Located about halfway between Mankato and Minneapolis, the city of Belle Plaine in fast-growing Scott County speaks to the positive role a roadway like U.S. Highway 169 can play. The road runs through the middle of the city and provides as easy access to Mankato as it does to Minneapolis and St. Paul’s southern suburbsIndeed, it’s the gateway to the Twin Cities from the southwestern part of the state. And that’s to take nothing away from Belle Plaine itself, which is home to about 6,660 people – triple what its population was in 1970. 

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Belle Plaine New Construction

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Named in the mid-1850s by Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court Judge Andrew G. Chatfield, Belle Plaine is French for “beautiful prairie.” Belle Plaine today has a unique blend of prairie and protected grasslands, and is bordered on its northern side by the Minnesota River and its accompanying valley, created after the glaciers receded. While the Minnesota River is much smaller than it once was (long before it ever was named), it’s easy to see where the banks of the larger river once were. Today, those ancient riverbanks can be seen as the tops of the slopes that rise up on both sides of present day Belle Plaine. 

The city’s residents make use of Highway 169, along which the city’s vibrant commercial district sits. Belle Plain includes an array of local businesses, services, and retail shopping opportunities. The city encompasses nearly 3,900 acres, about half of which is undeveloped or agricultural land. Residential districts make up another quarter of its land, and there are 500 acres of parks and recreational areas, in keeping with Judge Chatfield’s original vision for Belle Plaine. And just outside of the city is the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, which is on the city’s northeastern side and serves as an area that protects the Minnesota River. 

Belle Plaine is projected to double in size between 2014 and 2040, when forecasts predict the city’s population will be 12,600. It’s unlikely the city will experience the tremendous growth it did in the early 2000s – when hundreds of single-family detached homes were permitted each year – but the number of permitted single-family homes has been relatively in recent years, proving the city’s rural character continues to be a strong draw.



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Listing information last updated on October 19th, 2019 at 5:20pm CDT.