Set deep within the larger, official Marcy-Holmes neighborhood defined by planners is an actual neighborhood, best experienced by a leisurely walk along 5th Street SE between 4th and 8th avenues to appreciate the post-civil-war houses, especially the Italianate Fisk House at 424 5th Street.
Outside of this authentic and appealing community core, any traditional neighborhood feeling is pretty much overwhelmed elsewhere in Marcy-Holmes by commercial and industrial uses, the massive intrusion of I-35W (even if depressed below grade), the eternally funky Dinkytown, an increasing preponderance of student-rental housing closer to the campus, and, of course, by the sheer presence of University itself.
Recent development along the riverfront is establishing another Marcy-Holmes residential community, albeit of an entirely different character from the small-scale, 19th-century neighborhood on the other side of Fourth Street SE. Well more than a thousand new housing units are under development or already open near the historic mill buildings lined up along SE Main Street, east of Main Place. Built within the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District, this setting is to be visually defined by the landmark Pillsbury "A" Mill at 3rd Avenue SE. The housing will be available in a range of plans and prices, and of course is attractive for the marvelous Downtown skyline view across the river, abundant public green space along Main Street, and a convenient location between the University and Downtown.
Flour Sack Flats, 521 Second Street SE, Minneapolis
The bamboo flooring in Flour Sack Flats gives it away as a modern “green” development. However, it enjoys a hint of its manufacturing past as evidenced by the powerful looking industrial-sash windows. While being hidden away from bustling University Avenue, residents can still enjoy the benefits of the area such as quick and easy access to Downtown and the University, and shops and restaurants on East Hennepin. There are many attractions nearby such as St. Anthony Falls, Hennepin Island Park, and the landmark Pillsbury “A” Mill.
Phoenix on the River 222 2nd Street SE, Minneapolis
The initial, 2007 phase of a multi-building redevelopment of the historic Pillsbury "A" Mill property, Phoenix on the River establishes an ultra-upscale image on this formerly gritty industrial site along Main Street and the riverfront. Architecturally, the exterior reads as historic in the sense that it refers back to the nineteenth-century Chicago School open expression of structural frames. But is also seems contemporary in its geometry, directness, and lack of ornamentation. Living units are available in a number of efficient configurations. In their complexities and knowing layout, these are probably the most sophisticated condominium floor plans currently available in Minneapolis; residents of Manhattan's chic Upper East Side would find these units familiar and comfortable.
Winslow House, 100 2nd Street SE, Minneapolis
Winslow House opened in 1980, when interest in the East Bank/Main Street was beginning to heat up. It was appreciated as both as an investment benchmark (high quality) as well as for its architecture. Winslow House was designed by the noted Boston architect Benjamin Thompson, a St. Paul native, whose wildly popular Faneuil Hall-Quincy Marketplace had opened in Boston a few years before. The building is expressed in the brick cut-into-box imagery that was the visual hallmark of the so-called Boston-Minnesota axis throughout the 1970s. Winslow House remains a distinguished, quality property, from its landscaped pool terrace to the gracefully laid-out living units. The setting overlooking Downtown is dynamic and convenient, including a wide choice among restaurants, and the nearby Lund's grocery store.