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At just under 2 years old, young and fresh U.S. Bank Stadium has attracted several high-profile events to Minnesota, the most well-known thus far being Super Bowl LII. NCAA Men's Final Four is in the pipeline, along with more X Games, American Ninja Warrior, and several major musical acts. But this is no surprise; the billion-dollar stadium was intended to host exactly these types of major events when it's not hosting Vikings home games. In fact, developers have expressed high confidence in the stadium's ongoing success and the area's viability by investing more than the cost of the stadium into the surrounding community, as shared in the Star Tribune. Local businesses also understood the potential impact of this new stadium and decided to proactively rebrand the area before the stadium had even opened its doors. The surrounding community was named "East Town", an overarching title for the Downtown East and Elliot Park neighborhoods. 

From the East Town Development page, the East Town community vision is for a "vibrant, multifaceted, and connected community." They envision an active area, with lots of events, people out and about, taking advantage of the crowning jewel Commons Park, and diverse residents with varying lifestyles. The public transit options and bike lanes are seen as means towards connecting the East Town community with the outside world, with ease of access as a major selling point. Developers have worked to bring all the necessary components of a modern urban community: new living options, entertainment and dining, a healthcare clinic, hotels, and shiny new offices. The city of Minneapolis put together a great run-through on the timeline, showcasing how everything came about. The most recent development in the works, as highlighted in the Strib article above, is of an entire block on Washington Ave., building a hotel, apartments, a grocery store (Trader Joe's), and fast dining. The grocery store will help to advance the reality of this standalone urban community. 

As noted in the article, more than a tidal wave of new development is needed for a community to establish an identity: it takes time. All of this development has taken place in the past 5 years, driven by the construction of the new stadium. At this point, it's very likely that only a fraction of Twin Cities residents knows where East Town is located. The more amenities attracting people to the area (and the more signage/news with the "East Town" moniker), the more awareness will spread. It just needs to marinate a bit. 


Photo By Darb02 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons