RENOVATED HAVENS: Edina
While not a rule, Edina residents tend to be more affluent. It starts with its location—just southwest of Minneapolis and adjacent to two major highways that allow residents easy access to big city benefits while surrounded by high-end suburban amenities. Young families continue to be attracted to the area for its renowned school system that has a four-year graduation rate 15 percent higher than the state and a competitive youth sports program. The housing stock consists of mostly mid-century homes, with the majority updated at minimum and many others completely torn down and rebuilt.
URBAN DWELLERS DREAM:
Upper Landing, St. Paul
Combining the assets of the Mississippi River and historic downtown, the Upper Landing development offers a nice lifestyle with condominiums, apartments and retail all located along the riverfront. With multiple buildings and developers, the area offers a variety of choices for prospective residents. The development sits in close proximity to a regional trail system and the theaters and restaurants of downtown St. Paul while also boasting great views of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, the State Capitol and picturesque Harriet Island.
FURTHER OUT: Woodbury
Located 20 minutes west of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Woodbury has continued to develop over the past several decades. In response to its growth, the city has built massive yet welcoming new developments—housing communities that truly provide a family-friendly atmosphere. The city also strives to open its arms to businesses. Central Park, a multi-use indoor park, serves as the city’s center, and it connects to the library and YMCA and houses early childhood family education. Woodbury Lakes shopping area, an outdoor lifestyle center, offers shopping and dining for the whole family. Several parks (dog parks, too) and nature preserves in the area keep outdoor enthusiasts happy as well.
CLOSE-IN QUARTERS: Richfield
Just adjacent to Minneapolis and Edina, Richfield has always had its location going for it; it was just what was inside its borders that was less exciting—until now. Lakewinds Food Co-Op opened a new location on Lyndale Avenue, as did Lyn 65 Kitchen and Bar run by Ben Rients, a veteran of top training ground Restaurant Alma. Nearby, recently renovated Lyndale Gardens offers retail, office space, an open market, townhomes and apartments, as well as a stage, children’s splash pad, community oven, organic gardens, outdoor seating, and walking and biking paths all along Richfield Lake.
REAL REVIVAL: Payne-Phalen
This area of St. Paul has had a rough few years, but restaurateurs are looking to cast it into a more positive light. There’s Ward 6, a neighborhood pub that’s mastered the fine line between being both adult- and kid-friendly; Cook St. Paul, which serves up American-style diner food as well as a smattering of Korean dishes; and Tongue in Cheek, offering accessible fine dining, all of which have people flocking to St. Paul’s east side. If you find the food to be so good you want to move in, there’s affordable commercial and residential space that is likely to become more and more attractive to artists and entrepreneurs in the coming years.
FOODIE HAVEN: Robbinsdale
Robbinsdale may not be the most eye-catching town, but substance is what’s important here. The city saw one of the biggest restaurant revivals of late, when Travail and The Rookery reopened as a two-for-one concept serving coursed tastings and a la carte small plate in a very fun and inventive way. The boys behind it also have a pizza joint, Pig Ate My Pizza, down the street. These newcomers mix with staples like the classic butcher shop Hackenmueller Meats. Movers here can expect to find affordable old houses that bring a real neighborhood feel.