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Published June 04, 2012, 05:54 PM

Crookston Businesses Seeing More Traffic

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some Crookston business owners are seeing more traffic as the city continues to grow. Several new businesses are moving in, making for some healthy competition.

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some Crookston business owners are seeing more traffic as the city continues to grow. Several new businesses are moving in, making for some healthy competition.

People say they're happy to see more interest in opening businesses in Crookston, bringing more diversity and shopping possibilities for travelers passing through.

Ellen Leake has co-owned Willow and Ivy in downtown Crookston for nearly 10 years.

"My husband was getting ready to retire and we decided to buy the business," Leake said.

The two-floor shop has gifts and antiques, bringing something a little unique to town and drawing in people from surrounding areas as well.

"Everytime you have a new business in town, it draws in a larger group of people," Leake said.

Leake says over the past couple years she has seen several new businesses moving in, bringing more diversity and options for both those who live in town and those who just pass through. There is growth on the other side of town as well.

"The trend has been most of the new building has gone on the north end of town near the intersection of McDonald's and Walmart," Shannon Stassen, with the Chamber of Commerce, said.

Construction is underway for a new strip mall at 1930 Sahlstrom Drive, bringing more business to the north end of town.

"We've got the Dollar Tree moving in next to the Walmart. It's about a 7,500 square foot space and it's a two-unit strip mall. The second unit's about 1,600 square feet (and) that one hasn't been filled yet," Crookston building inspector Matthew Johnson said.

Although the city is now focusing on downtown redevelopment, leaders hope to keep developing other areas of town to keep visitors in the area.

"A big thing in the winter is the hockey tournament they have at the sports center. They're trying to promote growth around the center on the northeast side of town," Johnson said.

Construction on the new strip mall is expected to be finished by the end of August. City officials say the Dollar Tree will open shortly after that.

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