Minnetonka

Linden Hills & Fulton Neighborhoods of Minneapolis

The Linden Hills and Fulton neighborhoods are two of the best locations to live in all the Twin Cities. Aside from only being minutes away from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, the area sits in close proximity to the international airport and the Mall of America – and because the neighborhood is on the west side of the metro, it’s only a short drive to the scenic Lake Minnetonka. And on that note, the area itself has plenty of outdoor space that feels anything but urban.

Image Credit: Joe Bielawa

Near the Linden Hills and Fulton neighborhoods sit plenty of bodies of water worth spending time around – Minnehaha Creek, Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriet are all in close proximity. These options are a godsend for anyone who appreciates the outdoors, loves a good beach or water activities.

Image Credit: Jason Riedy

Minnehaha Creek is one can’t miss spot in the area, flowing 22 miles east through many Minneapolis suburbs. The creek flows into the gorgeous Minnehaha Falls, a huge attraction in the Minneapolis area. The 53-foot high waterfall is a beautiful escape for the urban life that surrounds the area.

There are also many fantastic parks in the area. Residents can chose from Utley Park, York Park, Arden Park, Wooddale Park, Pamela Park, and more. Minneapolis is an ever-growing city,...

Two Minnesota Ultra-High-End Homes Discussed by Forbes

Some spectacular Minnesota homes were recently mentioned by Forbes. The topic of discussion? Ultra-high-end homes on the market for tens of millions of dollars in unexpected locations. What are they doing there?

The first Minnesota home mentioned is a $10 million gated compound called the Brentwood that has all the amenities a high-caliber home should: a three-tiered screening room, a billiards hall with a wet bar, master bathroom with a fireside Jacuzzi and 10-spigot shower, guest homes, a lushly wooded lot, tennis court, and, like all the best Minnesota homes, a boat dock. Sounds like a Lake Minnetonka home, right? Wrong. It is located about 2 hours away from the Twin Cities in Big Chippewa Lake, Minnesota.

In many parts of the U.S., even the most expensive homes cost less than $10 million. Our listings are full of multi-million dollar homes that don't add up to that price-tag. Most of them are located in the Twin Cities. However, some extremely rich families choose to settle in places that have sentimental value to them instead of living in the most obvious luxury neighborhoods. This results in extravagant homes that stand out not only from the landscape, but from other homes on their real estate markets.

It doesn't have to be a high-end mansion in the middle of Minnesota's sticks, there is at least one outsized home up for sale right here in the Twin cities. As stated before, there are many multi-million dollar homes listed on our site. But you will not find a listing for the $53 million, 13-acre Southwest estate on Lake Minnetonka in Orono, Minnesota. It was designed in 1916-1918 by Harrie T. Lindberg and was used by the Pillsbury family until the early 1990s. The estate includes seven structures including a caretaker's cottage/greenhouse, garage, pool complex, smoke room and tea house.

It went onto the market in 2007. When it didn't sell for two years, it was put...

Minnesota Schools are Tops

Southwest High School in Minneapolis has been named by Newsweek as the top public high school in Minnesota. Four other schools also made the list.

Newsweek and data company Factual generated the rankings by taking the total number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge tests given at a school each year and dividing that by the number of seniors graduating in May or June. The rankings for 2010 are based on the date from 2009.

“I think parents have placed their students at Southwest expecting great results,” [Southwest principal Dr. William] Smith said. “We have kids that come to school anxious to learn and prepared to take the challenges that make those things possible.”

Southwest’s students are expected to enroll to AP and IB classes and then take the associated tests. Mainly though, the school's philosophy is that teachers' and administrators' jobs are to lay a foundation for future opportunity and success.

Southwest Minneapolis came in 115th. Other schools which made the list were St. Louis Park (156), Edina (175), Minnetonka (285), and Eastview in Apple Valley (445).

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Midwest Home Magazine's Twin Cities Luxury Home Tour

Midwest Home magazine has kicked off its 10th annual Twin Cities summer luxury home tour this month.

The tour features 15 upscale homes valued from $900,000 up to $5 million. Homes on the tour are sprinkled throughout the metro, from Blaine to Prior Lake, Minnetonka to Lake Elmo.

“No detail was spared to create these homes,” said Kori Meewes, Midwest Home publisher. “You’ll see everything from an impressive 1,500-bottle wine cellar to secret closet tunnels that connect the kids’ bedrooms to a unique siesta deck.”

Tour times are 1 to 7 p.m. on Fridays, June 18 and 25, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays (June 12, 19 and 26) and Sundays (June 13, 20 and 27). Tickets are available at Caribou Coffee locations and at the tour homes. All proceeds will help to support Minnesota Public Radio.

For further information on the luxury home tour go to www.luxuryhometour.net.

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Homes of Lake Minnetonka Tours & Lectures

Tours of four Lake Minnetonka homes will be offered in four sessions in May. The tour and lecture series, called "Homes of Lake Minnetonka," will be hosted by the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, local author Bette Hammel, and several architects.

Hammel, who will lead historical lectures about the homes, is the author of "Legendary Homes of Lake Minnetonka," published October 2009. The book highlights the history and architecture of 30 Lake Minnetonka homes. Out of four houses that will be featured in the series, three of them were in her book.

Architect Marcelo Valdes, University of Minnesota professor and owner of M. Valdes Architects, and Jon Monson, of the Landschute Group, will also join the tours. Designer Pamela Vasquez of the New Studio in Minnetonka will discuss design elements of the homes.

"These are houses that are really iconic in terms of there architecture, and many of them are not often open to the public for viewing, so it's a pretty special opportunity on many levels," [Minnetonka Center for the Arts Executive Director Roxanne] Heaton said.

It is hoped this inaugural tour will create interest for future historical homes tours, both for home owners and visitors.

Registration for four lecture series and home tours is $135 per person for Minnetonka Center for the Arts members, and $150 for nonmembers. The lectures will occur on Tuesdays, May 4, 11, 18 and 25.

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Tom Petters' Wayzata Home Sells for $5 Million

What may be the best-known house on Lake Minnetonka has been sold. After more than 400 days on the market, 37 showings and one rejected offer, the 9,300-square-foot, 7-bedroom home in Wayzata MN once owned by convicted Ponzi scheme operator Tom Petters sold for $5 million. That is down from $8.25 million when it first went on the market in January of 2009.

Court-appointed receiver Doug Kelley, whose office oversaw the transaction, said he was "very happy" to close on the deal given the weak market for high-end homes.

"This is just the second home in the last two years to sell for $5 million or more in the Lake Minnetonka area," Kelley said.

The property sits on about 1 1/4 acres, has 250 feet of lakefront, a guest house, a 6-car garage and an empty wine cellar. See the Star Tribune article to see a photo of the home taken from the lake.

Petters was recently sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in the $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. The conviction and sentence are being appealed.

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Greening Minnesota ~ January 2010

There are a lot of environmentally friendly projects getting underway in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. And we're even saving all the rail news for a separate, future post!

Amid rising concern over the effects that road salt has on Minnesota's lakes, streams and groundwater, public works officials around the state are trying out new methods to spread salt on pavement, moistening rock salt so it sticks better, and working to establish a less-is-more culture, while also keeping motorists safe. The impacts are salt run rampant statewide after decades of dropping a pound of salt onto every 10 feet of highway without much thought. In addition to the environmental impact, money has also become a key motivator. The new techniques use less salt, costing cities and counties less.

The new Target Field ballpark for the Minnesota Twins will have a sustainable water system that will capture, conserve and reuse rain water. Minneapolis-based Pentair Inc. is building and donating the sophisticated system. The water will be used to irrigate the field and clean the bleachers.  Officials say it'll be a new standard for water use in sports facilities.

Hennepin County Medical Center's newest recycling program composts food scraps and soiled paper napkins, cartons and plates from its kitchens and cafeterias. It promises to annually transform 100 tons of organic waste collected from the hospital into a soil additive that can be used in landscaping and road construction. It will also reduce how many tons of waste HCMC throws away each year and reduce its water bill by $1 million because not as much will be sent down the garbage disposal.

The new Saint Paul fire station that's nearing completion at W. 7th Street and Randolph Avenue was designed to include energy-efficient features throughout, including automatic faucets and toilets, lighting and temperature controls, and a green roof that will be open to West End community use. Saint Paul...

Battling the Emerald Ash Borer

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has awarded $1.9 million in grants to cities and organizations to arm themselves in the fight against the destructive emerald ash borer.

The emerald ash borer was first found in May in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of Saint Paul. It has since been discovered in Falcon Heights and on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. More than 100 infested ash trees have been destroyed so far.

St. Paul will get $723,000 to help manage infestation in the city. The University of Minnesota will get $200,000, and Falcon Heights will get $77,400 to fight the pest. The Agriculture Department also awarded $875,000 in grants to 15 cities and agencies to prepare for infestation, including Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Roseville and St. Louis Park.

The St. Paul City Council recently adopted an ordinance declaring the emerald ash borer a public nuisance, which gives the city the authority to inspect trees on private property and the power to order the removal of infested trees.

Blaine MN, taking a cue from cities in the east that became ash-less in the 5 years following the discovery of an infestation, is taking a more agressive approach. The city of Blaine has a new plan to remove all ash trees from city-owned land before they're hit by the emerald ash borer. The move is meant to spread out the emotional pain of losing mature trees and the financial pain of replacing them. The city has already started looking for distressed trees to be targeted for later removal.

The Chinese bug was discovered in the U.S. in Michigan in 2002. It has destroyed tens of millions of trees in the Midwest. The pest's larvae kill ash trees by burrowing into wood and feeding on nutrients, effectively starving the tree.

Unfortunately, the ash tree was the preferred replacement for elms after Dutch elm disease hit in the 1970s. Additionally, it is a predominant tree throughout...

Minnesota Educators Honored

Minnesota schools aren't new to the news.  They make headlines in one way or another every year for their excellence. The first mention of Minnesota educators in the New Year has already occured! Two of our teachers were among over 100 who were honored at the White House this week.

Barbara Stoflet, a math teacher in Minnetonka, and Kari Dombrovski, a science teacher in St. Cloud, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. It is the nation's highest honor for teaching in those fields.
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Greening Minnesota ~ December

Almost didn't make it! But here it is, the Greening Minnesota, December Edition. Here, you can read about new developments in the local community which contribute towards a greener and bluer earth.

First, good news! 35 Minnesota fish and wildlife conservations projects will be getting $3.7 million in grants next year from the Outdoor Heritage Fund - created when voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008.

Next, Bloomington has a farmers market. So does Richfield, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Minneapolis. But not Edina. As soon as next summer, Edina might just have a farmer's market if a proposal that's going to the Edina Park Board in January makes its way through city review processes in time. The proposed location would be Centennial Lakes Park.

Also in Edina, as construction starts on its new public works building, one of the earliest jobs will be to drill its geothermal heating and cooling system. 124 wells will be drilled 250 feet deep and a closed network of pipes snaking up and down underground will be sunk into the holes and connected to the building. This type of system has been around for decades but improved technology is making them more efficient in extreme climates such as Minnesota.

The water used at the new Green Planet Car Wash at Dodd Road and County Road 50 in Lakeville is extensively filtered and reused in subsequent wash cycles, reducing water waste per car from the 100 gallons used by the typical car wash to less than five gallons. The water is clean enough to drink by EPA standards, but don't worry, they like to save it for the car wash.

More dirty work to clean up the environment? Okay. From $28 million construction project in Shakopee is emerging a plant which will take what's flushed down the toilet from as far away as Lake Minnetonka and turn it into enough energy to save $1 million dollars a year. Shakopee has also recently authorized rooftop wind turbines all over town,...