U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Minnesota > Minneapolis - St. Paul
 [Register]
Minneapolis - St. Paul Twin Cities
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-15-2014, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,930 times
Reputation: 1411

Advertisements

I know this isn't an original topic, but I have spent hours searching this forum and elsewhere and would greatly appreciate some specific advice.

Here's the story. We are moving from suburban Boston to the Minneapolis area in a month. Despite extensive research, I am all over the board on where we should end up.

I work from home, my wife is a stay at home mom with our two year old. We have no specific geographic pull to any area. Our plan is to find a short term rental/townhouse (hopefully for around $1500/mo) and then to purchase a home shortly afterwards. I would love to spend around $250k, don't mind doing some minor rehab and have realistic expectations of what that will buy.

Left to my own devices, I would settle into an older/smaller home in Armatage or Kenney. The problem is I don't think my wife is ready to go back to anything close to urban living. Right now we live in a walk-able neighborhood in an affluent town about 30 miles from Boston with excellent schools and virtually no crime. If it weren't for the pull of family we would probably never leave, as it is absolutely perfect for us.

Edina is out of our price range, St Louis park is probably too expensive and too urban for the Mrs. Hopkins sounds appealing but seems to have a questionable reputation on these forums. After that, my impression is that most of the other safe suburbs with good schools are way more suburban than I would prefer. Stillwater seems like it would fit the bill except I don't want to be that far from the city. The same goes for Lakeville. White Bear Lake seems appealing but I get the impression that it may have more of a blue collar feel than we are accustomed to.

My only complaint about where we live now is that Boston is far enough way that we rarely go there. If I can't live in the city, I want to be no more than a 15-20 minute drive away. I don't expect urban walk-ability, but would like to live an area with sidewalks and maybe a couple restaurants within walking distance.

Is there anywhere else to consider? Any feedback about the towns I've mentioned or any that I've missed would be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-15-2014, 10:19 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,848,869 times
Reputation: 6710
Honestly, much of Armatage and Kenny feels pretty suburban (although not in the modern subdivision suburban kind of way); are you sure she'll think it too urban? It's even quieter when you get back near Kenny Park/Grass Lake, although head too close to 62 and you start to hear freeway noise. And you can still get in there with your price point.

As far as suburbs, I'd give Golden Valley a look.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2014, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
330 posts, read 400,563 times
Reputation: 411
I would look at Eagan in the south metro. It is very convenient to both Minneapolis and St. Paul (a 15-20 minute drive during non-peak hours), is very safe, and has one of the best school districts in the state (196).

Another option on the west side would be Golden Valley as Uptown Urbanist suggested, or you could go a little farther west into eastern Plymouth, which is a 20-25 minute straight shot into Minneapolis on Highway 55.

Incidentally, I'm from New England (Rhode Island) originally and lived in Kingston, Massachusetts (about 35 miles south of Boston) prior to moving to Minnesota. I miss Boston, but I have grown to really love the Twin Cities and I think you will too. Getting around here is much easier than Boston, and given that you work from home and presumably won't need to travel during peak hours, you will find it a piece of cake when you want to drive into either Minneapolis or St. Paul from virtually any suburb, even the "farther out" locations. I live in Lakeville on the Apple Valley border and on the weekend it only takes about 20 minutes to get to either city. Just something to consider before ruling out a place like Lakeville as it is a great location to raise a family. It even has a small downtown which is very walkable.

Last edited by Rhody2Mn; 08-15-2014 at 10:47 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2014, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,930 times
Reputation: 1411
Thanks for the replies. We haven't completely ruled out SW Minneapolis and we will definitely spend some time getting a feel for it. I know the statistics will say that it is a very safe neighborhood, but I don't have any baseline for the perceived safety of this or any other areas in the MSP area. My wife and I both grew up in rough neighborhoods of Milwaukee... I'm sure Armatage is an urban utopia by comparison. However, I think she has gotten very used to where we live now, where I'm pretty sure you're more likely to be hit my a meteor than to be a victim of a violent crime.

Do Golden Valley, Eagan or any other comparable towns have ANY walkable areas? That is really a big hang up for me. Everything else about those places seems like a reasonable compromise. I would also like to avoid living somewhere that is completely bland, nondescript strip mall suburbia. That seems to be one of the few negative things I hear frequently about the area in general. Other than the winters of course...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-15-2014, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
330 posts, read 400,563 times
Reputation: 411
There are urban/city residents who will say that all of the suburbs lack walkability, and while there is no doubt such locations are largely automobile-oriented, walkable areas certainly exist - the trick is to know where they are. In Golden Valley, for example, there are town homes located on Golden Valley Road which are nice and right in the heart of the city center where you can walk to shops and restaurants. In Eagan, there are residences off of Northwood Drive which is near Byerly's (upscale grocer) and other stores and eateries.

Many suburbs are also trying to create more walkable areas by establishing "downtown" districts. For example, Maple Grove in the northwest suburbs created its own downtown, and its Main Street contains an abundance of shops and restaurants. It is about 25 minutes northwest of Minneapolis and is very safe, so it is also worth considering if you don't mind the distance to the city.

When it comes to suburban walkability, it really depends upon the specific part of town in which you settle. If you live in any of the areas I mentioned, for example, you'll find them to be quite walkable. But other neighborhoods in these same suburbs are definitely not pedestrian-friendly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-16-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: MN
3,465 posts, read 3,213,223 times
Reputation: 2711
Look at St Anthony in Minneapolis, it's right where city and suburbs meet, and others have said it has one, if not the the top high school in the state. (I guess there's a long waiting list to get in if you don't live within the city) There's plenty of restaurants, stores, strip malls (Quarry, Rosedale mall) near by, and all the amenities NE Mpls offers. Downtown Mpls is very close, St Paul too. I live in the area, and love the central location of many different types of areas so close to one another.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-16-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
5,095 posts, read 5,755,973 times
Reputation: 7415
South Minneapolis is not hardcore "urban" living, either in terms of density or crime. With the lakes, parks, and predominately single family homes, it's downright bucolic when compared to most Eastern urban areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-16-2014, 08:24 AM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,848,869 times
Reputation: 6710
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestRedux View Post
Thanks for the replies. We haven't completely ruled out SW Minneapolis and we will definitely spend some time getting a feel for it. I know the statistics will say that it is a very safe neighborhood, but I don't have any baseline for the perceived safety of this or any other areas in the MSP area. My wife and I both grew up in rough neighborhoods of Milwaukee... I'm sure Armatage is an urban utopia by comparison. However, I think she has gotten very used to where we live now, where I'm pretty sure you're more likely to be hit my a meteor than to be a victim of a violent crime.

Do Golden Valley, Eagan or any other comparable towns have ANY walkable areas? That is really a big hang up for me. Everything else about those places seems like a reasonable compromise. I would also like to avoid living somewhere that is completely bland, nondescript strip mall suburbia. That seems to be one of the few negative things I hear frequently about the area in general. Other than the winters of course...
I have experience living on the Kenny/Armatage border, and as far as crime, it's incredibly safe and neighbors definitely perceive it that way. For many of my old neighbors it WAS the compromise location, with one spouse preferring a more urban neighborhood and one wanting to live in in the 'burbs. There's really nothing urban about it, other than that it's within city limits and has sidewalks. If you were looking for urban, you'd be disappointed. It has more in common with other inner-ring suburbs than it does with older city neighborhoods, but with sidewalks.

I was in Eagan recently and will say that I saw more people walking around than you might expect given the sprawled landscape, but I'd still not characterize it as walkable. It's still just so low-density and sprawled out, even if there are sidewalk connections. And it's definitely more of a mall suburbia area. Golden Valley is older and so has a different vibe, but if you prioritize walking I wouldn't make it my first choice. It's very convenient and does have some walkable destinations in some areas, though. There's a nice library and a farmers market and a few restaurants near Golden Valley Road and Winnetka, although the commercial areas are still fairly car-oriented strip mall suburbia in nature.

The St. Anthony suggestion is also a really good one. That's a local inner-ring suburb that is often overlooked, yet may well be the right blend of price/location/walkable suburban blend that you're seeking.

Robbinsdale is another local inner suburb that those who want to have some walkability really like. I don't know enough about it to really comment one way or the other. But residents seem to really love it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-16-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,930 times
Reputation: 1411
I was hesitant to start this thread because this general topic is covered on a daily basis. I am glad I did though as the feedback has been excellent. Thanks!

My biggest concern about Golden Valley would be the schools. Our daughter will probably go to public schools and we don't want to compromise on quality there. I'm hoping I can get my wife into the idea of trying to get her in Armatage School, because she is into the Montessori concept. I know admission is not guaranteed even if you live in the area.

The big question I have is: what am I missing about St. Anthony? On paper it looks absolutely perfect. Safe, affordable, walkable, next to Minneapolis, great schools, etc. It appears to have everything I am looking for. There must be a catch. Is there some reason I wouldn't want to live there? Is it surrounded by factories and toxic waste dumps? Does it have a bad reputation of some kind? Why aren't the houses worth twice as much based on all of those amenities?

Maple Grove also sounds like its worth a look. Although, if I am going to live way outside the city, Stillwater seems to check all the boxes. I guess I have the same question there. If we end up going ex-urban, is there anything about Stillwater that would be a major downside?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-16-2014, 12:11 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 54,999,749 times
Reputation: 10565
Stillwater and Lakeville aren't any farther than you are now from Boston to Minneapolis/St. Paul and a much easier commute/drive due to significantly less traffic. Stillwater sounds very much like where you live now. I wouldn't discount it so fast. It's 20 minutes to St. Paul on 65 MPH highways and not much more to Minneapolis if you are going in for a concert or whatever. You certainly won't see Boston-like traffic anywhere in the Twin Cities ever. It can take that long to navigate the streets and stop signs to get into Minneapolis from a lot of areas IN Minneapolis too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Minnesota > Minneapolis - St. Paul
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top