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 close to $3 million (for 2545 Huntington, pictured above).

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 $3M

What accounts for Fern Hill’s broad price range?

Its eastern edge, bordering 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.”

Feature #2

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: two of my three kids are at the High School now. 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 (at 28th & Glenhurst), and have lived a block away ” in Minneapolis’ Sunset Gables neighborhood ” for the last 14(!) years.

Including post-schooling stints at home, I’ve now lived a few decades(!) in and near the area.

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 one or more kids at St. Louis Park.

See, “Cutthroat Culture? Not at Minneapolis’ Southwest High School.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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