Saint Peter, Minnesota
A typical Gustavus coed first thing in the morning. Okay, it's actually Ecstasy by Maxfield Parrish (a personal favorite), but the real St. Peter merits your attention too.
Saint Peter is situated on the Minnesota River just ten minutes north of Mankato and an hour south of the Twin Cities. In 1857 Saint Peter was slated to become the capitol of Minnesota because of its centralized location and river access, but the effort was undone by a bit of thievery, drinking, and card playing, and the capitol remained in Saint Paul.
Over ten thousand people call Saint Peter home, and oddly enough they seem to have gotten used to the idea of the river running north. After living for many years in Minneapolis, it took me a while to get my head around that little geographic anomaly, and I'm not sure I'm over it yet.
Saint Peter is the home of Gustavus Adolphus College, among the most highly respected liberal arts colleges in the state and acclaimed internationally as well. Every year Gustavus hosts the Nobel Conference, a major get-together of the intellectual glitterati. This year the Conference addressed issues surrounding global warming and energy use. Timely and important.
There has been talk of a Wal-Mart moving to town, and the resultant conversation has been typical of a small town faced with the advance of the retail behemoth: is it better to let them build in the hope that the Wal-Mart name will bring more traffic to town and help to rejuvenate the downtown shopping area, or is it better to keep them away, fearing they will hasten the decline of small businesses currently operating in town? The jury's not in yet.
Good schools, good parks, good festivals and good neighbors add up to the good life here in St. Peter. If you like the idea of a smaller town with enough people and economic clout to make things interesting, you should take a look around. Call me for a tour.
Saint Peter Real Estate
Saint Peter homes for sale vary greatly in age, style, price, and even location. The oldest homes can be some of the most interesting, of course, and will vary in price depending on condition. Saint Peter has long filled up the space between the river and the river valley, and can only expand on top of the hill or northward in the river valley, and both those areas continue to host new Saint Peter homes.
On the north side of town there is much activity: the recently completed Saint Peter Hospital is surrounded by a lot of new home-building. There is also a new Mankato Clinic facility north of town, and the Wal-Mart, if it goes in, will almost certainly be on the north side. Most business enterprises of one kind or another will likely stay in the valley because of the proximity to Hwy. 169, which leaves the hilltop to residential builders. There are, however, many new Saint Peter homes on the north side still in the valley, and many lots to choose from should you like to build there.
Hilltop Saint Peter, if you want to call it that, is mainly residential. The big exception is Gustavus Adolphus College, but there is some commercial or church use of the land as well. Otherwise, many new Saint Peter homes have gone up on the hill, mostly to the south and southwest of Gustavus, but to the north of campus as well.
There is not much to choose from for under $100,000, but most Saint Peter homes are now listed for under $200,000. Those significantly above $200,000 will usually be above the valley, often with a nice view, and can be located several miles north or south of the city proper and still be called Saint Peter.