City will pay for help attracting business
Rosemount is a growing community. On the east side of town, more than one hundred houses have gone up in the last year, with more to come.
While lots of houses have been built, commercial construction has been slower to materialize. Rosemount residents still have to leave town for some basic needs.
Now, the city wants to ramp up efforts to bring more economic development to Rosemount. To help with the effort it has signed a contract with Buxton, a customer analytics firm. Community development director Kim Lindquist said the objective of hiring the company is to bring new retailers and restaurants to Rosemount.
“We want to fill in that gap and attract services to town,” said Lindquist.
As part of its work, Buxton will research Rosemount, define and evaluate the trade area, profile the area’s residential customers, match retailers and restaurants to the market potential and create marketing packages for up to 20 targeted retailers.
According to the company’s website Buxton provides a clear picture of customers in a given community through customer data and analysis.
The data collected will help retailers identify if Rosemount is a good fit for them, said Lindquist. To share the information, Lindquist said, a Buxton representative will follow up with businesses and will attend trade shows to meet brokers and provide local information.
Specifically, Lindquist said, the city is interested in attracting a general merchandizer such as Target or Wal-mart. The city has several locations where such a store could locate, including the northeast corner of Highway 3 and County Road 42 and property off of Akron Avenue.
Buxton has a good track record in other states but has only limited experience in Minnesota. Lindquist said the city of North St. Paul recently signed a contract with the company as well.
Lindquist talked with a number of references who spoke highly of the company. Specifically, Lindquist said the city of Rochester, N.Y. recently signed a second three-year contract with Buxton after having some success bringing in restaurants.
Robbinsdale recently opted out of its contract with the company. Lindquist said the reference she talked to from the city did not have negative comments about the work done but said officials there didn’t feel it was the right fit.
The fee for the service is $50,000 annually. City administrator Dwight Johnson said while the fee may seem steep, if the city were able to attract one major retailer it would pay for itself in tax revenue in just a few years. The city council approved the contract with an opt-out clause after the first year.
The company will begin work within the next several months and Lindquist said the city council should get information back in early summer.