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A Tale of Arts-Driven Gentrification in Northeast Minneapolis

It's a familiar story: artists who flocked to an underused district for the low prices and plentiful space now find themselves inundated by new money, newcomers, and lots of craft beer.
September 20, 2018, 10am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Jason Taellious

Designated an official arts district in 2002, parts of northeast Minneapolis have long faced pressure from gentrification, the usual bane of lower-income creatives living in the postindustrial corners of American cities. "Between 2000 and 2015," Jessica Lee writes, "the median home value in northeast Minneapolis — the areas of Logan Park, Sheridan, St. Anthony East and St. Anthony West — increased an average of 45 percent, while rents rose an average of 13 percent."

In a process that's been playing out in many cities over the past two decades, artists have inadvertently planted the seeds of their own displacement by nurturing an image of the area as a creatively vibrant locale. "It's this cyclical pushing and shuffling of low-income communities" said Brittany Lewis, an author of a University of Minnesota study on gentrification in Minneapolis since the year 2000. 

At the same time, the area's creative economy is humming along, as are adjacent industries. In another gentrification stereotype, Northeast Minneapolis also plays host to what researchers call "the highest concentration of breweries in Minnesota."

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