Woodbury

2319 Golf Drive - Woodbury MN

This beautifully appointed home has been extensively upgraded with custom features not found at this price.  The chef's kitchen features granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Hardwood floors throughout the main level tie together the open floor plan which is both breathtaking and functional.

Upstairs features 4 bedrooms including a larger master suite with 2 closets, huge master bathroom with separate tub and shower and dual vanities.

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Home Building Activity Ticks Up in the Twin Cities

As consumer confidence and incomes rise, home building activity in the Twin Cities metro area continues to rebound. According to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), housing construction so far this year is up 23 percent from the same period in 2012, putting builders on a track for their best year since 2007.

homes in blaine mnDuring June alone, 496 permits were issued to build 912 units. Minneapolis led the top five cities permitting 380 units. Brooklyn Park and Woodbury were in the second position with 31 units, followed by Ramsey with 29. Construction of new homes in Blaine MN, Chanhassen MN and Lakeville MN tied for fifth place with 23 units permitted each.

So far this year, builders were issued 2,379 permits to build 4,204 units, a dramatic change from this time four years ago when there were only 1,633 units.

In the south metro, Lakeville continues as the busiest homebuilding market in Dakota County and one of the metro area’s most active. The city has recorded 172 permits since the beginning of the year through the end of June, up from 107 for the same period a year ago.

In the north metro, Blaine is closing in on Coon Rapids for the title of largest city in Anoka County. It was the ...

What $325,000 Buys in Woodbury MN

Here is MLS # 4330840

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This like-new 2-story home is located at 2430 Golf Dr in Woodbury, Minnesota.  It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 2,388-square-feet of space. The house is in a fantastic neighborhood in Woodbury.

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Built in 2005, this home features an open floor plan, hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances.

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The home also has a 3-car garage, a large yard with a deck and patio, and is located near parks and trails.

It can be yours for $325,000.

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Greening Minnesota ~ September 2011

Fall is in the air! The leaves are turning gold and red, but there are still some great green initiatives and events happening in Minnesota. There are plenty of people ad local communities working towards a cleaner environment for all Minnesota residents. Read on to find out more.

The annual report on organic farm performance from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and University of Minnesota said 2010 was a good year for organic farms. "Profits improved but were not outstanding." Balance sheets, however, were on average very sound as they headed into 2011. The report said that after a difficult 2009, the median organic producer earned a net farm income of $62,463 in 2010. That was a sixfold increase over 2009 and was consistent with returns earned in 2007 and 2008, which were considered very profitable for the organic sector.

As a Hopkins High School junior, Dustin Kloempken had the bright idea of getting solar panels installed to make his school more eco-friendly. It took six years, but the now-24-year-old's persistence has finally paid off. Six solar panels were installed at the school in September. Hopkins High School now is among just a few Minnesota schools with solar panels. One of those schools, Chisago Lakes Middle School in the north-metro, installed 44 solar panels two years ago thanks to several grants and donations covering the $73,000 cost. The 10 kilowatts of power save the school $1,600 a year in energy costs.

Grandview Tire and Auto's two-year-old building on W. 70th Street in Edina is a model of energy efficiency, with its insulated garage doors, white roof to cut heating and cooling costs and boilers burning waste oil to help heat the building. Manager Rick Murphy says the building would be even more efficient if it had solar panels. He'd like to add them and gradually pay them off over a few years as part of the property taxes for the business. Twenty-seven states, including Minnesota, now allow "property assessed...

The streets of the Twin Cities are lined with green gold

Those who live in or visit the Twin Cities probably have seen how many trees we have along our streets, avenues and boulevards. 

Recently, a first-of-its-kind study was completed that used high-resolution satellite technology to analyze the tree canopy of the Twin Cities. The study was carried out by a team of University of Minnesota researchers. High-resolution satellite technology was used to examine Minneapolis from above on a clear and cloudless day, recording and analyzing how much tree cover there, down to each individual property.

They study estimated Minneapolis' overall tree coverage to be 31.5%, higher than previous estimates using less precise methods. In St. Paul, the canopy cover rate was 32.5%.

Minneapolis' estimated 979,000 trees offer many benefits, including:

  • Cleaning the air
  • Sucking up water that would otherwise flood stormwater pipes
  • Increase the attractiveness of homes
  • Drive up property values
  • Reducing the need for cooling during hot summer days by providing shade

"In terms of energy conservation, it doesn't get any easier than planting a tree on the west side of your house if you can," [Minneapolis project coordinator June Mathiowetz] said.

The Lynnhurst neighborhood off the southeast shore of Lake Harriet had the most urban tree cover. Nearly 49% of its area is covered, which includes a portion of Minnehaha Creek. Other neighborhoods that rank high for shadiness have residential lots and extensive parkways, mostly along Minnehaha Creek in southern Minneapolis, West River Road, and along the city's western border.

The research will be helpful in multiple ways. The study shows gaps in the urban tree cover, which could help city planners and foresters target areas in need of improvement or develop low-cost programs to encourage more saplings on private land. It also provides a useful benchmark...

Greening Minnesota ~ February 2011

With all eyes looking towards spring, there have been some environmental developments happening around the Twin Cities and Minnesota, particularly in regards to parks and natural areas. Here are some of the community-related green news and stories that broke in February.

All over the Twin Cities metro, registration for local community garden plots has begun or starts quite soon. Community gardens are popular right now, due to tough economic times and a desire for chemical-free, home-grown produce. People applying for community plots include homeowners, apartment dwellers, senior citizens, immigrants, people who are trying to save money on food and gardeners looking for green-thumb fun. The size and cost of renting a plot varies from city to city. In most locations, plots range from 10 by 15 feet to 20 by 20 feet and cost between $15 and $35 for the summer.

Workers have finished installing new pollution control equipment on the 58 older buses in Robbinsdale district's 114-bus fleet. The $87,000 project didn't even cost the school a single dime. The equipment and installation were funded through Project Green Fleet via the Minneapolis-based Minnesota Environmental Initiative. Green Fleet funnels grant money from such sources as the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to retrofit the state's school buses and other diesel fuel-burning vehicles. The vehicles get new mufflers designed to cut down emissions coming out of the exhausts. The new mufflers can reduce diesel particulate matter emissions by 15% to 30%. They can also reduce emissions of hydrocarbons. The idea is not only to contribute to cleaner air in general, but to more specifically improve the health of student passengers.

Butch and Ruth Rechtzigel of Inver Grove Heights are protecting the habitat they love by selling 66 acres of land to a state nature preserve. The sale has been about a decade in the making and connects two other protected parcels within the 330-acre...

What $334,900 Buys in Woodbury MN

Here is MLS # 3978443

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This beautiful single-family home is located at 11398 Balsam Way in Woodbury, Minnesota. This two-story home was built in 2005. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 2,384-square-feet of space.

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This relatively new home features lots of windows and natural lighting. The kitchen is vast and filled with custom finishes.

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The open floor plan is one of the real appealing features of this home. It includes a loft and a main floor office space. The basement is framed and ready to finish.

This house could be yours for $334,900!

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Money Magazine: Eden Prairie is #1 Place to Live

Money magazine recently announced its annual list of the 100 Best Places to Live. Topping this year's list, as in years previous, is yet another Minnesota city. This time, it is Eden Prairie, Minn., the family-friendly town with a population of 64,000 located southwest of the Twin Cities.

Eden Prairie is ranked at the top not only because it is a great place for families, it has a resilient economy. At 5.1%, its unemployment rate is nearly 1 percentage point below the rate for Hennepin County and more than 4 points below the national average. It's not hard to understand why that is, with 50,000 jobs located right in town. Major companies in Eden Prairie include the headquarters of Supervalu, ADC Telecommunications, MTS Systems Corporation, and the Minnesota Vikings, whose practice facility and front office are here.

Eden Prairie MN isn't all work with no play, though. Eden Prairie residents enjoy swimming in the summer and skating in the winter at 17 lakes. The City has more than 1,000 acres of active use parkland. Bikers, hikers and walkers enjoy Eden Prairie's nearly 200 miles of sidewalks and trails.

Four other Minnesota cities also cracked the top 20 list of America's best small cities.  Plymouth ranked #11th, Woodbury ranked 13th, Eagan came in at #15, and Apple Valley rounds off the list at #20. Eden Prairie has been ranked somewhere in the top 100 “Best Places to Live” in America since 2006.

Minnesota cities consistently rank high in these lists. Last year, Money Magazine listed Chanhassen as the #2 Best Place to Live. In 2008, Plymouth was listed as the #1 Best Place to Live.

View the rest of the Top 100 Places to Lives.

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Greening Minnesota ~ February / March 2010

The short month of February caught me offguard, so this issue of Greening Minnesota is for both February and March of 2010. Some of these stories date back at least that far. Read on to learn about environmentally friendly practices around the Twin Cities and Minnesota!

Janitors usually do their work after everyone else has gone home. But that has changed at the Hennepin County Government Center and other heavily used county buildings as of March 1. About half of Hennepin County's 63 buildings are vacuumed, wiped down, swept and emptied of trash during the daytime rather than at night. By shutting off the lights and turning down thermostats at night, the county expects to save at least $100,000 a year in energy costs. It's thought to be the first public entity in Minnesota to move to day cleaning, a trend that has gained popularity in the private sector.

Rep. Paul Gardner, DFL-Shoreview, has offered a bill that requires phone book publishers to print directions on the cover for how residents can opt-out of further unsolicited deliveries. The legislation says the directions should explain how to opt out either via a phone call or at a Web address. I don't know about you, but these collect dust on a shelf at my home - the internet tells all. Think of how many trees and how much paper it would save if fewer people received these books and they printed fewer?

The Recycling Association of Minnesota is again offering rain barrels (two design, both $65) and a new design of a compost bin (for $55.) Rebates are offered to residents living in certain areas of the metro.

Woodbury and Washington County are planning to team up to acquire a 66-acre tract of land and turn it into a park. Woodbury plans to buy the land near the junction of I-94 and Manning Avenue from Dale Properties LLC for $3.57 million, using funds set aside after a 2005 referendum that raised $9 million to acquire open spaces and improve recreation facilities. Partnering in the purchase would...

Twin Cities Home Builders Optimistic About 2010

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, there has been some activity in the local Twin Cities home building industry in 2009, making home builders more optimistic about the industry’s recovery. Though the uptick in activity is moving slowly, it could pick up some speed in 2010.

According to the Keystone Report, which tracks permit activity in the 13-county metro area, residential construction in the Twin Cities declined for the sixth year in a row  in 2009 as measured by planned housing units. Metro area cities doled out 2,599 permits for 4,405 new housing units, a far cry from the peak of 11,472 permits for 19,000 units in 2003.

But builders are encouraged by 2009's strong finish. In the last two months of 2009, the Twin Cities saw 523 homebuilding permits for 997 housing units, up from 365 and 644 in the comparable 2008 period. Residential permits issued in just December 89% higher than in the same month 2008.

Shakopee was the Twin Cities metropolitan-area leader in both the number of permits issued and the number of units approved in 2009. The city issued 304 permits for the year and approved a total of 328 new units. Over 92% of Shakopee’s construction was single-family.

“Owning a home with a yard is still the dream of the majority of families, and we expect single-family homes will continue to gain strength,” said BATC 2010 President Gary Aulik. “Shakopee was the region’s top growth city in 2009, and more than 92 percent of its construction was single-family.”

Blaine was second in the number of permits issued in 2009 with 203,  followed by Maple Grove with 197, Woodbury's 181, and Lakeville at 140. For the number of units approved,...