Once graying, Robbinsdale feels youthful resurgence
Robbinsdale is in the middle of a youthful resurgence. It's an ongoing revitalization spurred in part by the addition of new businesses and restaurants as well as a healthy supply of affordably priced housing.

The playground is as good of place as any to tell the story behind Robbinsdale's resurgent climb.

"I've noticed a lot more families and children in the area," said Chris Dumont, a thirty-something father of four who last week was at a city playground with his twin sons. "There's a lot of upcoming families very similar to ours."

After some years of a graying city population, young families are swinging the pendulum back.

"The prices were more affordable than a lot of other neighborhoods, so we felt like we got more for our money here," said Sara Pearson, a Robbinsdale resident since 2007.

The city's mayor, Regan Murphy, has a somewhat similar story.

"The reason I moved back is because I loved growing up here, and I wanted to raise my kids here," said Murphy.

A Robbinsdale native who graduate from Robbinsdale Cooper High School in 1993, Murphy isn't surprised to see his city and many of its more recent businesses continuing to rack up positive publicity.

This month, Minnesota Monthly magazine picked Robbinsdale as one of the "Twin Cities' best neighborhoods to shop, eat, and explore."

"There's some restaurants and the brewery and stuff that people enjoy going to, so I feel like people know where Robbinsdale is a little bit more than they did 10 years ago," said Pearson.
Longstanding businesses such as Hackenmueller's Meats and more recent additions such as Travail, Pig Ate My Pizza and Wicked Wort Brewery have helped put Robbinsdale on the map, but Mayor Murphy says the city's primarily benefited from a healthy stock of affordable starter homes available to families after the housing crash in 2007.

"There's some unique things about Robbinsdale that people appreciate once they get here: just kind of the small town feel and then our downtown, the parks, the lakes and all the amenities that are nearby too," said Murphy.

With a population hovering around 14,000 people, the city's growth doesn't appear to be slowing.

"Obviously Hy-Vee is going in, we've been working pretty hard towards light rail," said Murphy.
The addition of a couple thousand more residents is likely in the next 10 years, according to the mayor, as Robbinsdale embraces its recent notoriety while holding onto the things that have always made Robbinsdale special.

"That's the most proud thing for me is the pride people have in Robbinsdale," said Murphy.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

May 8, 2017


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