Building a Stronger, More Vibrant Community
Welcome the Penn Central Neighborhood of Richfield, Minnesota. Our community stretches along Penn Avenue from 62 Crosstown to 68th Street. The intersection of 66th and Penn is the heartbeat and crossroads of the district. Visit the Penn Central neighborhood to find unique independent businesses. The business district is surrounded by a vibrant residential neighborhood.
Become Part of the Future of Penn Central
The Penn Central of Richfield organization is a coalition of residents and business members who want to guide the future of the Penn and 66th area in Richfield. The group seeks to work in cooperation with the City of Richfield, developers and business members toward a positive revitalization of the commercial district.
The illustrations on this page, provided courtesy of the City of Richfield, show a vision of what the future of the Penn Central area could look like. These concepts show a variety of shops and eateries, pleasant gathering spots, pedestrian and bicycle friendly corridors and expanded green space.
It should be noted that these illustrations are conceptual in nature. There are no immediate plans for these changes to occur. Current market conditions and the slow national economy have impacted potential investments in the community.
This begs the question: “Why would the city have these illustrations created if they are merely conceptual?” The reason is that planning is a long process. You don’t want to be caught with no vision for an area on the day a developer or investor expresses interest. Planning requires intensive research, citizen input, negotiations, feasibility studies, market research and more. Consequently, it’s wise to have a plan before the day that a developer makes a proposal. With no plan in place, the community would be caught off-guard and rushed to make hasty decisions. A plan guides the discussion and lets developers know what the community desires.
Most people believe changes to the area will be incremental in nature. The goal is revitalization, not major redevelopment.
All residents and business members are encouraged to take an active role in the future of the Penn Central area. The Penn Central group meets monthly on the Third Thursday to discuss relevant issues, and you are invited to participate.
Penn Central of Richfield Advocates for More Pedestrian Friendly Walkways
A new and very welcome improvement is taking place with the CVS development at Penn and 66th. Take a look and you'll notice that the sidewalk is much wider than it was before. The wider, more pedestrian friendly sidewalk is in accordance with the City of Richfield Design Guidelines for the area. Photos above show the improvement. The photo to the far left shows the narrow width of the old layout compared to the more spacious width of the new sidewalk. This newer width allows for placing the bus bench farther back, giving bus riders a more relaxed place to wait. The sidewalk on the 66th side has also been made wider for pedestrian comfort (far right photo).
The Richfield City Council adopted Design Guidelines for the Penn Central area in October 2008. Making the area more pedestrian friendly is one of the objectives of the guidelines. Review the Design Guidelines here.
CVS announced their interest in locating a store at Penn and 66th shortly after the guidelines were adopted. Members of the Penn Central Neighborhood Committee were strong voices promoting implementation of the guidelines with this development, resulting in walkways that enhance pedestrian comfort along the busy roadway.
The Penn Central Neighborhood Committee will continue to advocate for a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly area. These improvements will happen incrementally over time, but each opportunity for improvement will be pursued.