Introducing North Loop Green, ‘the Central Park of Minneapolis’

The new community space unveils a packed summer event schedule, including signature shopping experiences that elevate local entrepreneurs

Stepping onto the vibrant lawn of the newly opened North Loop Green, surrounded by its colorful murals, twinkling lights, and dynamic, mixed-use developments, it is hard to imagine that this space was once nothing more than a surface parking lot.  

“We’ve been committed to an ongoing march down this corridor that nobody ever thought could be utilized,” shares Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey at the North Loop Green’s official ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. “The hundreds of people involved in this project have found a way transform a sea of asphalt under a bridge into an extraordinary gathering place.”  

Mayor Jacob Frey speaks at the North Loop Green’s ribbon cutting ceremony

photo by Joanna Rose

Located directly adjacent to Target Field, underneath a highway ramp, the once-vacant space where the North Loop Green now lies was not an obvious site for a 34-story office and residential tower and 1-acre community lawn. Developed by Hines and Marquee Development, vision was key in the follow-through of the unique project. The concrete pillars supporting overhead ramps have been transformed into works of art by muralist Adam Turman; the former sea of asphalt is now a sea of green, with trees and shrubbery framing the open lawn; what once served as overflow parking for Twins games is now a dynamic pre-game gathering space, with a bar and outdoor patio called Bassett Hound. The space’s mixed-use nature is intended as a catalyst for community engagement, a gathering space that one PR rep enthusiastically referred to as “the Central Park of Minneapolis.”  

“The greatest achievement in development is creating a space for communities to connect,” Hines Development Managing Director Bob Pfefferle commented, quoting Hines’ late founder Gerald D. Hines.  

The concrete pillars that frame The Green show off Minnesota-themed murals by Adam Turman

Courtesy of North Loop Green

Hines’ vision seems to ring true, as the public green space dubbed “The Green” unveils a summer event schedule packed with over 100 outdoor community events. With a hyperlocal focus, The Green has partnered with a range of businesses in the neighborhood to give residents a unique, cost-effective taste of the vast cultural, retail, and dining experiences possible in the North Loop.  

Katie Andres, Event Manager at North Loop Green, revealed some of the businesses she is most excited to partner with, including The Grind MPLS and Barre3, fitness studios that will be offering free classes in the park, Von Lucy Mobile Boutique, a local womenswear brand that will sell at Thursday Night Markets, and the Children’s Theatre Company, which will put on monthly workshops for kids and families.  

“There will be something here for everybody this summer,” shares Andres, “even your pets.” Fitting for the high dog-to-person ratio that categorizes the North Loop neighborhood, not only does The Green offer a designated dog park, but also includes Treat Me Too Dog Treats as a vendor in its Thursday Night Markets.  

North Loop Green features a designated dog park called Dog Run

courtesy of North Loop Green

For those who seek to support local entrepreneurs and artisans, The Green’s weekly Thursday Night Market will become your go-to shopping destination. Curated by Mich Berthiaume, the mastermind behind the Winter Maker’s Market at the Dayton’s Project, the outdoor retail experience assembles an array of locally sourced hidden gems, from crafts to clothes to pet goods. Names like the Blue Heron Body Home and We Are Ryn showcase a careful commitment to environmental sustainability, a bonus to shopping locally and knowing where your products are coming from.  

Night Markets will not be the only opportunity to shop small across The Green this summer. Once a month, enjoy a pop-up series by Totally Rad Vintage Fest, an event company that curates a collection of premium vintage vendors selling clothing, accessories, memorabilia, toys, and nostalgic goods. The Green’s monthly pop-up will feature 30 hand-selected vintage vendors that stock items from the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, offering shoppers a taste of Minneapolis’ thriving vintage fashion scene.  

“The old way of thinking is to segregate different slices of life— one area for living, another for working, another for entertainment,” Mayor Frey expressed at The Green’s ribbon cutting Thursday. “The beauty of North Loop Green is that we’ve brought it altogether. We want noise, we want people, we want activity, and we want a great city.”  

Keep an eye on The Green’s event calendar to find your own slice of life among this lively community gathering space this summer.  

An official ribbon cutting ceremony marks the opening of the North Loop Green

Photo by Joanna Rose

As Minnesota Monthly's Style Editor, Emma keeps a close pulse on all things retail, style, and fashion in the Twin Cities and beyond. Since graduating from Miami university in 2022 with degrees in English-Literature and Media and Culture, Emma has accumulated a wealth of experience in both the editorial and fashion industries, including producing a sold-out runway show for Fashion Week Minnesota. She harnesses this experience, as well as her passion for storytelling, to communicate the diverse perspectives of individuals who have helped shape the Minnesota fashion scene and its one-of-a-kind events, brands, and businesses. When she is not writing, you might find Emma at a yoga class, thrifting, walking her Bernese Mountain Dog, traveling, or drinking overpriced coffee. You will never see her in the same outfit twice.