New population estimates by the Metropolitan Council show very different west-metro cities profiting from redevelopment that added a mix of housing types.
Youthful Maple Grove and Minneapolis, the dowager of Hennepin County, couldn't be less alike, yet they top the list of larger west-metro cities in percentage population change from 2010 to 2011.
Maple Grove's population increased about 1.4 percent, while Minneapolis' proportional increase hovered right behind that at 1.38 percent.
"Residential construction ... is the key driver of population change," said Libby Starling, manager of research and regional policy for the Met Council.
While Maple Grove still is building single-family homes as well as apartments and condos, growth in Minneapolis is driven by construction of new multi-family housing. What's unknown is whether people are moving by choice or because of economic necessity, Starling said.
In sheer numbers of new residents, Minneapolis dwarfed increases in other cities with an increase of 5,295 people. Maple Grove gained 869 residents, Bloomington and Plymouth gained 778 and 687 people respectively, while the population in Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka all grew by more than 300 people.
Starling said those are communities that either have available housing or are actively redeveloping. In the Met Council's 2011 survey of housing permits, Bloomington was tops among all metro cities, with 645 permitted housing units.
"Bloomington is adding significant numbers of new housing," Starling said. "We see opportunity for growth in suburban communities that have the institutional and financial capacity to redevelop to meet the needs of the future. Those are the ones that are doing well."
She said she has concerns about small, older suburbs that don't have the financial tools or staff to take on the redevelopment challenges that lie ahead.
Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380 Twitter: @smetan