Bloomington's last farm, in the shadow of MOA, is up for sale


The booming Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington doesn't usually conjure up images of peaceful pastures where sheep graze and wildflowers bloom.

But the city – which is Minnesota's fourth largest with a population of more than 86,000 – used to be a farming community back in the day.

There's one last reminder of that rural lifestyle still standing in Bloomington, just a short walk away from its largest and most famous landmark, the Mall of America.

It's a 59-acre farm, which has been owned by the Kelley family since 1932; it's still operating despite the urban area that's grown up all around it.

But that's likely to change soon, as the Kelley Farm is up for sale.

The farm is the largest undeveloped piece of land still available in Bloomington, according to KSTP. And the real estate firm representing the family predicts a lot of national interest because of its proximity to the MOA, the Twin Cities airport, light rail and the freeway system.

The farm abuts the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge on the south end, and about 20 acres of bluffs will be protected, the Star Tribune reports. But the other 40 acres is buildable, and could be used for retail, hotel or office space.

Since it sits in the path of one of the airport runway "safety zones," it can't be developed into housing, according to the Star Tribune.

Preserve this 'peaceful place'

Some Bloomington residents aren't so happy about the idea of having the property built up. They've formed a Facebook group called Save the Last Farm in Bloomington, Minnesota, to "create and raise awareness about this magnificent peaceful place in east Bloomington. Preserving a little historical and natural integrity of the city."

Matt Muyres, one of the members, told KSTP the group would like to see the property remain open space, perhaps as a park, and some of the farm buildings preserved for historical purposes.

It'll probably be a year or two before any definitive plans for the property are developed. The Star Tribune notes that any structures built on the site would have to comply with height restrictions because of the proximity to the airport, so they couldn't be taller than 10 or 12 floors.

You can read a little history of the Kelley Farm here.

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