The West End area of St. Louis Park sees traffic and business growth as it works to revitalize areas where the other downtown areas of the Twin Cities have thrived.
Some call it a new beginning for the West End.
St. Louis Park is busier and businesses are taking notes.
“Recently, we’ve seen the area come to life again,” said Brittan Naderheiser, co-owner of Urban Wok St. Louis Park.
That makes it the perfect location for Neiderhiser’s to open its first restaurant, Urban Wok.
“Our food is delicious. “Stir-frying is a traditional Chinese cooking method, but a very healthy one.”
The couple opened their doors on the West End in August.
They said the key ingredient to their success was simple: more people.
“Monday through Friday it gets a little busier on the weekend nights with lunch rushes because there are a lot of corporate offices around,” Travis said.
City officials explained that all elements of the West End are designed to work together.
“This area was envisioned to be a vibrant live work play area 18 hours a day,” said Greg Hunt, economic development manager for St. Louis Park. “I think we almost succeeded.”
But it wasn’t always vibrant.
Customers saw many stores go dark when the pandemic hit.
“It was dead. A lot of it looked like a building with papers on the walls,” said Davis Weinmen, who works in the West End. “It’s nice to see it rejuvenated.”
Now, however, city officials say life is returning.
The 10 West End class office building is nearing full occupancy and is expanding its area.
Over 200 new six-story apartments are being built on Wayzata Boulevard.
Shoppes at West End is also home to the Minnesota Street Food Festival and Twin Cities Film Fest, as well as Polestar, one of the company’s two Midwest electric car showrooms.
“We are very pleased with the amount of economic activity that the West has generated,” Hunt said.
Since the West End opened in 2009, more than $400 million has been invested in various retail, office and multifamily developments within the West End area, according to city officials.
Since 2000, St. Louis Park’s population has grown by approximately 14%.