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Blaine
January-2008 sunset in Blaine
January-2008 sunset in Blaine
Location of the city of Blainewithin Anoka County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Blaine
within Anoka County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
Counties Anoka, Ramsey
Founded 1877
Incorporated January 29, 1954
Area
 • City 34.03 sq mi (88.14 km2)
 • Land 32.91 sq mi (85.23 km2)
 • Water 1.13 sq mi (2.91 km2)
 • Urban
0.6 sq mi (2 km2)
Elevation
902 ft (275 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City 70,222
 • Rank US: 532th MN: 10th
 • Density 1,993.77/sq mi (769.80/km2)
 • Metro
3,690,261 (US: 16th)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
55014, 55434, 55449
Area code(s) 763
FIPS code 27-06382
GNIS feature ID 0640245

Blaine is a suburban city in Anoka and Ramsey counties in the State of Minnesota, United States. Once a rural town, Blaine's population has increased significantly in the last 60 years. For several years, Blaine led the Twin Cities metro region in new home construction. The population was 70,222 at the 2020 census. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.

Interstate Highway 35W, U.S. Highway 10, and Minnesota State Highway 65 are three of the main routes in the city.

History and culture

Until 1877, Blaine was part of the city of Anoka, Minnesota. Phillip Laddy, a native of Ireland, is recognized as the first settler in Blaine and settled near a lake that now bears his name, Laddie Lake, in 1862. Laddy died shortly after his arrival and his survivors moved on to Minneapolis. Another early settler was the Englishman George Townsend, who lived for a short time near what would today be Lever St. and 103rd Ave.

It was not until 1865 that Blaine's first permanent resident, Greenberry Chambers, settled on the old Townsend claim. Chambers was a former slave who moved north from Barren County, Kentucky, following the Civil War. In 1870, George Wall, Joseph Gagner, and soon others settled in the area and it began to grow.

In 1877, Blaine separated from Anoka and organized as a township of its own. That year the first election was held and Moses Ripley was elected as the first Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Ripley, who had come to Minnesota from Maine, persuaded his fellow board members to name the new Township in honor of James G. Blaine, a Republican senator, Speaker of the House and three-time presidential candidate from Maine. By 1880, Blaine’s population had reached 128.

While many of the other communities in Anoka County experienced growth due to farming, Blaine’s sandy soil and abundant wetlands discouraged would-be farmers and it remained a prime hunting area. Blaine's growth remained slow until after World War II when starter home developments began to spring up in the southern part of town and the community changed from a small rural town to a more suburban one. Blaine's population has grown from 1,694 in 1950 to 20,573 in 1970 to over 57,000 in 2010. For several years Blaine led the Twin Cities metro region in new home construction.

Blaine's growth could be attributed to the development of Interstate Highway 35W, U.S. Highway 10, and Minnesota Highway 65 which increased its accessibility to the Twin Cities making it an attractive location for business and residential development as many people call it home today. Furthermore, the land development technique of sand mining opened thousands of acres of peat sod farms up for development. Beginning with the development of the Knoll Creek, Club West, Pleasure Creek and TPC Twin Cities, the existing land was modified through extensive grading efforts with the result in the large open water areas. The sand from the excavation of those ponds was used to raise the level of the site. These site modifications are needed to accommodate the development of the homes and neighborhoods. The success of mining sand aided increating ponds/lakes and allowed for further development in the city. The Center piece of those developments is The Lake of Blaine, taking over 1,000 acres peat and sod farms and creating 158 acre Sunrise Lake and million dollar homes and other high end housing opportunities not seen in the city before. Corporate residents include the Aveda Corporation, Infinite Campus, PTC Inc, MagnetStreet, parking lot portion of a Medtronic Development, and Dayton Rogers Manufacturing.

Blaine is also home to the 600-acre (2.4 km2) National Sports Center featuring 50 soccer fields, a golf course, a velodrome, and the Schwan Super Rink, containing 4 Olympic and 4 regulation ice rinks in one building. Further development is occurring now that will bring another 20 fields for multiple uses including Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, Soccer and a host of other activities.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.05 square miles (88.19 km2), of which 33.85 square miles (87.67 km2) is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km2) is water. Blaine is 13 miles (21 km) from Minneapolis and 20 miles (30 km) from St. Paul.

Blaine can be accessed from several major roadways in the Twin Cities, including Minnesota State Highway 65, Interstate 35W, University Avenue, Lexington Avenue, Hamline Avenue, U.S. Highway 10, and Minnesota State Highway 610.

Major landforms

There are four major named water bodies partially or completely within the city limits. Sunrise Lake as part of The Lakes housing development is the largest body at 158 acres in size, and going down to depths of near 40 feet in some places. The next largest body is Laddie Lake, which is also partially in Spring Lake Park at 77 acres in size, reaching maximum depth of 6 ft in some locations. The next largest body is Club West Lake at 39 acres and depths up to 25 ft, also man-made, located in the Club West Housing development. The last named body of water in the city is Lochness Lake; at 11 acres in size it is managed by the city and has a provided fishing dock. There are several other large bodies of water within the city that are not classified as lakes found around the TPC of the Twin Cities, Pleasure Creek Neighborhood, Knoll Creek Development, Crescent Ponds.

Blaine is also in the process of creating a 500-acre open space plan. The city started acquiring portions of the property in the late 1990s, but most of it was acquired after Blaine voters approved a $3.5 million referendum in 2000. A tentative long-range plan calls for the construction of a nature center by 2020. The 70-acre Kane Meadows Park also acquired next to The Lakes development has been the centerpiece of this open space program.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 128
1890 205 60.2%
1900 374 82.4%
1910 413 10.4%
1920 550 33.2%
1930 506 −8.0%
1940 921 82.0%
1950 3,604 291.3%
1960 7,570 110.0%
1970 20,573 171.8%
1980 28,558 38.8%
1990 38,975 36.5%
2000 44,942 15.3%
2010 57,186 27.2%
2020 70,222 22.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2020 Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 57,186 people, 21,077 households, and 15,423 families living in the city. The population density was 1,689.4 inhabitants per square mile (652.3/km2). There were 21,921 housing units at an average density of 647.6 per square mile (250.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.0% White, 3.7% African American, 0.5% Native American, 7.8% Asian, 1.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.

There were 21,077 households, of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.8% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.14.

The median age in the city was 35.6 years. 26.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.7% were from 25 to 44; 27% were from 45 to 64; and 8.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.

Economy

Top employers

According to the City's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Aveda Corporation 700
2 Cub Foods (four locations) 433
3 Infinite Campus 400
4 Carley Foundry, Inc. 350
5 National Sports Center 322
6 Walmart Stores, Inc. 312
7 Target Corporation 270
8 The Home Depot (two locations) 237
9 City of Blaine 222
10 Lowe's 142

Sports

The 3M Open, a PGA Tour event held at TPC Twin Cities.

The National Sports Center was the home of Minnesota's professional soccer teams for 23 years. From 1990–2003 and 2008–2009 the National Sports Center was home for the now defunct Minnesota Thunder. After the Thunder folded, the sports center quickly stepped in and created the NSC Minnesota Stars for the 2009 season. The United States Soccer Federation ruled the stadium could not own the team, due to an increase in financial standards the stadium did not have, and the team re-branded to become the Minnesota Stars FC for the 2010–2012 seasons. The Minnesota United FC, after being re-branded in early 2013 to represent the history of soccer in Minnesota, played at the National Sports Center until their promotion to Major League Soccer in 2017, and they now play at Allianz Field but continue to use the National Sports Center as their training facility.

The National Sports Center is also home to Victory Links Golf Course, a stadium with an artificial turf field, over 50 full-size soccer fields, an eight-sheet ice arena, the largest of its kind in the world, an expo center, and a meeting and convention facility.

Education

Blaine is served by three different school districts. The Anoka-Hennepin School District covers most of the city, from Highway 65 west to University Ave north of 99th Ave NE and the areas north of Cloud Drive, and zigzags through the Lakes neighborhood up to Main Street, where it covers everything north all the way across to Sunset, the city's eastern edge. The Spring Lake Park School District covers nearly everything south of 99th Ave NE, the east side of Highway 65 north to where it bumps into District 11 and east to Lexington, where it bumps into the Centennial School District. District 12—Centennial Schools—covers east of Lexington almost up to Main Street and everything south and east of Interstate 35W.

There are three high schools within the city: Blaine High School in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Centennial High School in the Centennial School District, and Paladin Career and Technical High School, a public charter school. In addition, some Blaine students attend Spring Lake Park High School in the Spring Lake Park School District.

Rasmussen College, a private, for-profit school offering bachelor's and associate degrees, has a location in Blaine.

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