Photos courtesy of Tradition Development and Peter Wong
A sea of suburban neighborhoods makes up the southern border of the Twin Cities metro area. But beyond them is an island—a development that has turned the convention of the suburbs on its head. This neighborhood places an emphasis on community—a genuine intention for families to get to know one another.
Spirit of Brandtjen Farm is a 550-acre master-planned community growing out of the fertile land in northeastern Lakeville that was once home of one of the most innovative and award-winning farms in the state. The community encompasses 2,100 homes, a mix of singe-family and multi-family housing types ranging from the high $100,000s to more than $1,000,000. It will be developed over the next decade. Single-family homes and luxury townhomes are available currently.
The neighborhood’s goal is to capture the sense of community neighbors felt in the 1930s and 1940s, during the Brandtjen Farm’s heyday, explains Kris Kilgard, marketing director for Tradition Development.
“We encourage all of the homes to have front porches, not just for looks, but usable, functional front porches,” Kilgard says. To further foster interaction among neighbors, every street in Spirit of Brandtjen Farm will have a sidewalk on both sides of the roadway. “It’s a substantial investment, but it’s critical in that neighborly feel of people walking on sidewalks and not on the streets,” Kilgard adds.
All Spirit of Brandtjen Farm residents will have access to a wonderful array of amenities. The development features nearly 90 acres of parks and open space, several ponds, winding lakes with wooded bluffs, and 10 miles of trails that connect to other communities.
“All the property around the lakes and ponds will be common property,” Kilgard says. “It’s for the whole neighborhood and the whole community to enjoy.”
The showpiece of the development is its private community center and clubhouse, within the restored landmark Brandtjen dairy barn. The clubhouse has recreation space, a kitchen, fitness room, game room and an outdoor pool. A full-time staff person here coordinates neighborhood events for residents. And a community intranet and calendar keeps all residents connected and informed.
Spirit of Brandtjen Farm’s clubhouse and common areas will be managed by a master association with $86 monthly dues. Each distinct neighborhood within the development will have its own separate sub-association. Some, as in the case of townhomes, charge additional dues for exterior maintenance, approximately $200 a month, Kilgard says.
Spirit’s location also puts the southern Twin Cities, Mall of America and I-494 corridor within convenient reach.
“It’s very rare to have this much property as a master planned community this close to the Twin Cities,” Kilgard says.
Close to the Twin Cities, with careful planning to foster a community atmosphere—Spirit of Brandtjen Farm promises to be a welcome standout in the south suburbs.