Last Wednesday, about fifty people braved the sub-zero temperatures to show up at the historic Grand Event Center and share their ideas for supporting In-fill and Redevelopment in Northfield. The group included members of the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA), the Chamber of Commerce, the Planning Commission and the City Council, as well as a number of local business people and property owners and interested citizens.
The session was the third in a series of work sessions initiated by the NDDC, and supported by the EDA, the Chamber and the NEC, to focus attention and energy on using existing property resources in Northfield for economic development. The broad goals included filling empty or enhancing underutilized spaces, retaining growing businesses, supporting redevelopment projects, and attracting new businesses.
The attendees added items to the lists of Market Characteristics, Assets, Obstacles and Action Steps. In addition, they identified action steps as Urgent and Important, and made initial suggestions about what their group might do to support this effort.
In all, there were over 100 ideas offered. In the area of urgent and important action steps, there were many related to marketing and events, including continuing collaborative efforts, better understanding our market, creating a website that focuses on marketing Northfield to businesses, and implementing ideas that generate more customer traffic for our retailers.
There were also quite a few ideas related to Northfield “Economic Development Toolbox”, the menu of available programs that support existing and secure new businesses, including adding useful tools and enhancing existing ones. As promised at the Open House, the Economic Development Partners will be meeting next week to discuss these, and other, priority action steps.
Thank you to all who joined us for, and participated in, the In-fill and Redevelopment Open House.