, as enhanced by their gaping windows.

Harvester Lofts, 618 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis

Harvester Lofts were transformed from a WWI-era manufacturing plant into the living spaces they are today. The units embrace the industrial feel by exposing concrete ceilings and columns, and installing concrete floors. Eleven foot ceilings and 1700 square foot floor areas make the units large and spacious while still being small enough to allow for an everyday domestic feel.

Hershel Lofts, 748 North Third Street, Minneapolis

Hershel Lofts is a recently constructed mid-rise building. It offers fairly sized two-bedroom units that are loft-like and wholly current. Building amenities include a workout room and an underground garage. In addition to these, other notable attractions a manicured front lawn area and the close proximity of the Twins ballpark.

The Itasca, 716 North First Street, Minneapolis

In the early 1980's, John Cuningham reconstructed The Itasca for his offices; at the time, the North Loop neighborhood was an abandoned backwater of unused industrial buildings. It is probable that people were surprised and shocked by his decision to pour money and labor into the then unredeemable area, yet his work started a transformation of the entire North Loop. The neighborhood now differs significantly except in the fact that The Itasca is still there. The building has been reworked into condominiums that are characterized by 19th century industrial construction called ‘Heavy Timber’ which accounts for the exposed wood ceilings and structures. Living units offer a perfect balance between classic and contemporary and offer spectacular views.

Lindsay Lofts, 408 North First Street, Minneapolis

With easy access to Downtown Minneapolis, and situated only a few blocks away from the new Twins ball field, Bookmen Lofts prides itself in its convenient location within the North Loop. Each unit is trademarked with a 20th century industrial style, featuring unique “lotus” column capitals. As with most loft renovation projects, Bookmen Lofts classically embraces its older attributes by allowing them to play off the modern updates. Residents find the new finishes and materials throughout a pleasant contrast to the unit’s original rugged shell.

Riverwalk Lofts, 400 North 1st Street, Minneapolis

This solid brick warehouse seems to have be styled after Florentine palazzos, complete with simulated machicolations—the upper overhanging ports which allowed inhabitants to pour boiling oil down on attackers. Fortunately, contemporary life in Minneapolis is less-stressful than was fifteenth-century Florence, and the building was converted in 2000 into condos. Living units feature 13-foot wood ceilings, brick inner walls were left exposed. Units are relatively small, which translates into lower unit prices than some larger nearby condominiums.

Riverstation 645 North First Street, Minneapolis

This large housing complex, in ways reminiscent of prewar Chicago apartments, is organized around an expansive courtyard. Living units are straightforward in plan and modest in floor area. The North Loop location near the river is attractive and convenient to both Downtown and the University

Rock Island Lofts, 111 Fourth Avenue North, Minneapolis

Visually, a very balanced property. The restrained brick exterior is appropriately bulky for its setting in the warehouse district, marked by full-height vertical accents above the entrances. Inside, the large, polished living units downplay the industrial theme, beyond the freestanding and engaged columns. Rather than playing on industrial chic, the interiors have the feel of a fine custom home. Top-floor units are flooded in light through large windowalls. On other floors, ganged windows are nicely overscaled to good effect: these spaces feel almost grand without a hint of show-off.

Security Warehouse Lofts, 404 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis

An archetype Minneapolis industrial loft, located on the city's signature industrial street, North Washington Avenue. Living units are spacious, with ceiling heights of up to 15 feet. Brick interior walls are left exposed, as is the Heavy Timber structure. Floors are concrete. Since the windows are proportionately small for their spaces, the feeling from within living units is sheltered and cozy.

So Ho Lofts 718 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis

Inside and out, So Ho Lofts openly expresses its industrial past. The large living units are mostly wide-open; only the master bedroom and baths are enclosed. Ceilings and floors are concrete; ducts, pipes, even electrical conduit are exposed. These units approach the level of forthright industrial expression usually encountered in lofts located around 11th Avenue in Manhattan, minus the West Side's truly gritty environments, of course.

Tower Lofts 700 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis

The name comes from the prominent central tower, which offers a handy marker for visitors trying to find the address. This is a nuanced residential conversion of an industrial-manufacturing structure. Living units are genuinely loft-like, including 13-foot ceilings and exposed brick. However, the open ceiling decking, pipes, and engaged columns are painted out to subdue the visual rawness of fully expressed industrial loft space.

Whitney Square Lofts, 210 North 2nd Street, Minneapolis

A classic warehouse-loft conversion, including the requisite exposed brick and ducts. In this part of the warehouse district, close to Hennepin Avenue, first floors can be retail-office in use, with the upper floors residential, fulfilling the contemporary romantic view of turn-of-the-(last)-century urbanism. Whitney Square is very close to a broad range of attractions and activities, from restaurants and First Avenue North entertainment, to the new library, to the Federal Reserve and the Mississippi Riverfront.

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