Small suburb grows for the first time in decades
The winds of change are blowing into Osseo as the small city is experiencing a rise in population for the first time since 1980. 

"It's kind of hard to wrap your head around when Osseo has been the size it's been now or smaller for years and years," said Osseo City Planner Nancy Abts.

According to numbers and projections from the Metropolitan Council, Osseo had about 2,656 residents in 2015. By the year 2040, Osseo is expected to reach 3,170 residents. It's slow growth and not necessarily on the scale of larger nearby suburbs such as Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park, but it's substantial growth that catches the attention of a city planner when you consider the city's population is expected to rise by 20 percent over the next 15 to 20 years.

"We've got more people looking to use our park spaces, our city hall, our classes that we offer. We need shops for them to visit, we need roads for them to drive on," said Abts of the population rise.

Osseo's population peaked in 1980 with 2,974 residents and and average household size of just over 3.5. Since then, its population and household size has been on the decline.

The city's rising population is being fueled in part by the addition of the 5 Central Apartments. It brought 140 new housing units into a city that's already fully developed.

"Osseo has been a fantastic location for us," said Brenda Hvambsal of 5 Central. "51 percent of the people that have moved in here have actually been from the northwest quadrant of the Twin Cities, Plymouth, Osseo, obviously we've had a lot of people that have sold homes and have moved in here."

More than two years after the new apartments opened, around 400 people call the apartments home, and more than three quarters of the residents at 5 Central are working professionals. Some are Osseo natives, others are new to town.

"It's got a nice draw because it's walkable, yet it's convenient to employers along 610, Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park," said Hvambsal.

Osseo knows it's got a good thing going. Now the challenge is to balance its small town feel with a growing number of people who want to move in.

Alexandra Renslo reporting

April 10, 2017


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