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St. Anthony East Neighborhood Survey.

Lane, Heather.

As part of their Master Planning Process and general community outreach, the St. Anthony East Neighborhood Association (SAENA) undertook a resident and business survey to solicit feedback about how residents and business-owners would like to see the St. Anthony East neighborhood develop and improve over the coming years. The survey asked respondents about various features of the neighborhood, including access to businesses, the quality and features of neighborhood parks, priorities for residential development, and other aspects of the neighborhood they would like to see change, improve, or stay the same. A total of 290 resident households (of 1,054 households) and 3 (of 8) neighborhood businesses returned the survey. While renters, younger individuals, and residents of color were somewhat less likely to respond to the survey than other residents, but the survey respondents reflected a broad swath of the neighborhood, with respondents coming from all demographic categories.

The results of the survey reflect a mixture of opinions on many issues, but also some consensus in other areas. Overall, residents see the neighborhood as a good place to live. Assets of the neighborhood are its parks and proximity to essential goods and services. Residents expressed clear interest in seeing retail development including a deli or bakery, grocery, coffee shop, and/or sit down restaurant. Free response questions also revealed that the current number of bars is sufficient. With regard to parks, some residents supported a number of improvements, especially a dog park, pavilion, and the addition of grilling equipment. A large number of other ideas for improving parks were favored by some, but none received overwhelming support.

The survey also asked about transportation use and interest in a Central Ave. streetcar line. The majority of people indicated that they use public transit with some frequency. The proposed streetcar garnered the interest of both regular transit users and those who rarely ride transit. The most popular locations for a streetcar stop were Spring St. followed by Broadway Ave.

The bulk of the survey addressed preferences for residential development. Overall, there was a preference for more single family homes. While owners favored seeing fewer apartments, renters were supportive of increased or no change in all types of housing. Free response questions also revealed a preference for less low income, rental, and subsidized housing. In line with desire to maintain a residential neighborhood, residents favored using the Webster School building as an early childhood center or community center.

In short, the survey revealed generally positive views of the neighborhood, with a desire for increased attention to upkeep of residential property, increased lighting, less petty crime, and additions to neighborhood parks and retail that would help to maintain and improve the quality of the neighborhood.

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Conducted on behalf of St. Anthony East Neighborhood Associaton. Supported by Neighborhood Partnerships for Community Research (NPCR), a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.
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