Uptown

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...

August Events in the Twin Cities

August is a swinging month in the Twin Cities when it comes to community celebrations, festivals, and other excuses to walk around in shorts and eat "Something on a Stick." There's lots to do, starting with today!

New Brighton's annual summer Stockyard Days are taking place on August 2 through 9. The event, now in its 29th year, features a golf tournament, a kiddie parade and grand parade, street dances, and fireworks. For a complete list of times and locations for all Stockyard Days activities, go to www.stockyarddays.org and click on "events."

Lake Hiawatha’s Annual Neighborhood Festival is taking place today, Wednesday, August 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lake Hiawatha Park, 2701 E. 44th Street in Minneapolis. There will be a talent show with prizes, carnival games, food for sale, and community information tables.

There will be some Outdoor Puppet Theater on Thursday, August 6, from  6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Folwell Park, 1615 Dowling Avenue N. in Minneapolis. "The Adventures of Katie Tomatie" will be presented by Open Eye Theatre with live music.

LYNAS Summerfest takes place on Thursday, August 6, from 5:30 p.m to 9p.m. at Lynnhurst Park, 1345 Minnehaha Pkwy. W. in Minneapolis. As always, the annual event will be a fun evening for the whole family with food, games, music and more.

The 36th Annual Longfellow Cornfeed occurs on Thursday, August 6, from 5:30 p.m to 8 p.m. at Longfellow Park, 3435 36th Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Join in for an evening of fun, food, and entertainment perfect for the entire family! Enjoy hot, delicious corn on the cob, live family-friendly entertainment, hair and face painting, fair style concessions, large inflatable attractions, community information tables, and much more!

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is partnering with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts...

Upcoming Arts Events in the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities arts scene is particularly hopping during the summer. There are a few important and fun events coming up that you should know about!

First there is KOOZA, the Cirque du Soleil show happening on the St. Paul riverfront for the rest of the week.  Written and directed by David Shiner for Cirque du Soleil, there are shows happening every day through August 2, when they pack up their giant tent and leave. Tickets are $42-$215. Call 1-800-450-1480 or order them online at www.cirquedusoleil.com.

This Thursday and continuing through August 9th, the Minnesota Fringe Festival starts off its 15th installment.  This year, 160 productions will fill 11 days with 800 performances. The Fringe is the nation's largest nonjuried festival. Its performers, writers and companies test their work in a Darwinian scrum for audience approval and critical attention. Most are locals, but acts also appear from around the country and a few from Great Britain and Australia. Its taking place at 22 venues in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Tickets cost between $5 and $12, but admission to shows also require a $4 Fringe button. Multishow passes are available. Call 866-811-4111 or visit www.fringefestival.org.

Finally, next weekend on August 7, 8, and 9 the Uptown Art Fair takes places at the intersection of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue and “The Mall” in Southwest Minneapolis. Perues a variety of creative and original works of art including sculptures, paintings, photographs, woodcarvings, glasswork, jewelry, multimedia compositions and more. Over $2.5 million of art is sold during the festival, but there are other events happening too.  Enjoy food and drinks from over 20 vendors, as well as non-stop entertainment on the CBS Outdoor Performance Stage. Relax in the Wine Garden, or create your own art at the Family Imagination Station activity area. Visit the website here.

Also, it's a little...

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Analysis March 2009

According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors' Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities, the number of new listings in Minneapolis posted in March 2009 decreased compared to 2008's statistics.   There were 963 new listings within Minneapolis, while there were 990 in 2008, a decrease of just -2.7%. The University community saw a big increase in new listings while most other communities saw their new listings fall.  Here is an inventory of March 2009 new listings in Minneapolis by community:
NEIGHBORHOOD NEW LISTINGS CHANGE
Camden 133 - 7.0%
Downtown Minneapolis 142 + 13.6%
...

March Twin Cities Blog Round-Up Part II

As I wrote yesterday, I haven’t had a good local blog round-up in a while.  I’ve been fixing that, and there were so many blogs I wanted to mention that I split it into two! Yesterday I talked about home-oriented blogs that discussed foreclosure, mortgages, and green living. Today is Friday and as such, today’s post will be about fun and community!  If you missed yesterday’s entry be sure to take a look.

Next is the fun category of local community and conversation blogs! There are so many good ones here, let’s just get right to it. First I want to talk about a relatively recently started blog, Ambulance Driver is written by an EMS in our fair Twin Cities. Not only does this writer share knowledge of their experiences in the field, they talk about how public policy affects how they can do their job. I say “they” instead of “him” or “her” because due to patient confidentiality concerns, there is limited information on this blogger. But Ambulance Driver posts are addicting to read. And though the profession is admittedly less emergency-related, it makes me miss the City Pages Pizza Man and his Streets of Pizza.

The blog section for Minnesota Moment Magazine and Secrets of the City’s MNSpeak is like sitting in or partaking in city-wide or even state-wide conversations with other Minnesotans. On the flip-side of the coin, reading Overheard in Minneapolis is like being a fly on the wall at a gaffe-filled and highly entertaining office holiday party. Maybe you’ve submitted something? Me? Uhh… Never. No.  Reading this page does sometimes makes me nostalgic for cubicle-world though, where many Overheard scenarios tend to happen and where I often heard submission-worthy quotes. But then I remember that my office...

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Analysis February 2009

According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities, the number of February 2009 new listings in Minneapolis dropped compared to 2008’s figures.   There were 764 new listings in the city, while in 2008 there were 952, a decrease of -19.7%. The Longfellow and University communities of Minneapolis saw slight increases in new listings, while the rest of the communities saw their new listings decrease.  Here is an inventory of February 2009 new listings in Minneapolis by community and the percentage of change from 2008.

Camden 98 (-27.9%)
Downtown Minneapolis 97 (-26.5%)
Longfellow 43 (+4.9%)
Nokomis 94 (-8.7%)
North 115 80 (-30.4%)
Northeast 55 (-15.4%)
Phillips 17 (-65.3%)
Powderhorn 51 (-30.1%)
Southwest 117 (-3.3%)
University Area 14 (+7.7%)
Uptown-Lakes 97 (-4.0%)


For the year to date, there have been 1,583 homes listed for sale in Minneapolis, down -18.1% from the 1,934 homes listed during the same time period of 2008. Cumulatively for the year, all communities in Minneapolis have experienced decreases in new listings.

Closed sales within Minneapolis during February were down a little compared to 2008, but weren’t that far off considering recent real estate market performance.  There were 296 properties sold in the month of February, down -5.1% from the 312 properties sold in February last year and just a little below the 303 properties sold this January. Lots of homes sold in Camden, Northeast, Phillips, and Powderhorn communities, while sales are way down in both Uptown and Downtown. Here are the closed home sales that occurred within Minneapolis during February, broken down by community and compared to 2008:

Camden 53 (+55.9%)
Downtown Minneapolis 31 (-54.4%)
Longfellow 10 (-28.6%)
Nokomis 34 (-29.2%)
North 53 (+1.9%)
Northeast...

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Analysis: December 2008

It’s that last real estate market analysis for Minneapolis for the year of December 2008!  Let’s get to it! The number of new listings in Minneapolis has declined compared to 2007 again during the month of December, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  There were 555 new listings last month, while in December 2007, there were 567 new listings, a decrease of just -2.1%. The Northeast, Powderhorn, and University Area communities saw increases in new listings while the rest of the Minneapolis areas saw decreases in new listings.  Here is an inventory of December 2008 new listings in Minneapolis by community and the percentage of change that has occurred compared to December 2007 (Previous Barker & Hedges article about November 2008 Minneapolis Real Estate Market Activity.)

Camden 102 (+ 4.1%)
Downtown Minneapolis 58 (-1.7%)
Longfellow 27 (-15.6%)
Nokomis 55 (-6.8%)
North 88 (-24.1%)
Northeast 44 (+18.9%)
Phillips 14 (-0.0%)
Powderhorn 54 (+35.0%)
Southwest 51 (+4.1%)
University Area 12 (+50.0%)
Uptown-Lakes 52 (-7.1%)

Minneapolis’ posted new listing for the whole of 2008 end well behind 2007’s statistics.  From January through December of 2008, there were 11,047 new listings, compared to the 12,633 homes put on the market throughout the year of 2007, a decrease of about -12.6%. The greatest declines in new listings happened in the Uptown-Lakes, Downtown, and Nokomis communities.  The North, Phillips, and Powderhorn communities saw increases in posted new listings for homes over the year.  Here is a demonstration of new listings in Minneapolis by community for the 2008 year to date and the percentage of change that has occurred compared to 2007:

Camden 1,626 (-1.4%)
Downtown...

Minneapolis Southwest Community Highlights

The Southwest Community of Minneapolis consists of several neighborhoods loosely bordered on the north by 36th Street and on the east by Interstate 35W, with city limits serving as western and southern boundaries. 

Linden Hills – In the northwest corner of Southwest Minneapolis is the upscale, well-developed Linden Hills neighborhood.  Linden Hills is bound on the north by 36th Street West and Lake Calhoun, on the east by William Berry Drive and Lake Harriet, on the south by 47th Street West, and on the west by France Avenue.  Linden Hills is one of the larger neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The neighborhood was named after the linden trees and rolling hills that can be found in the area.

Linden Hills first was developed during the 1880s to lure homebuyers into leave downtown for homes on Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Since that time, most of the original cottages have been replaced by a number of home types, like ramblers, colonials, Tudors, and bungalows. The Lake Harriet-Como Streetcar line passes through the neighborhood between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun.

Often referred to as “a small town in the City,” Linden Hills has excellent housing opportunities, interesting boutique shops, unique restaurants, and a variety of parks with many amenities.  The Linden Hills shopping district can be found at 43rd & Upton, offering an eclectic mix of shopping and eating venues which can’t be found any where else. The Linden Hills Co-op offers grocery alternatives and Great Harvest Bread Company has been a landmark in the community for years.  Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun are an easy walk from nearly anywhere within the neighborhood. The lakes provide a variety of activities, like swimming, sailing, and walking or biking ride along paths that connect to the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.

East Harriet – To the east of Linden Hills, one will find...

A Christmas Post (The Riverview Theater)

Perusing the Twitter boards today in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, I see that a lot of people are going to the Riverview Theater tonight to see a presentation of the classic holiday movie, “A Christmas Story.”  It’s playing right now (5:00 PM) and at 7:00 PM tonight, if you haven’t made any plans for this evening yet and you’re looking for something to do.  After all this cold weather we’ve had, it just might be worth it to get out of the house for a while! So, in light of the looming holiday and this great activity that is going on tonight, I thought that I might write a little bit about the Riverview Theater, located at 3800 42nd Avenue South in Minneapolis.

The Riverview Theater was built in the late 1940s by Sidney and William Volk, who wanted to replace the aging Falls Theater that had been located on Minnehaha Avenue. They arranged to have Jacob J. Liebenberg & Seeman Kaplan, the premier theater architects of that period, build what was to be one of the finest theaters of the time period. 

Libenberg and Kaplan designed over 200 theaters throughout the Midwest during their careers. The pair created the Granada (Suburban World, 1927-28), the Wayzata (1932), the Edina (1934), the Hollywood (1935), the Uptown (1937), the Varsity (1938). And those are just the ones that are still standing!

When the Riverview Theater opened on December 30, 1948, it was such a notable event that the story was featured in national...

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Analysis: November 2008

The number of new listings in Minneapolis has declined compared to last year again during the month of November, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  There were 634 new listings, while in November 2007, there were 711 new listings.  That adds up to a decrease of -10.8%. During November, several communities did experience increases in new listings.  The Nokomis and Uptown-Lakes communities saw decreases in new listings.  Here is an inventory of November 2008 new listings in Minneapolis by community and the percentage of change that has occurred compared to November 2007 (Previous Barker & Hedges article about October 2008 Minneapolis Real Estate Market Activity.)

Camden 107 (+11.5%)
Downtown Minneapolis 88 (-9.3%)
Longfellow 38 (+5.6%)
Nokomis 50 (-40.5%)
North 77 (-26.7%)
Northeast 55 (+12.2%)
Phillips 20 (+17.6%)
Powderhorn 48 (-4.0%)
Southwest 67 (-5.6%)
University Area 15 (+200.0%)
Uptown-Lakes 65 (-34.3%)

Minneapolis’ posted new listing for the 2008 year-to-date is still well behind last year’s figures.  From January through November of 2008, there were 10,492 new listings, compared to the 12,066 homes put on the market throughout the same time period of 2007, a decrease of about -10.8%. The greatest declines in new listings for the year-to-date have happened in the Uptown-Lakes, Downtown, and Nokomis communities.  The North, Phillips, and Powderhorn communities have seen increases in posted new listings for homes over last year.  Here is a demonstration of new listings in Minneapolis by community for the 2008 year to date and the percentage of change that has occurred compared to 2007:

Camden 1,524 (-1.7%)
Downtown Minneapolis 1,293 (-25.5%)
Longfellow 587 (-8.1%)
Nokomis 1,143 (-25.8%)
North 1,299 (+3.4%)
Northeast 789 (-18.1%)...