A look into the history of Eden Prairie Real Estate
Compared to Bloomington or even to next-door Edina, Eden Prairie's history is very short, almost totally recent. Tellingly, a narrow, graffiti-covered concrete viaduct crossing Valley View Road was considered by some citizens to be a significant community landmark when proposed for removal for safety reasons.
As Edina was mostly built out by the late 1960s, wide-open Eden Prairie became the logical path for residential development, which took off in the 1970s. This accounts for the large number of woodsy, earth-toned houses in the north part of the city, reflecting the architectural fashion of that Whole Earth era.
While most of Eden Prairie's neighborhoods are conventional, the late-1960s-1970s Anderson Lakes development pushed the envelope of Twin Cities residential planning. Anderson Lakes was especially notable for its comprehensive environmental-landscape design; and for its mixed uses, particularly mixed incomes, which were advanced for the time, and still now.
Two 1970s non-residential developments set the subsequent tone for Eden Prairie. One was the new Super Value headquarters, which consistent with the values of the time, was tucked away unobtrusively behind earthworks and landscaping. But Super Value was (and of course remains) a major corporation, and the bulding and landscape designs were first-rate. This signaled that Eden Prairie was an important business location.
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Eden Prairie Center was the other locally significant commercial development. While the center did not do well for its first two decades, it did establish that location as Eden Prairie's de facto focus of activity. By the time the shopping center was successfully remodeled-revitalized in the late 1990s, hundreds of retail stores and dozens of restaurants had clustered within a few blocks of the mall. The combination of the much-improved shopping mall and many new stores and restaurants seems to have pushed the area's retail activity past whatever critical mass is necessary to function as a regional magnet.
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