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Old 10-12-2010, 09:16 PM
 
11 posts, read 28,577 times
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Where should we take friends who are interested in downtown living for their family, including a baby? They are professionals and originally from Brazil, growing up in big cities. He mentioned the tunnels downtown connecting the buildings and I know there is a Target. Does this mean there is a community of families that live there? How about St Paul? Maybe even some close in urban neighborhoods? Any advice on apartments/condos/streets to show him would be helpful since we are new to the state too--and suburbanites. They are flying here in a few week for the "tour". Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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We considered living downtown, but ultimately decided that it's not for us. There are some families, and there's a new playground being built in the North Loop; Loring Park also has a playground, and there's a great, compact playground on the Loring Greenway (which connects Loring Park to Nicollet Mall); we liked the Loring Park area because the park, the proximity to family-friendly amenities like the YWCA and the Target, but ultimately thought that as it stands now downtown just doesn't have amenities. It would be very convenient if one or both parents worked down there, but if he's thinking downtown because he wants a bustling street scene and a lot of things to see and do he might also want to check elsewhere. Do check out the Loring Greenway area, though; it's really very nice, and if there had been more useful amenities within walking distance it would have been top of our list. There aren't a lot of kids in the neighborhood, but there are some. The North Loop seems to be more popular with families, though, maybe because there also seem to be more housing style options. I haven't had a chance to check out the playground construction yet, but it's at 4th Avenue by the river, and should be at least partially completed by now.

I'd also include Uptown on any Minneapolis urban living for families tour; check out Hennepin Avenue between downtown and 36th Street (that's the commercial strip, but off of it are more residential areas -- to the west of Hennepin is the East Isles neighborhood which has both nice single family homes as well as large apartment buildings; the east is the Wedge neighborhood, which can be noisier and has more young people and more bar activity, but is cheaper and also has things like a nice park/playground; number of families there seems to vary greatly by block), then maybe Lake Street heading towards Lyndale Avenue; there's also some townhouses (and eventually other developments) planned for the "Urban Village" between the Midtwon Greenway and 28th Street between Aldrich and Dupont. That part of Uptown/Lyn-Lake is very walkable, has a lot of amenities, has access to a nice neighborhood park (Bryant Square, on 31st and Bryant), and feels more "city" than many parts of Minneapolis. It's not downtown and doesn't feel like downtown, but at this point, anyway, it still seemed more practical in terms of access to amenities, living without a car, street life, etc., than downtown. Downtown is changing and more and more people (including families) are moving there, but to me, anyway, it still lacks that urban bustle that can be found in many other urban downtowns.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: The world is my home
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Are they moving here from Brazil, or have they been in the US a while? I assume when you say big cities you mean Sao Paulo or Rio. I have a lot of Brazilian friends from big cities in Brazil who actually have preferred to live in the quieter areas of the cities- Maplewood & Hopkins being the most popular. However, the budget will help play a role on what areas we could be suggesting. UPTOWN has suggested some good areas and ideas as well.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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They have lived here a long time and are only interested in urban living--specifically asking about downtown. Money isn't a problem but they aren't looking for only high end.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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I think the Lowertown area of St. Paul should also be considered. In some ways I feel like urban living down there would in some ways be better than being downtown Minneapolis. There's a decent supermarket there, a good farmer's market within walking distance and some shopping and eating options in the area.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Columbus OH
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I think there are several places to consider:

I. DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS:
1. Mills District: Near the Guthrie, Mill City Museum, MacPhail Center for Arts, plus a decent collection of restaurants and a great Saturday Farmers Mkt (at Chicago Ave and 2nd Street). You can check out Bridgewater, or if the budget is high enough--Zenith. There's also RiverWest condos, plus several other developments along 2nd Street.

2. Loring: This is close to South Nicollet Mall area, which has a Target store and lots of restaurants/shops.

3. East Hennepin/University Avenue: Across the river from downtown, this feels like a real neighborhood, with a Lunds grocery and lots of restaurants/shops.

II. Uptown: Very convenient to dwtn, plus has the lakes district, and lots of restaurants/shops and two supermarkets.

III. Lowertown St. Paul: Centered around Mears park, there are several adaptive reuse developments with condos or apts, plus a nice farmers market. There's no supermarket yet, but a Lunds is proposed for the area.

Here's an article on downtown living with kids:

The new trend downtown: Married, with children | StarTribune.com


Other closer-in neighborhoods that are very popular with families:

Linden Hills: south of Lake Calhoun and west of Lake Harriet: not urban, but a pleasant 1910's-1920's vintagestreetcar era neighborhood, with a nice kid-friendly commercial district at 43rd & Upton.
Mac-Groveland (St. Paul): Lots of nice homes near the Grand Avenue commercial district--generally around Grand Avenue and Summit Avenue, west of Snelling (near macalester College)
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:25 PM
 
143 posts, read 444,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MplsTodd View Post
III. Lowertown St. Paul: Centered around Mears park, there are several adaptive reuse developments with condos or apts, plus a nice farmers market. There's no supermarket yet, but a Lunds is proposed for the area.
There is a supermarket at 10th & Jackson. No full-service grocery yet, though.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:42 AM
 
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Wow, 4 years later and I'm here on a google search for families in downtown St. Paul. Our family moved downtown St. Paul 5 months ago (Aug. 2014) and we've been amazed at how good our life is here and at the same time how few families are here to share it with. We have a 4 & 6 year old and we walk everywhere, indoors in the skyways or outside, to museums, ice skating, cultural events, the library, parks, special events, grocery stores, the post office - everywhere! I've started writing about it here, Welcome to the Skyway - Skyway Mom. We love it!
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:31 AM
 
127 posts, read 189,684 times
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If budget is not an issue, I would highly recommend one of the Lake of the Isles neighborhoods: Lowry Hill, Kenwood, East Isles.

Big, beautiful houses on large lots, there is a chain of lakes right on your doorstep, there are dozens of restaurants within walking distance, a Lund's and Kowalski's (with whole foods and the wedge not far away), retail shopping in Uptown proper, the Walker and sculpture garden are close, two fantastic independent bookstores......and you can walk or bike downtown.

This is a unique neighborhood that balances nature and the city......and is not found many other places.
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