Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What do you think about when you hear Midway?

As the queen of list-making, it was no surprise that when my husband, daughter and I were planning a move to the Twin Cities from Washington, DC, that we had a list of the features that we wanted in our new neighborhood:
  • the ability to walk to a coffee shop, nice park, library, a couple of restaurants, and necessary (rather than boutique) retail (e.g. pharmacy, hardware);
  • mature trees and turn-of-the century homes;
  • good public transit service, and;
  • the ability to still squeeze additional value out of the home we were purchasing.
Our search took us to a lot of the neighborhoods that I was more familiar with--like St. Anthony Village, Merriam Park, Mac-Groveland in St. Paul; Linden Hills, Prospect Park, and Fulton in Minneapolis. Lovely neighborhoods all. But I didn't feel the "potential" in these neighborhoods--they didn't have or need potential, for they had already "arrived." To eke out any additional value in a home there would mean renovations that we had neither the skill, time, or money to undertake.

The Hamline-Midway neighborhood simply never occurred to me. Midway conjured up images of big box retail, the State Fair and Hamline University. I had never considered that there was a residential neighborhood there. Well all I can say is thank goodness for friends who knew!

Not that I really know all that much about real estate markets, but my uninformed opinion says that the Hamline-Midway neighborhood is seriously undervalued. We've got the lovely Newell Park, 2 great coffee shops, the city's first Turkish restaurant, an historic library, great bus service, loads of turn-of-the-century homes, proximity to all of the retail on University Avenue, and easy access to both downtowns. And homes are remarkably affordable here.

We're very happy to be here now and we're very excited about the future. The arrival of light rail and the potential for more investment along Snelling and University will likely bring many exciting changes to the neighborhood. We'll keep you posted.
--The Gingko photo is from Joe Hoover's website: http://www.geomyidae.com. Check out all of his great St. Paul neighborhood photos!

1 comment:

Wilhelmina said...

You give me hope for my neighborhood. Thanks MK!