UMN faculty map2

You are relocating to the Twin Cities for a position at the University of Minnesota… now to figure out where to live. If you are looking for easy University access here are some neighborhoods to consider.


SEWARD – This community almost always comes up when looking for a neighborhood near the University. It is hard to get easier access… just across the Franklin Street bridge from the main UMN campus, perfect for biking. It is a very diverse and politically liberal community characterized by college students, immigrants, aging hippies and everything in between. Its housing stock is also very diverse in both size and condition, with many of the more desirable properties closer to the river. Ranked as one of the metro's most livable neighborhoods, it is perhaps best known for its unique Milwaukee Avenue Historic District and farm-to-table Birchwood Cafe.

There always seems to be a shortage of properties for sale in this neighborhood, you might also consider homes in other neighborhoods bordering West River Road in Minneapolis and East River Rd in St. Paul, with perhaps the most bikeable access to campus.

UMN-prospect park

PROSPECT PARK/EAST RIVER ROAD – One of the oldest city neighborhoods, on the highest natural land area in Minneapolis, Prospect Park is known by its distinctive witch's hat water tower said to have been inspiration for Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower". With hilly, winding streets, diverse architecture and progressive residents Prospect Park is right next to the UMN Minneapolis campus and has a stop on the LRT Green Line. A small community, it is in demand and tends to have a shortage of homes for sale. Its notable architecture includes homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright and Minneapolis mid-century modern architect Elizabeth Close.


DESNOYER PARK – A small pocket of homes in the St. Paul Merriam Park neighborhood, Desnoyer Park borders Mississippi River Blvd, a continuation of East River Road in Minneapolis with direct access to the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. It was developed later than the rest of Merriam Park, mostly in the 1920's and 1930's but also with some mid-century and modern architecture.

St anthony park-library

ST. ANTHONY PARK – With hilly terrain, winding streets and large irregular lots, St. Anthony Park is one of St. Paul's most charming walkable neighborhoods. First developed in the late 1800's as estates for the wealthy, today it is fun to just walk the streets, which have some of the most eclectic architecture in the metro area. Bordering the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and home to Luther Theological Seminary, St. Anthony Park is a diverse community with a 'university faculty' feel. Its residents are very involved in the community, and 67% of its residents have at least a 4-year college degree. Its Carnegie library is one of the busiest in St. Paul.

Saint anthony park-university grove

UNIVERSITY GROVE – Only 8 blocks long and one and a half blocks wide, the unique University Grove neighborhood is nestled between the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus and Luther Theological Seminary. It feels like part of neighboring St. Anthony Park, but this is a separate community with a Falcon Heights address in the Roseville school district. This group of 103 homes built for UMN professors and administrators over a 60-year period on land owned by the University of Minnesota is an architectural time capsule. Because each home had to be designed by an architect with a maximum ceiling on costs, no two houses are alike but they create a cohesive mix. The early homes were mostly Tudor or colonial styles, but later houses showed the strong influence of the Bauhaus and international style… creating a unique enclave of mid-century modern homes.

Marcy holmes - map3

MARCY HOLMES – The series of directional signs for the bike path in the photo above also describes the Macy Holmes neighborhood well. Located between the U of M's Dinkytown and the downtown riverfront, it has an eclectic mix of students and professionals, with both historic homes and some new construction. It makes sense that many people who live in this neighborhood are renters… many are students. But some of the most exclusive new riverfront condos are also found in this neighborhood, as well as some of the oldest historic homes often in demand by UMN faculty.

Nicollet island-NE

NICOLLET ISLAND/EAST BANK – Located his area at the historical center of Minneapolis, the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood is literally on the river and on the northeast side of the flour mill district. One of the city's smallest neighborhoods, the East Bank is dominated by condos and townhouses, with both new buildings and condo conversions towering to take advantage of spectacular downtown city views across the river. Nicollet Island is a charming 26-acre park with an inn, private high school, a few historic residences and condos… consider yourself lucky to find a home on this oasis in the heart of the city.

  Downtown east

DOWNTOWN EAST – Downtown East's Gold Medal Park was the site of my very first location blog post back in 2008 when the riverfront was developing with the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum and an explosion of condos both new and conversions. It is now going through another renaissance with the new US Bank Stadium developments. It always bothered me that there was no easily accessibly grocery store, but Trader Joe's is scheduled to arrive in this neighborhood this fall… and the LRT running through this neighborhood provides easy access to both the blue and green lines to the airport and University. The riverfront has a wonderful trail system including the historic Stone Arch Bridge, a walking/biking bridge to the Marcy Holmes neighborhood on the other side of the river.

Of course, there are many more neighborhoods to consider, but this could be a good place to start if close proximity to the campus is a priority. Let us know what you are looking for in a community… we can help you find it

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Twin Cities Relocation Realtor

HomesMSP Team - SharleneJohnAngela Minneapolis-St. Paul Neighborhoods


About Sharlene Hensrud

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity

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