Arden Hills is a St. Paul suburb with roughly 10,000 people, and it is consistently voted one of the best Minnesotan suburbs to live in. It is known for it's greenery, and it has two dog park areas for the canine community--Hazelnut Park and Perry Park. It has the benefit of having a small town feel to it so you get to know your neighbors, and it has easy access to bigger cities such as Roseville and the Twin Cities where you can shop, dine, and be entertained in a variety of ways.
The city is home to Land O'Lakes, a agriculture business that is focused on dairy. They are the second-most employer in the city, behind Boston Scientific and in front of Smiths Medical. It has two major universities as well: Bethel University and University of Northwestern--St. Paul (straddles the line between Arden Hills and Roseville).
Arden Hills History
Arden Hills has been around for roughly a century, and while the origin of the name is not known, it is an educated guess that it stems from Senator Joseph Hackney's, a billionaire, hobby farm. It was named Arden Farms, and he established it in 1906. The hills part is probably based on the fact that the city at the time had several hills that were made by glaciers. It was originally part of the Mounds View Township, which encompassed several of the neighboring communities.
The federal government purchased 2,370 acres of farmland in 1941, which was one third of the city's total acreage in the northern area for the purpose of opening an ammunition manufacturing plant. It was called the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP), and they did a booming business. In 1981, there were solvents found in New Brighton's (neighboring city) groundwater wells. Just prior to that, there was a cessation of making ammunition at the plant. In 1994, the US Army declared part of the land as federal excess, and it was designated for both private and public use. The remaining held acres are still used as a training site by the Minnesota Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
Arden Hills incorporated in 1951, and the boundaries of the city were rejiggered over the next 20 years until they became the same as they are today. In the decade of the 1970s, the city experienced a growth explosion that caused them to add over a thousand new housing units. This is approximately one third of the present total number. Today, the city has the feel of a small town while also having easy access to the amenities of a big city.
Green / Environmental
Arden Hills does not have an overall environmental policy. They do have a 2040 Comprehensive Plan that includes several aspects of the environment, including protecting natural resources, solar energy development, and increasing water quality. There is not much in terms of actionable steps, however.
Most of their environmental focus is on the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP). There were found to be solvents in the groundwater wells of New Brighton (neighboring city) in 1981 due to the runoff from the dumping of harmful solvents from the TCAAP. Two years later, TCAAP was placed on the Federal National Priorities (Superfund) list which is reserved for some of the most contaminated lands in the country.
Arden Hills developed a Master Plan in 2014 to deal with the situation. Their diligence over the next five years resulted in TCAAP soil and surface water to be delisted from the US EPA's National Priorities List in September of 2019. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) followed suit in May of 2020 with the Minnesota Superfund list. Groundwater contamination associated with TCAAP is still on both lists.
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Market Trends in Arden Hills MN
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Floral Park - (1423 W Floral Dr.,, , website) Floral Park is a neighborhood park that is a great place to go to take a contemplative stroll on the trails among the blossoming flora. If you're the more athletic type, you can take advantage of the soccer field, softball/baseball diamond, basketball court, and tennis courts. There is also a playground for the younger set to enjoy.
Hazelnut Park - (3301 New Brighton Rd.,, , website) Hazelnut Park is for those who are more activity-minded. They have several playing fields, including a softball/baseball field, a basketball court, and tennis courts. There is also a dog park area within the park that is open in the summer for dogs to run around freely. There is a playground for the little ones and a picnic shelter when you want to have something to eat. There are trails as well when you want to go for a hike.
Perry Park - (3700 New Brighton Rd.,, , website) Perry Park is a neighborhood favorite if you're looking to take a leisurely stroll with your dog. It has a dog park area that is open all year around in which your canine companions can frolic and gambol. It also has hockey rinks, a softball/baseball diamond, and a soccer field. There is also a picnic shelter and picnic tables when you want to stop and have a bite to eat.
Royal Hills Park - (4375 Snelling Ave.,, , website) Royal Hills Park is a neighborhood park that is quiet and cozy. For sporty people, there are tennis courts, a baseball/softball diamond, and a basketball court. There is a picnic shelter and picnic tables if you want to take a minute to rest and/or have something to eat. There is a playground for the kids, and there is also a climbing wall.
Tony Schmidt Regional Park - (3500 Lake Johanna Blvd.,, 651-748-2500, website) Tony Schmidt Regional Park is a verdant getaway nestled on Lake Johanna. There is plenty to do for people with all different kinds of interests. There is a guarded swimming beach for those who like to swim. For others with interest in the water, there is a fishing pier and boat launch. For those who prefer to stay on the land, there is a field with a backstop for baseball or softball. There is a large playground near the beach and a smaller one near the pavilion. There is also a gazebo with four benches in case you want to have a rest. If you're a walker, there are plenty of trails for you to walk along as you enjoy the nature around you.
Great China Restaurant - (3547 Lexington Ave. N,, 651-481-8100, website) Great China Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant with cool-color decor that is still warm in feeling. The staff is friendly and eager to help, and the menu is comprehensive. It includes Kung Pao Beef (Spicy), Crispy Duck, Mu Shu, and Fish with Black Bean sauce. They have chow mein, pho, low mein, and fried rice as well. In addition, they have a tofu/mock duck/vegetables section that has several dishes, including Szechuan Mock Duck (Spicy), MaPo Tofu (Spicy), and Vegetable Deluxe.
Jimmie's Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse - (3845 Lexington Ave. N,, 651-358-3920, website) Jimmie's Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse is a regional chain started by 'Famous Dave' Anderson who is renowned for his barbecue. It's a cozy and woodsy restaurant with friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere. The menu includes the BBQ Bowl, Hog Wild!, Memphis Combo Platter, 'Que for Two, and Chicken Bacon Ranch (sandwich). The sides include Quick Cukes, BBQ Rice, and Jimmie Beans. All the meats are made daily. They have dine-in, carry-out, call ahead, and catering. They temporarily have delivery as well.
Lindey's Prime Steak House - (3600 Snelling Ave. N,, 651-633-9813, website) Lindey's Prime Steak House was opened in 1961 by Lewis Walter Lindemer, nicknamed 'Lindey' and is run today by his son, Mark and mark's wife, Tracy. Lindey wanted to recreate a rustic cabin-like feeling to his restaurant, and he managed to accomplish it. The restaurant has gotten much critical acclaim, including mention by the Food Network for being the best steakhouse in Minnesota. The service is friendly, and the ambiance is comfortable. The menu is limited, which means the focus is on the quality of the food. The dinner entree menu is Lindey's Special Sirloin, Prime Chopped Sirloin, Broiled Shrimp, and Prime Sirloin. They offer sides and desserts as well. They have dine-in, take-out, and delivery.
Namaste India Grill & Brew House - (3763 Lexington Ave. N,, 651-330-6522, website) Namaste Grill & Brew House is an Indian restaurant and bar that has contemporary and sleek decor, and the staff members are friendly and welcoming. They offer dishes with the freshest ingredients and from all different areas of India, including street food. The menu includes Amritsari Chloe Kulche, Onion Uttpam, Paneer Tikka, and Goat Korma. They have gluten-free options and a vegetarian menu, too. The latter has dishes such as Chana Saag, Shahi Paneer, and Aloo Mattar. Drinks-wise, they have an array of beers including Maharaja Premium Indian Pilsner, Smoke Sesh, and Plank Walker Rye IPA. Additionally, they do catering.
Orchid Bar & Grill - (3845 Lexington Ave. N,, 651-797-3911, website) Orchid Bar & Grill is a Vietnamese restaurant with a heavy French influence. They also have Chinese and Thai dishes, and this location added Korean BBQ to the menu, too. It is owned by the Nguyen family, and they have national and international restaurants as well. The decor is modern with clean lines, and the atmosphere is welcoming. The menu includes Luc Lac Beef, Spicy Kung Pao, and Spicy Oyster Wings. They also have pho, banh mi, and fried rice. Their vegetarian menu includes Banh Mi Mock Duck, Spicy Singapore Noodles, and Buddha Delight. They have several gluten-free options as well. They offer catering, too. On the drinks side, they have a full bar including cocktails, wine, and beer.
Now Bikes - (1201 Cty. Rd. E W, #100,, 651-490-7709, website) Now Bikes is a bicycle shop that offers a full-service experience. The staff members are knowledgeable and eager to help, and they want to find the perfect fit for each customer. They have a plethora of bike types, including E-Bikes, Road, Hybrid, Triathlon, and Fat Bikes. They also have exercise bikes and exercise rowers. In addition, they offer bike repair services which they perform out in the open so the customer can ask questions as the repairs are being done. They believe in transparency in all they do. They have cycle fittings, bicycling classes, and other events as well. You can get everything you need, bike-related, here.
Pet Evolution - (3845 Lexington Ave. N,, 651-340-3840, website) Pet Evolutions was opened in 2018, and it's the second one in the Twin Cities. Two friends, Rian and Mike, had a lifelong dream of opening a pet food store together, and they realized that dream by opening their first shop in Woodbury in 2012 (after both had careers in other fields and then went to vet tech school). They are passionate about the welfare of animals, and they bring that passion to their stores. They offer foods of the highest quality without wheat, soy, corn, and byproducts and artificial colors/sweeteners. They also have treats, supplements, collars, and more. They provide grooming and dog washing as well.
POP Culture Frozen Yogurt & Gourmet Popcorn - (3833 Lexington Ave. N, Suite 108,, 651-766-2547) POP Culture Frozen Yogurt & Gourmet Popcorn is a bright and colorful shop with friendly staff members. It is an independently owned frozen yogurt store that serves exclusively Minnesota dairy because they believe in supporting local businesses. The froyo flavors include Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Black Raspberry. They have gluten-free options and no sugar added options, too. On the popcorn side, they have many flavors, such as Dill Pickle, Bacon White Cheddar, and Fudge Brownie.
Sweet Chocolat - (3537B Lexington Ave. N,, 651-488-6340, website) Sweet Chocolat is a artisan chocolatier that is located in Arden Hills Plaza. The staff members are friendly and helpful, and they hand-crafts their delicious treats in many shapes and sizes. They temper their chocolate every day, thus ensuring the freshest taste possible. They have a wide array of products, including truffles, sea salt caramels, peanut butter poppers, and award statues. They do custom-made shapes as well, and they have Minnesota-themed items, too (such as the state and the loon).
Flaherty's Arden Bowl - (1273 W Cty. Rd. E,, 651-633-1777, website) Flaherty's Arden Bowl was opened in 1939 and has become a favorite hangout spot for the neighborhood ever since. You can bowl; you can grab a beer and a burger--all at the same place. They have leagues and tournaments as well as open bowling, and they offer advice for bowlers via Mike's Pro Shop. They have meat raffles, lunch specials, and happy hours. It's a fun time for the whole family.
The Tavern Grill - (3561 Lexington Ave. N,, 651-478-4450, website) The Tavern Grill is a local chain (with one in South Dakota), and this one was opened in 2017. It's a popular gathering place that is open and airy, and the service is friendly. They have patio seating as the weather permits, and it's a great place to have a cocktail in the heat of the summer. The menu includes Reuben Pizza, Pan Seared Teriyaki Salmon, The Widowmaker (burger), and Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. You can build your own burger, salad, and pizza. They do have gluten-free options, too. On the drink side, they have Butterbeer Cocktail, Filthy Mojito, Agave Sidecar, and a wide variety of wines. You can order online, too.
Welsch's Big Ten Tavern - (4703 Hwy. 10,, 651-633-7253, website) Welsch's Big Ten Tavern is a neighborhood joint with a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. The service is friendly, and there is patio seating, weather permitting. They have plenty of food if you're hungry, including a breakfast menu with dishes such as Biscuits & Gravy, Breakfast Burrito, and Big Ten Slam. Their lunch/dinner menu includes Crock of Chili, Queso Pico Burger, and Prime Rib Melt. On the drinks side, they have a ton of beer, EJ Brandy, Windsor, and more. They have comedy nights on Saturday nights, and they offer a full slate of catering as well.
Community Arts & Recreation
JAN: Family Skate & Sled Day - (1219 Cummings Park Dr.,, , website) Family Skate & Sled Day is held in Cummings Park in January, and the meeting point is the pavilion. There will be skating; there will be sledding; there will be winter crafting. Bring your own skates and sled, and hot chocolate and a snack will be provided. It's a good way to celebrate winter with family and friends.
APR: Spring Egg Hunt - (1219 Cummings Park Dr.,, , website) The Spring Egg Hunt is an annual event that takes place in April in Cummings Park. It's hosted by the City, and it's for kids, ages 1-12. It's a fun way for kids to run around, get some energy out, and hunt for candy-filled eggs that are brightly colored. There are gold eggs, too, and surprise presents. The Spring Bunny will also be there hopping around to bring smiles to the faces of all the children.
JUL: Bark and Rec Day - (3700 New Brighton Rd.,, , website) Bark and Rec Day is hosted annually by the Arden Hills Park and Rec Department in July in Perry Park (which has a dog park area). It's a day filled with events that will be fun both for you and for your canine friend. The dogs can play and run while you craft adorable things for them to wear. There are free refreshments and snacks.
OCT: Halloween Monster Mash - (1245 Hwy. 96 W,, , website) The Halloween Monster Mash (formerly the Boo Bash) is held annually at City Hall in October, and it's fun for the whole family. Come in costumes and win prizes. There is also ghost bingo, pumpkin carving, carnival games, and a pizza dinner. Put on your favorite costume and have a great time.
DEC: Breakfast With Santa - (1245 Hwy. 96 W,, , website) Breakfast With Santa is an annual event that takes place at the City Hall in December. There will be a North Pole breakfast which includes fruit, juice, and donuts. There will also be a variety of games to play and activities to participate in. At the end of the breakfast, you can have your picture taken with Santa in order to remember the day.
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