The vibrant Uptown retail-entertainment district centered at Hennepin and Lake dates from the intersection's prewar eminence as the city's busiest streetcar corner—where transfers were made between lines. Today, there are really three Uptowns. One of these is delineated by commercial zoning, generally extending between the Midtown Greenway and 31stStreet, from James to Dupont, plus Hennepin frontages south to 32ndStreet. The second Uptown is functional, additionally including adjacent residential sections of the four official neighborhoods which come together at the Hennepin-Lake intersection. The third Uptown is perceptual (and thus imprecise), encompassing a larger area of identity defined by people who are routinely drawn to Uptown as their neighborhood center.
Uptown experienced significant changes throughout the twentieth century, especially since the 1950s when the decline of public-transit patronage diminished the corner's importance as a transportation hub. In that context, Lund's grocery store is Uptown's anchoring institution, operating continuously on its site since opening as Hove's in the mid-1930s. More recently, Calhoun Square dramatically raised the level of activity in Uptown when it opened in the 1980s; today, new owners are expected to rework Calhoun Square's format in order to reestablish a sense of newness and excitement.
Irrespective of inevitable changes, Uptown can be expected to flourish in the future, if possibly in a form we cannot yet anticipate. The district's traditional prominence was based on its location, surrounded by well-heeled neighborhoods, near the lakes, and along the desirable southwest corridor. This situation is effectively permanent. In addition, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the Uptown area over the past two decades. With each improvement, Uptown's future vitality seems ever-more-assured.
Contact Jamie Mathwig, Uptown Realtor