I was eager to see the ranked list of 30 best Twin Cities neighborhoods in TWIN CITIES METRO magazine's latest issue… and was surprised to find the list wasn't the typical list I expected to see. Most 'best neighborhoods' lists are based on things such as trendy neighborhoods and shopping districts, noteworthy parks and architecture, up and coming neighborhood trends, etc. This list is based on real statistical data… and Minneapolis Downtown West came out on top!
At first I was surprised that Downtown West was named the most livable neighborhood… but when I thought about the ranked criteria that went into the selection process from a statistical standpoint it made perfect sense: housing cost, transit, recreation, safety, schools, arts & culture, diversity, restaurants, retail outlets, food/gas, bars.
In spite of higher housing costs and streets that aren't necessarily the safest at night, where else in the city do you have ready access to such diverse opportunities without even getting into your car!
After all, this is where you can find Mary Tyler Moore on the street corner of pedestrian Nicollet Mall… it's the home of the first skyscraper (Foshay Tower), the tallest skyscraper (IDS), and the tallest residential building (The Carlysle) in Minnesota. It is the home of world class sports, entertainment, dining and the corporate headquarters of several Fortune 500 companies, including Target.
Minneapolis Downtown West has the longest continuous skyway system in the world (8 miles connecting 69 buildings), Light Rail Transit with 19 stations extending from Target Field to the Mall of America, and Nice Ride, the nation's largest bike sharing system.
In addition to all this, it has…
- Parks, trails, recreation… riverfront, The Depot (one of the 10 best places to ice skate in the US!)… with Nicollet Island and Loring Park nearby
- A plethora of public art, plus free music and festivals throughout the year… Aquatennial, Peavey Plaza summer music, Holidazzle Parade… with nearby Stone Arch & Loring Park Art Festivals, free concerts and movies on Nicollet Island
- Live music and performance theaters with world-class performances of every genre… home of the Minnesota Orchestra, First Avenue, Minnesota Dance Theater & The Dance Institute, Orpheum-State-Pantages historic Theaters, Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts… with Guthrie Theater nearby
- Close to three professional sports & entertainment stadiums… Target Field (Twins), Target Center (Timberwolves), Metrodome (Vikings)
- Public charter school and multiple colleges, universities, specialty schools… FAIR arts centered public school, University of St. Thomas, McPhail Center for Music… nearby Metropolitan State University
- First class library… stunning design by architect Cesar Pelli who also designed the Wells Fargo Center nearby
- Shopping… ranging from high-brow Neiman Marcus to everyone's Target to low-brow Sex World
- Food & drink… world class restuarants, sidewalk cafes, rooftop bars, farmer's markets, food carts on the mall
It's not surprising that all the homes for sale in Minneapolis Downtown West neighborhood are high rise condos, most located near the riverfront. Prices for units currently available for sale range from $75,000 for a small 430 sq ft studio on the skyway system (yes, that means you don't have to walk or drive the streets in the frigid ice and snow!)… to $1,699,000 for a 3,296 sq ft unit on the 32nd floor of The Carlyle, with incredible views, open air balconies and building amenities such as fitness center, rooftop deck w/swimming pool, hot tub, grills, firepit & party area, business center, community room, wine locker rooms, heated underground parking and 24 hr concierge.
This urban neighborhood isn't for everyone… it has no cozy houses on quiet tree-lined trees… but it has a city vibe you won't find anywhere else in the metro.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Email – Minneapolis Realtor