West Duluth refers to an official neighborhood district in the west–central part of Duluth, Minnesota, United States.
Grand Avenue, Central Avenue, Cody Street, and Interstate Highway 35 are four of the main routes in West Duluth.
Other main routes in West Duluth include 40th Avenue West, 46th Avenue West, and Mike Colalillo Drive.
Seven neighborhoods are located within official West Duluth district boundaries:Cody
Bayview Heights (associated more with Proctor, MN)
West Duluth covers an area of 5,726 acres (23 km2), or 13% of the city area, making it the third largest district in the city. Note that, as with many other Duluth neighborhood districts, the area is actually developed to a major extent is considerably smaller than the district figure. This is largely due to the harsh topography (hill) of the area.
The 2000 census enumerated 11,431 residents in the district, a 3% change from 1990. 23.8% of the population is under 18, and 15.7% over 65. 73.5% of households are owned, slightly higher than the city figure of 64.1%. The official figure places household density at just 0.85 / acre, but in most areas where development has actually taken place the density is much higher. As with the rest of the city, the housing stock tends to be very old by American standards, with a large percentage (most likely a majority) of homes having been built before 1939.
The entrance to the Bong Bridge (U.S. Highway 2) is located within West Duluth at 46th Avenue West.
On a map, the core of West Duluth's "downtown", or center of activity, roughly forms a triangle, with the sides being Grand Avenue (State Highway 23), Central Avenue, and Bristol Street in Spirit Valley. This area is formed by two building styles, the first old, often joined buildings, usually containing small, locally-owned stores on the first floor and apartments on the second (if present), and fronted by broad sidewalks. These occupy much of the Grand and Central avenue portions.
The other type, enclosed by Grand Avenue, Central Avenue, and facing Bristol Street on both sides consists of more recent construction resembling suburban sprawl, despite never sprawling, but only replacing older buildings. A strip mall, "Valley Shopping Center" is anchored by a Kmart store. A large sea of asphalt (parking lots and street), divided by buildings and concrete barriers, sits between the mall to other establishments, such as a large Super One supermarket.
Just outside the core is a new urbanist rowhouse development.
West Duluth's Spirit Valley business district is easily accessible from Interstate Highway 35 at Central Avenue.
The Spirit Valley neighborhood, according to the city's official map, follows Grand Avenue between 46th Avenue West and 59th Avenue West; and includes the entire area between Grand Avenue and Mike Colalillo Drive.
West Duluth students attend Stowe Elementary School, Laura MacArthur Elementary School, Lincoln Park Middle School, and Duluth Denfeld High School. The local Catholic school is St. James, grades K–8, affiliated with the parish of the same name.
An exception to this is the Bayview Heights neighborhood, where students attend Proctor's public schools.In 2004, a large section of 59th Avenue West was given new road surface pavement.
In the summer of 2005, a large portion of Grand Avenue was given new road surface pavement. A stretch from 46th Avenue West to 59th Avenue West was entirely re-paved. The street lane format was altered, new stoplights were put in, new sidewalks were poured, as well as the addition of newer lamp posts.
In the spring of 2006, construction started on the second phase of Grand Avenue. A section from 40th Avenue West to 46th Avenue West was redone. This project also repaired the sewage lines for several homes in the area.
In the summer of 2010, a $66 million 3-year project went underway to reconstruct a large section of Interstate Highway 35 in West Duluth. All pavement was torn up and replaced, along with many concrete guardrails. Unused railroad bridges were removed, and many freeway entrance and exit ramps were given new pavement. The Minnesota Department of Transportation referred to the 2010–2012 road construction project in the media as the "Interstate 35 Mega Project" in Duluth.
In 2014, 57th Avenue West, between Cody Street and Highland Street, was reconstructed with new road surface pavement.
In the past several years, numerous business and residential structures have been built in and around the West Duluth area.In 2003, the West Duluth Menards was torn down and rebuilt as a larger store. At the time of completion, the Menards was the largest in the country. The building is located at Mike Colalillo Drive and West Superior Street.
In 2004, the West Duluth Clinic opened its doors in its newly constructed offices located at 42nd Avenue West and Grand Avenue.
In 2005, an Advance Auto Parts shop was built at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Central Avenue.
In summer 2005, an Acme Electric Tool Crib business was built on 44th Avenue West and Grand Avenue.
In 2006, work was completed on a new building which housed both the Subway and Papa John's Pizza franchises. This lot (at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Elinor Street / 52nd Avenue West) was formerly a used car dealership.
In 2011, work was completed on expanding Duluth Denfeld High School to accommodate more students as part of the school district's Red plan. A new addition was added to the existing Denfeld building, opening in fall 2011.
In 2012, work was completed on a new middle school building, Lincoln Park Middle School, opening for the 2012–2013 school year.
The Spirit Valley Days festival takes place every August in West Duluth.