A Fern Hill Primer — Plus, the Neighborhood’s Two Distinguishing Features
There aren’t too many Twin Cities neighborhoods that include both 1950’s ramblers for $300k and — less than one mile away — custom, upper bracket Contemporaries with gorgeous views of Cedar Lake and the Downtown Minneapolis skyline commanding (well) north of $3 million.
But, that succinctly describes the Fern Hill neighborhood in St. Louis Park.
Also known as the “First Alphabet,”** Fern Hill is bounded by Minnetonka Blvd. on the south, Highway 100 on the west, France Ave. on the east, and the Lake Forest neighborhood to the north.
$300k to $3.85M
What accounts for Fern Hill’s broad price range?
Its eastern edge, bordering Southwest Minneapolis, is increasingly dominated by upper bracket single family homes — a significant number of which have been recently remodeled.
By contrast, the homes near Fern Hill’s western boundary, Highway 100, are much more modest in size — plus, depending on their proximity to 100, also suffer from a “highway discount” rather than a “lake(s) premium.”
Fern Hill’s other distinguishing feature is its popularity with the orthodox Jewish community.
Approximately 25% of the neighborhood is comprised of Orthodox Jews, and the neighborhood is walking distance to several synagogues (note, though, that it is also home to Benilde-St. Margaret, a private Catholic school; neighboring Beth El synagogue serves as the school’s overflow parking lot on weekdays).
In general, residents prize the neighborhood for its close-in (but not too close) location; proximity to the Lakes, Uptown, downtown, and the western ‘burbs; and its sturdy (and increasingly refurbished) post-war housing stock.
Families with school age children also cite its well-regarded public school system, including St. Louis Park High School; and the very popular Park Spanish Immersion School (full disclosure: my younger son is a 10th grader at Park High, and my 8th-grade daughter will be joining him next Fall. That’s also where I went, and all but one of my four sisters).
Voting With My Feet
So, what else can I tell you about Fern Hill?
I grew up there, and have lived a block away — in Minneapolis’ Sunset Gables neighborhood — for the last 13 years.
Wanna guess who (or what) else is located in Fern Hill?
The Edina Realty – City Lakes office! 🙂
While I sell homes all over the Twin Cities, as you might guess, over the years I’ve sold a fair number in Fern Hill, too (I believe the current tally is around three dozen).
**Close readers will note that “France” begins with an “F,” not an “A.”
Meanwhile, the western-most street isn’t “Z-for-Zarthan” but “Toledo.”
Technically, I suppose, that makes Fern Hill an “F-to-T” neighborhood, rather than the First Alphabet.
P.S.: One of Minneapolis’ quirks is that Sunset Gables residents (in the city’s southwest corner) are closer to St. Louis Park High School than to the Minneapolis school they (we) are zoned for, Southwest High.
As a result, some families (including my own) opt to open-enroll at St. Louis Park.