PRIOR LAKE 

Prior Lake is a developing suburb in Scott County, Minnesota.  While it is among the oldest cities that have been absorbed by suburban development, some parts of the area are still included in the Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation.


If projections are realized, Prior Lake will become a fully-developed city by 2030 with over 40,000 residents; almost triple the estimated population of the city as of the 2000 Census.


The growth in the city’s population coupled by increasing opportunities both in the commercial and industrial sectors is expected to also contribute to its development as a full community.


Population Profile 

Prior Lake has a population count of 15,917 people and 4,386 families as of the 2000 Census.  A great majority of the residents or 94.53% are Whites followed by Native Americans (2.08%), Asians (.94%) and those from other races. The average population is generally young with an average age of 33 years.


The $75,363 average income for every household as well as the $81,011 income for every family is quite high. It is also good to note that only 3.6% of the total population is living below the poverty line.



Much of Prior Lake’s history goes back to the glaciers during the Ice Age.  These ice sheets left a huge amount of glacial deposits that formed into landed areas including the area now known as Prior Lake.  Prior Lake residents have grown familiar with granite rocks, remnants of this period and which now decorate their yards.


The American Indians were the first settlers of Prior Lake and this is depicted in the effigies (showing five huge hawks with wide wings that are over 150 feet long) that were found along the burial mounds in the area called Mdemayaton or Prior Lake.


The big rock or Tun-Can referred to by the early American Indians had a significant connection to their religious beliefs and practices thousands of years ago.  The Tun-Can even played a great role in community formation as most of them venerated the stone.


Prior Lake was originally known as Long Lake but was changed to Prior Lake to honor Charles Prior, one of the owners of the land where a railroad line was built.  The building of a railroad meant a lot for the area since it hastened growth and development.


The construction of the railroad was followed by the survey of the Prior Lake village n 1875.  Five years after, Prior Lake’s economy showed promise with the building of the first flour and feed mill, the first general store, the first newspaper, a blacksmith shop and even two saloons.  The opening of Grainwood House in 1879 signaled the rise of Prior Lake’s economy albeit only a few locals were employed in this resort. 


Prior Lake Village was incorporated as early as 1891 but it was only in the 1900 when it had its first telephone connection and in 1917 its electricity.  Wells and pumps used to be the main sources of water in the area until the Village Council planned the installation of a city water works in 1937.



Those planning for corporate relocation or employment relocation in Prior Lake would be glad to note that the area is an ideal place not only for employment (considering the growth forecast of the city) but also for recreation.  It boasts of 45 parks that can reach 845 acres put together.  This consists of neighborhood parks and community parks.  The athletic types will surely enjoy the 34 athletic fields being maintained by the city including softball, baseball, soccer and football fields.


The proximity of Prior Lake to other Minnesota cities makes it possible for residents to hop from one city to another for recreation or shopping purposes.  There are lots of parks and other recreational areas near Prior Lake including the regional park in Spring Lake.


Housing and Real Estate Development 

One of the most important considerations for those planning to relocate in Minnesota is the possibility of purchasing real estate either for a single home, condominium, a duplex or even for investment purposes only.  The housing stock of Prior Lake is so diversified what with the completion in 2003 of three housing projects namely Keystone Communities, Creekside Commons and Lakefront Plaza.


Knowing the following housing and real estate facts will help you decide when buying real estate ion Prior Lake. A total of 6,194 single family units and 1,952 multi-family units have been constructed in Prior Lake as of 2005.  Of the total housing units, 87.4% are occupied by their owners.  Housing units in the city have an average assessed value of $188,100.


The rise of home ownership in Prior Lake during the past three years has been attributed to low interest rates which made homes (which were previously expensive for most residents) more affordable to a lot of people. It also encouraged people to avail of a home mortgage. The construction of affordable town homes and entry level housing also encouraged families to invest in a first or second home.


But while there are developers responding to the needs of the low income sector who can only afford entry level homes, a new breed of developers in Prior Lake has emerged and they are now catering to the demands of moneyed people who require more expensive and more sophisticated town homes.  This brought about the increase of multi-family housing units in the area, with a 4.4% increase in the number of building permits issued for multi-family buildings in Prior Lake.


Data shows that multi-family development in the area grew by more than 10% in just two years since 1994.   In 2003 alone, the total number of building permits in the area was already pegged at 67.7%.


Real estate brokers and agents in Prior Lake believe that the movement of interest rates will greatly affect housing and real estate in the area.  With an impending rise in interest rates, developers will be forced to provide more affordable monthly home payments for their clients no matter what market segment they belong to.

It is expected that more than 12 thousand housing units can still be added to the present housing unit count of Prior Lake by 2025.  And with the projected increase in Prior Lake’s population from now up to 2030, this figure can even go higher.

Here is a link to the City Of Prior Lake Website:

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