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With a second child on the way, Joe Grunnet and his family decided it was time to leave their home downtown — and move 2½ blocks away.

“We didn’t want to move to the suburbs,” said the urban Realtor.

Instead, they chose a 4,300-square-foot townhouse in the Landings, an enclave of homes near the Mississippi River in Minneapolis’ North Loop.

“This is like the suburbs in the city — the best of both worlds,” Grunnet said.

There’s a lawn, but he doesn’t have to mow it. The homeowners’ association takes care of that, as well as other outside maintenance chores, for a monthly fee of $550.

“You get that dense, green suburban neighborhood feel,” he said, plus all the urban amenities of nearby restaurants and coffee shops.

With so many destinations just a few blocks away, “You spend more time outside,” he said. “You can come home from work, and walk along the river, or walk over to the Monte Carlo and sit on the patio.”

Inside, the home also embraces the outdoors with walls of glass offering views of both the river and the downtown skyline. “My favorite part is the main living, kitchen and dining area, which is wide open,” he said. “Everybody comes over and hangs out.”

The Landings was developed about 20 years ago before the North Loop exploded as a high-demand residential neighborhood. The 11-acre site was formerly a railyard, and the 59 homes are among the largest in the area, ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 square feet.

Now with three young children, Grunnet is finally moving his family to suburbia — Golden Valley — to be closer to the children’s school and have four bedrooms on one level.

Other features:

• Updated kitchen with granite-topped center island, high-end appliances and hardwood floors.

• Master suite overlooking the river, plus three bedrooms upstairs, four bathrooms and a study.

• Lower-level amusement room with sauna.

• Two garage stalls.

Joe Grunnet, Downtown Resource Group, has the listing, 612-244-6613.