Considering moving to Minnetonka, Minnesota? The Monson & Larson Real Estate Group is a progressive, cutting edge real estate company that has experience buying and selling in Minnetonka, and knows the Minnetonka real estate market well. Below you will find an overview of the Minnetonka community. Contact us today to get started!
Located in Hennepin County just eight miles west of Minneapolis, Minnetonka is a fully-developed suburban community of 51,451 residents.
Residents enjoy 49 community parks, more than 81 miles of maintained sidewalks and trails and more than 1,000 acres of public open space that includes natural scenery such as mature trees, wetlands and prairies.
While Minnetonka shares its name with the very popular Lake Minnetonka, the city of Minnetonka includes only one small bay of the lake – Gray’s Bay, which forms the headwaters of Minnehaha Creek.
The land that would come to be known as Minnetonka was sacred ground for Native Americans. The dense woods and open prairies made for good hunting, while Lake Minnetonka provided excellent fishing. The Dakotah Sioux and Ojibway Chippewa would cross through Minnetonka as they traveled between Shakopee and Mille Lacs—a major Indian trail through Minnetonka crossed Minnehaha Creek just below the rapids at present-day Minnetonka Mills, then ran along the present Baker and Plymouth roads.
Minnetonka’s first settlement was established at the current Minnetonka Mills site. Available water power and the clearing of trees for farms provided the right ingredients for establishment of a saw mill, the only one west of the Mississippi River. A few years later, the addition of a furniture factory created the largest business center in Hennepin County. By 1869, the saw mill was replaced by a flour mill, which operated until the mid 1890s when it could no longer compete with the larger mills on St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis.
After World War II, Deephaven, Wayzata, Hopkins and St. Louis Park annexed additional newly developed residential areas in Minnetonka Township—and as a township, Minnetonka had no legal authority to stop the annexations. By 1956, Minnetonka Township’s area had been reduced from 36 to 28 square miles, while at the same time the population was increasing—rising from 6,466 in 1940 to about 15,600 in 1956. It was time to become a village. An election was held on August 22, 1956 and the deciding vote was to create a village. Annexations by adjacent communities were no longer allowed, and Minnetonka’s boundaries were stabilized. In 1968, the village officially became a city.
The City’s greatest growth spurts occurred in 1960-1980. Since that time development and population increase has leveled off. Most new development is redevelopment or “infill” development of previously past over sites.
Minnetonka is home to several large corporations including Carlson Comanies and Cargill, which is the largest privately held corporation in the U.S.
The city of Minnetonka is covered by three independent school districts. The Hopkins School District, which encompasses the central and eastern part of Minnetonka; the Minnetonka School District, in the western part of city south of Lake Minnetonka; and the Wayzata School District, which covers an area along the northern boundary of the city. There is also a public charter school: International Spanish Language Academy.
Three private schools make Minnetonka home: Immaculate Heart of Mary, Minnetonka Christian Academy and Sleepy Tigers Chinese Learning Center.