Prior Lake is a growing suburban community near the edge of the Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota. Encompassing 18.3 square miles, this city offers both a small-town feel and big potential: Its population has grown more than 43 percent since the 2000 census. Prior Lake is now home to nearly 22,800 people. Considered by many to be one of the area's most up-and-coming suburbs, Prior Lake is a fun and family-friendly place to call home.
The Village of Prior Lake was first surveyed in 1875. It took many years for the village to develop, but numerous railroad projects, a flour and feed mill, a general store and a newspaper eventually brought a sense of community to the area. In 1879, the Grainwood House opened to the public. The house was designed to house grand balls and parties for the Minnesota elite. It provided employment for local residents and helped the town grow into a known destination. By 1891, Prior Lake was officially incorporated.
Throughout the years, the small town has grown and evolved. Most recently, it has experienced a wave of suburban development as Twin Cities workers move farther outside the cities. Those searching for Prior Lake apartments for rent will love the small-town appeal and easy highway access of this growing city.
Prior Lake is a quiet and convenient area for family life. About 73.5 percent of households in the city are family households, which is consistent with the greater Twin Cities area. Residents enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, with easy access to family amenities.
While children may love Minnesota's many kid-friendly attractions, parents enjoy Prior Lake's adult finds. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is located in Prior Lake, giving residents easy access to two casinos and numerous restaurants. The area also offers golfing opportunities such as the Wild's, Legend and Heritage Links golf clubs.
Another benefit of fringe urban living is easy access to natural spaces and park activities. Prior lake offers more than 54 parks, which are spread out over 1,000 city acres. Residents enjoy more than 100 miles of trails and sidewalks, as well as 14 beautiful lakes. Minnesotans are known for their love of water sports; opportunities for swimming, hockey, fishing and skating are plentiful in Prior Lake.
Although Prior Lake does not have any institutions of higher learning within its city limits, the greater Twin Cities area is home to many colleges and universities. Normandale Community College is located about 10 miles from Prior Lake in Bloomington, while St. Catherine University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Capella University, Augsburg College, University of St. Thomas, Walden University and the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities are all located about 20 miles from Prior Lake.
Because it primarily serves as a bedroom community, Prior Lake sees its population decline about 8.2 percent during workdays due to commuting. Many residents work in either Minneapolis, St. Paul or a more densely populated suburban city. However, more than 20 percent of residents live and work in Prior Lake. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is the largest employer in the county.
According to city-data.com, the cost of living index in Prior Lake is 112.7, which is 12.7 percent more than the U.S. average. Additionally, because of its relatively long distance to the Twin Cities, those searching for Prior Lake rentals will want to factor commuting costs into their budgets. In 2010, the median gross rent in Prior Lake was $890 per month according to U.S. Census data.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community offers restaurants, two casinos and a hotel, all of which attract tourists from throughout the region. Other nearby attractions include the Valleyfair amusement park, which is about 10 miles north of Prior Lake in the city of Shakopee, and the Mall of America, which is 15 miles away in Bloomington.
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