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Old 04-01-2012, 08:21 AM
 
13 posts, read 13,563 times
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Default NJ to MN

Hi everyone,
My wife and I are 33 without kids. We presently live in Jersey City, NJ (work in Manhattan) and we're headed to MN. I was recently promoted, and the position is located in downtown Minneapolis.
We don't have kids now, but we're trying, so a concern will be child friendly places to live. We only have one car, and we'd like to keep it that way for a while. A couple questions: is the North Loop area of downtown nice for professional couples; safe? Is $1600 a month reasonable to rent? We're trying to live in an area that will lessen the culture shock of the move at first.
Also, has anyone else made this kind of move? Do you know a reputable long distance mover? Or is this a do it yourself situation?
Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
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Don't know about that area ( I avoid it like the plague) but WELCOME to Minnesota!!!!!!!U betcha!!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weis007 View Post
Hi everyone,
My wife and I are 33 without kids. We presently live in Jersey City, NJ (work in Manhattan) and we're headed to MN. I was recently promoted, and the position is located in downtown Minneapolis.
We don't have kids now, but we're trying, so a concern will be child friendly places to live. We only have one car, and we'd like to keep it that way for a while. A couple questions: is the North Loop area of downtown nice for professional couples; safe? Is $1600 a month reasonable to rent? We're trying to live in an area that will lessen the culture shock of the move at first.
Also, has anyone else made this kind of move? Do you know a reputable long distance mover? Or is this a do it yourself situation?
Thanks for any help!
Can't speak to the North Loop, but when we moved to the TC a couple decades ago, we were also looking for a kid-friendly area where we could live with one car. We chose Highland Park and have been here ever since. Yes, it is in St Paul, but the western sections of HP are actually closer to downtown Mpls than they are to downtown St Paul. Many professionals who work in downtown Mpls live here. I'm guessing that you, coming from the NE, are not averse to public transit. There is frequent express bus service from HP to downtown Mpls and the trip is only 20 minutes. There are many nice apartments here, and if you decide to buy, you'll have a great n'hood to buy in. A similar n'hood just to the north of HP is Macalester-Groveland.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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The North Loop (aka Warehouse District) would be my recommendation for you. You'd be downtown, so that would lessen the culture shock and allow you to get to/from work very easily. There was an article in the Star Tribune recently saying how a lot of families that live downtown are choosing the warehouse district. The riverfront is very close. $1600 would put you right in the range of some of the new construction and nice loft conversions in the area. Another place to look might be the Mill District (also along Washington, roughly, but east of Hennepin). The Mill District would be similar, but, relatively, a little quieter as it isn't as close to some of the entertainment destinations around the North Loop.

Downtown is very safe. There are the problems here and there that every city deals with, but since you've spent time in NY, I assume you know how to live in a city.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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North Loop is fine. You might also want to look on the other side of the river (always feels busier to me over there), or even consider somewhere like Uptown if you're looking for a neighborhood that has more day-to-day amenities. Downtown is getting more of them, but if you're looking for bustling urban living, downtown still doesn't really have that. Walking to work would be pretty fabulous, though.

RE: movers, if you're looking to save money and have a lot of heavy stuff (we have a lot of books) I'd consider going with someone like Broadway Express; they charge by the space you use on the truck, NOT by weight. They're not full-service movers (i.e. you'll have to hire your own people to help move stuff in/out of the truck when it arrives, although you can pay the truck driver to supervise the packing -- worth every penny, as they know what they're doing!), but we had a great experience with them for a long-distance move. They were cheap, too. If you don't have much stuff and want a do-it-yourself option, we recently used ABF relocubes to haul our stuff to NYC; you pack it yourself (either at their terminal or at your place) and the cost is very reasonable. You could stick your stuff in the Relocube(s), put the remainder in the car, and drive out. It's a pretty easy drive from the east coast; you can do it in two comfortable days (just one night).

We have a kid and also really considered Loring Park (downtown) as a place to live; the Loring Park Greenway is really nice (and has a great little playground), the park itself has stuff to do, and there are a lot of useful family things on that end of downtown (the Y, etc.), but the North Loop is getting (already has? Haven't checked it out yet) a playground, and being by the river is really nice. Ultimately the lack of useful amenities downtown brought us back to Uptown, although downtown is getting better on that front.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManBearPig1 View Post
There was an article in the Star Tribune recently saying how a lot of families that live downtown are choosing the warehouse district.
That article was pretty misleading. In the North Loop neighborhood over 60% of the population under 18 years of age is in one block that contains only temporary housing (some sort of homeless shelter type setup). This shelter has been growing and (if I remember correctly) accounts for almost all, if not all, of the growth of the under 18 year old population in that part of downtown.

The North Loop might still be a decent place for the OP to start out, but the data seem to indicate that any increase in the number of families with children choosing to live downtown isn't anywhere near what the hype suggests.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
North Loop is fine. You might also want to look on the other side of the river (always feels busier to me over there), or even consider somewhere like Uptown if you're looking for a neighborhood that has more day-to-day amenities. Downtown is getting more of them, but if you're looking for bustling urban living, downtown still doesn't really have that. Walking to work would be pretty fabulous, though.

. . .

We have a kid and also really considered Loring Park (downtown) as a place to live; the Loring Park Greenway is really nice (and has a great little playground), the park itself has stuff to do, and there are a lot of useful family things on that end of downtown (the Y, etc.), but the North Loop is getting (already has? Haven't checked it out yet) a playground, and being by the river is really nice. Ultimately the lack of useful amenities downtown brought us back to Uptown, although downtown is getting better on that front.
I've usually agreed with this sentiment in the past. However, the lack of groceries stores downtown was the main reason. With Lunds opening up a downtown store in May and Whole Foods in the next year, uptown loses that big edge. I think uptown is great; don't get me wrong. But, as someone who moved to Minneapolis from a major east coast city, uptown feels almost suburban in scale. Given the OP's concerns, I think living downtown would help his transition from NYC.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:46 PM
 
319 posts, read 246,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northsub View Post
That article was pretty misleading. In the North Loop neighborhood over 60% of the population under 18 years of age is in one block that contains only temporary housing (some sort of homeless shelter type setup). This shelter has been growing and (if I remember correctly) accounts for almost all, if not all, of the growth of the under 18 year old population in that part of downtown.

The North Loop might still be a decent place for the OP to start out, but the data seem to indicate that any increase in the number of families with children choosing to live downtown isn't anywhere near what the hype suggests.
Do you have a source for this? (Not being incredulous. I'm genuinely interested)
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManBearPig1 View Post
I've usually agreed with this sentiment in the past. However, the lack of groceries stores downtown was the main reason. With Lunds opening up a downtown store in May and Whole Foods in the next year, uptown loses that big edge. I think uptown is great; don't get me wrong. But, as someone who moved to Minneapolis from a major east coast city, uptown feels almost suburban in scale. Given the OP's concerns, I think living downtown would help his transition from NYC.
I still don't think so; Uptown feels more like parts of Brooklyn than, say, Midtown Manhattan, but there's still more people out on the street and more action. Whole Foods and the Lunds will help, but there's still an awful lot of surface parking lots yet to be filled in downtown. It's still a bit more central business district than it is, say, the Village. On the surface it looks "urban," but the population is still pretty small. I suppose it comes down to what kind of urban they want.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:44 PM
 
10,040 posts, read 14,375,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northsub View Post
That article was pretty misleading. In the North Loop neighborhood over 60% of the population under 18 years of age is in one block that contains only temporary housing (some sort of homeless shelter type setup). This shelter has been growing and (if I remember correctly) accounts for almost all, if not all, of the growth of the under 18 year old population in that part of downtown.

The North Loop might still be a decent place for the OP to start out, but the data seem to indicate that any increase in the number of families with children choosing to live downtown isn't anywhere near what the hype suggests.
While I'm sure the shelters do account for kids, there's certainly good reason to believe that there are at least SOME families choosing to live downtown; there's a parents forum for DT parents, and some of the strongest advocates for the new playground are parents who have young children themselves. Granted, it's not like some of the more traditional "family" neighborhoods, but there also seems to be an increase in the visibility of professional families with kids in the area, and the North Loop neighborhood organization seems to actively embrace their youngest residents. http://www.northloop.org/NorthLoopGuide_June2010.pdf (broken link)
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