Students enjoy advantages of Minneapolis area life

by Stacy Jo

While campus grounds enjoy a summertime respite from student revelry, greater Minneapolis still bustles with student life.
Two areas in particular which recently sparked national attention attract many of the 60 percent of students who commute to the University.
The July/August issue of Swing magazine, a publication for people in their 20s, named Minneapolis one of the top ten best places for young people to live. The magazine specifically named Uptown “the best bet” and Northeast Minneapolis “the frontier.”
And in its July 15 issue, Money magazine will name Minneapolis the best large city in which to live in the Midwest.
This comes as no surprise to some University student residents in these areas.
Institute of Technology junior Dan Belair moved to Uptown in September, and just began a search for another apartment in the area. He said Uptown’s more mature scene draws the 21-and-over student crowd.
Belair said housing costs near the University discouraged him from living on or around campus. He said finding a quality, reasonably priced apartment near the University is difficult.
He added that many of his friends started out in apartments near campus, but did not remain in the area for very long.
“Nothing was anything you would want to call home for more than a year,” Belair said.
Christine Butler, a College of Liberal Arts senior, rented studio space in the Northeast Minneapolis area for 10 months.
At age 29, Butler returned to college eight years after obtaining her first degree. She said the Northeast Minneapolis area offers a lot of space for a small amount of money, which makes it an ideal location for students.
“There are lots of nice residential homes. Young people are coming in and buying them up,” Butler said.
She said part of the appeal of Northeast Minneapolis stems from its proximity to shopping centers, bars and restaurants. Situated on the outskirts of downtown Minneapolis, residents can enjoy the heart of the city without the prices or parking hassles, Butler said.
“I’m not a suburbia type of person. I want to be where the action is,” Butler said.
Conversely, University graduate student Ebony Adams said the advantages of living near the University outweigh those of living in a “hip” student area.
Adams lives near campus, but works in Uptown. She said with a part-time job at Starbucks Coffee, she could not afford to live in Uptown.
“Unless you are upwardly mobile, Uptown would be a horrible place to live,” Adams said.
She said many students live in Uptown and Northeast Minneapolis because they are nice communities; however, she said magazines naming them the popular places to live just encourage students to migrate to these areas.
Amy Phenix, communications director for Minneapolis mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, said Minneapolis’ solid economy creates professional opportunities for young people. She said strong educational institutions such as the University draw students to Minneapolis and professional opportunities keep them here.
“It’s a combination of professional opportunities with a cultural and social life that is fun and invigorating,” Phenix said.