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City notes: Working to attract new retail

The City of Rosemount this summer has been making progress toward a long-time goal of the city council and an often-expressed desire of our residents: bring more commercial development to the community.

Evidence of the public’s interest in additional shopping options for Rosemount appeared in the new community survey that I wrote about last month. On the question of whether Rosemount has about the right amount of retail shopping opportunities, 49 percent responded that we have too few. That’s a slight improvement over the results in 2007, recognizing we’ve seen some growth in retailing.

But plenty of Rosemount residents would like to have more convenient shopping close to home. So the city council and our staff keep pushing for commercial expansion.

The port authority will soon re-ceive an important tool to reach national retail and restaurant groups that would find Rosemount the perfect fit for their business. The research provides data we can take to matched businesses to introduce our community to them. The numbers will detail the attractive demographics of our community and the distance to competing outlets. We will also work with the consultant’s experts to generate more leads.

The council and port authority also completed work last week on a year-long initiative to take a closer look at an area that could become more attractive for new businesses and for existing ones that want to expand. It’s the corridor along Highway 3, between County Road 42 and 160th Street.

A committee of affected property owners, citizens, council, and commission members started work last September. They supervised a market study showing the potential to attract spending by commuters on Highway 3 and the thousands of new residents anticipated just to the east, in the UMore development project.

The committee also reviewed the challenges in the corridor: a mixture of older buildings, light industry, even the former village dump. By outlining those conditions and the city’s goals, the committee hopes to encourage existing businesses to put more money into their businesses, or to profit by selling to new users who could serve the area’s retailing needs.

Although we seek new businesses, we support the ones already in Rosemount, including the latest additions. In the last six months the city has welcomed 12 new businesses in a variety of our existing buildings. And new construction will occur soon in our latest commercial area, near the northeast corner of the intersection of Highway 3 and County Road 42. The council laid the groundwork for this commercial expansion by installing new infrastructure to entice development.

Continued, steady improvement can bring more convenient and desirable shopping and services to Rosemount and add to our tax base in ways that lessen the burdens on our existing taxpayers.

This column was authored by Rosemount City Administrator Dwight Johnson