Boundaries: North: St Louis Park and Minnetonka; East: St Louis Park and Edina; South: Edina and Minnetonka; West: Minnetonka; area: 4 square miles
At one time Hopkins was the center of a thriving truck farming community, and while it still calls itself the Raspberry Capital and hosts the Raspberry Festival every July, it now grows industries. Supervalu foods, Honeywell, NAPCO International and Alliant Techsystems are major corporations with manufacturing and distribution facilities in Hopkins. The plants and the railroad tracks that serve them do not make for a beautiful city, yet Hopkins has some beautiful neighborhoods and the downtown is undergoing a revitalization program that is packing people in for the arts, no less!
The recently built Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Main Street, is home to Stages Theatre Company, 952-979-1111, www.stagestheatre.org, a wonderful training ground for young actors, as well as art galleries which showcase local artists and students. Across the street, a former car dealership is now everybody's favorite movie theater with several screens and S2 tickets (Sl on Tuesdays). Around this core, several restaurants have been added, and the accompanying throngs are bringing a tangible vibrancy and exuberance to Hopkins' streets.
The streets in downtown Hopkins, south of Highway 7, are laid out in grids and lined with small bungalows, apartments, and townhomes, both rental and owner-occupied. Downtown amenities are typical: a library, city hall, post office, a public safety department, large bank/office complexes, and a large ball field. For ideas about how to update the simple Cape Cods and ramblers that line these streets, residents may purchase a copy of Cape Cods, and Ramblers: A Remodeling Plan book for Post WWII Houses for S 10 at the city hall. If you are looking for a larger home, built on curving streets, the Oak Ridge Country Club north of Highway 7 is a good place to look. Drlllane is a 1960s development of well-maintained, custom-built brick ramblers and split-levels set on hilly, wooded lots. Knollwood/Cottage Downs/WIishire Walk, across the street, is an immaculate upscale neighborhood of large distinctive houses with two- and three-car garages, arranged around central ponds.
On the north side of Oak Ridge golf course, off Minnetonka Boulevard and Hopkins Crossroads, the 1950s ramblers and Cape Cods of Belgrove sit at the ends of longish driveways on densely shaded large lots that curve along Minnehaha Creek. Virtually all of the houses in this well-maintained neighborhood have been remodeled, with some newer homes mixed in. Another charming neighborhood, Interlachen Park, is on the east side of town, south of Excelsior Boulevard and east of the Blake School. Here you'll find modest well-kept ramblers and split-levels with two-car garages on grid-like streets close to Highway 7. And, as you travel deeper into this neighborhood that abuts Meadowbrook Golf Course and Interlachen Country Club, the area becomes heavily wooded with large brick and stucco two-story Tudors and colonials spread out beneath mature trees.
In addition to its varied and affordable housing, possibly the best thing going in Hopkins is good schools. The Blake School is an outstanding college-preparatory day school. Hopkins School District #270 serves the city of Hopkins, a large part of Minnetonka, about half of Golden Valley, and portions of Edina, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park, and Plymouth, with a total K-12 student population of about 9,000. Gatewood Elementary, which is actually in Minnetonka, was named an International Peace Site in 1994 and has been host to students from ten different countries. In 1992-93, one of Gatewood's fifth-grade teachers was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year. This district is known for its ability to work with children who have special needs and is enthusiastically recommended by parents who have transferred into it. (See Child Care and Schools.)
Hopkins is the trailhead for the Southwest LRT biking and hiking trail going west to Lake Minnetonka, Carver Park Reserve and Victoria or south to Chanhassen, Lake Riley and Chaska.
An affordable place to rent or buy a home and a convenient commute to Minneapolis, Hopkins is one of the few suburbs that offers a real, and now thriving downtown.
Area Code: 952
Zip Codes: 55305, 55343, 55345
Post Office: 9190 South First Street, 800-275-8777
City Hall: 1010 South First Street, 952-935-8474
Police/Fire non-emergency: 952-938-8885
Hospital: Methodist, 6500 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Park, 952- 993-5000, www.healthsystemminnesota.com
Ubrary: 22 11th Avenue North, 952-930-2740; www.hennepin.lib. mn.us
School: Hopkins School District #270, 952-988-4000
Community Publlcatlon: Hopkins/East Minnetonka Sun Sailor, 952- 829-0797, www.mnsun.com
Bus Transportation: for routes and schedules call the MCTO, 612- 373-3333, or access metrotransit,org.
Minneapolis Express Route 70: Downtown Minneapolis, Louisiana Avenue Transit Center, Highway 7, Hopkins, Shorewood, Tonka Bay
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