The pricey side of the Twin Cities

Ken Carpenter, a sales agent with ReMax Results, describes "the two faces of Medina."

Ken Carpenter, a sales agent with ReMax Results, describes "the two faces of Medina."

One is a community with large rural acreage home sites that often attract professional athletes and executives who want privacy and room to customize their estates.

The other is a community with a neighborhood atmosphere created by new developments with names such as Wild Meadows that attract families who want their children to be in Wayzata's award-winning school district. Both faces come with a hefty price tag.

"One thing that's really impressed me is the strong sense of community in the neighborhoods," Carpenter said. "They have developed a strong identity, and have neighborhood activities and everyone knows everyone. It's also very green, with wide open spaces and wild meadows."

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Location: 20 miles west of Minneapolis.

Population: Estimated at 4,743 in 2005, up from 4,005 in 2000.

Median age: 38.

Home values: Medina ranked fifth among Twin Cities communities for highest home values, according to the Citizens League.

Housing: 1,337 units, 92 percent owner-occupied. Of the 73 homes for sale, 20 are listed at more than $1 million.

New business and housing: Medina is developing commercial areas along Hwy. 55, such as a new Target store, nearly complete. Target will be part of a 170,000-square-foot development called Medina Clydesdale Marketplace that includes restaurants, a bank and retail shops. Argent Parc, an 18-unit condominium complex in Medina's historic "Uptown Hamel" area, is 95 percent complete. The idea is to create a mixed-use, walkable community in which people can live near where they work.

Parks and trails: Medina preserved some of its green space. Wild Meadows is a conservation development where about 70 percent of open space is protected and a part-time ecologist is on hand to educate homeowners and help manage the land. A new trail surrounds Hamel Legion Park. Baker Regional Park comprises 2,000 acres, about a fifth of Medina's land.

For fun: Medina Entertainment Center (also known as the Medina Ballroom), Rolling Green Country Club and Baker National Golf Course. The Second Annual Medina Preservation Day is Sept. 23. Watch for details at www.ci.medina.mn.us.

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