Boundaries: Edina: North: St. Louis Park and Hopkins; East: France Avenue north of 54th Street, Xerxes south of 54th Street; South: 1-494; West: Washington Avenue and Highway 169; area: 16 square miles; West Bloomington: North: 1-494; East: Penn Avenue; South: Minnesota River, West Town Line Road
The upscale ambiance of Edina and West Bloomington exists in marked contrast to the more working-class atmosphere of easterly neighbors Richfield and East Bloomington. Still, Edina and West Bloomington also exhibit an enormous diversity of housing.
Although there is no official boundary line, somewhere between Penn Avenue and France Avenue the apartment buildings, hotels and 1940s tract housing of East Bloomington give way to curved streets, 1970s, '80s and '90s split-levels, ranches and colonials with multi-car garages, and residents who tell you that they live in West Bloomington. Custom-built homes grace these hilly streets, particularly around Hyland Lake Park Reserve and Hyland Hills Ski Area, and along the Minnesota River Bluffs. Fast-growing West Bloomington looks very much like an extension of Edina to the north mostly residential, big houses, two and three-car garages, meticulous landscaping. While both Edina and West Bloomington have significant percentages of rental housing, the units tend to be clustered in
Park like townhome settings with tennis courts and walking trails. One Edina high-rise complex, Edinborough Park, off France Avenue and 1-494, has an indoor park with real trees and an indoor ice-skating rink.
In the City of Bloomington, 25% of the land is set aside for parks and nature areas, mostly located in the west half of the city. The parkland includes 208 lakes and ponds, 14 miles of shoreline along the Minnesota River, the Nine Mile Creek Watershed, which includes several parks and nature areas, Hyland Lake Park Reserve, the Hyland Hills Ski Area and Ski School (see Sports and Recreation), and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (see Lakes and Parkways). While West Bloomington's open spaces tend toward the wild side, in Edina you'll find groomed parks and carefully tended golf courses in each of its four corners.
Much is made of Edina and its affluent residents' supposed high-flying lifestyle. But, in many ways, Edina is more mystique than fact. While many residents really are corporate kings and prominent professionals, at least one fourth of Edina's population is retired and over age 65, and while Edina does have houses that sell for well over one million dollars, it also has over 500 subsidized apartment units, as well as condominiums and townhouses, located near the freeways and major arteries. And, a nice selection of single-story ramblers dating from the 1950s and '60s can be found here. Look for them west of France Avenue in the vicinity of Pamela Park, around Highway 1 00 and the 62 Crosstown, east of France Avenue, or bordering Hopkins close to the Blake School in the northwest comer of town. These are particularly popular with young families and seniors. (For those who like fixer-uppers, the northwest corner even has some houses that date from the early 1900s.)
More typical of what's considered Edina, however, are the $500,000 to one million-dollar-plus houses in plush neighborhoods. The 1920s to 1940s historic-revival stone, brick and stucco houses surrounding the Edina Country Club are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These houses are large in proportion to their lots and this pattern has served as the template for much of the rest of Edina's development. The classic styles of these homes offer formal rooms like first-floor libraries and dining rooms. Braemar, Indian Hills and the area around the Interlachen Country Club are also ritzy, but have newer houses, 1950s to 1970s, and tend toward lavishly remodeled sprawling ramblers and two-story colonials nestled beneath canopies of mature trees.
With very little open land available for development, Edina's current building booklet is taking place on top of the hill above Ridge Road off Highway 169 and also in the vicinity of Dewey Hill just north of 1-494. Want
to know what the most expensive piece of Edina real estate was in 1999? A 1972 contemporary in Indian Hills priced around two million dollars. 19721
Bloomington and Edina are both known for their shopping, though Edina's reputation is more up-market. Fiftieth and France-the closest thing Edina has to a downtown is a cluster of boutiques, groceries and excellent restaurants (see Shopping for the Home). Southdale/The Galleria/Centennial Lakes malls, along France Avenue, are home to everything from multiplex movies to home furniture.
Finally, for those who do the New York Times crossword puzzle, Edina is the answer to the clue, "Five-letter suburb of Minneapolis."
Web Site: www.ci.edina.mn.us
Area Code: 952
ZlpCodes: 55343, 55410,55416, 55424, 55435,55436, 55439 Post Office: 3948 49 1 /2 Street
City Hall: 4801 West 50th Street, 952-927-8861
Police non-emergency: 952-826-1600
Fire non-emergeny: 952-826-0330
Hospital: Fairview Southdale, 6401 France Avenue, 952-924-5000, www.fairview.org
Libraries: Southdale Regional Library, 7001 York Avenue, 952-830- 4900; 4701 West 50th Street, Edina, 952-922-1611; www.hennepin.lib.mn.us
School: District #273, 952-928-2530
Community Publication: Edina Sun Current, 612-829-0797, www.mnsun.com
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