Lakeville, MN is a beautiful place to call home. It is a great place to raise a family. It is a safe and clean community. A lot of the housing is new or newer, but there is also plenty of older style housing, so no matter your preference or budget, you can find somewhere great to live.
Lakeville has nearly everything you might need for daily life as a consumer: restaurants, retail, services, chains, mom-and-pops - almost everything. What they don't have themselves is only a short drive away in one of it's neighboring towns.
Lakeville has a small town feel while providing proximity to the big city.
Lakeville has some amazing parks and walking paths so you can get out and stay active close to home.
Lakeville is often named one of the best places to live by large magazines and websites.
Despite all of these awesome features of living in Lakeville, it seems that of all of the towns in Dakota County (which Lakeville is in), Lakeville has disproportionately few jobs, and especially "Head-of-Household" type jobs that earn significant income.
A Star Tribune article from way back in 2012 (I'm a little late to this breaking news) talks about Lakeville having hired a marketing consultant from South Carolina to study the area and advise on how to attract more businesses to Lakeville. They wanted to keep all of the great businesses which already call Lakeville home, but they also wanted to encourage new business growth to expand the opportunity for people from Lakeville to work in Lakeville. They didn't want people to feel like they had to commute to the city to work if they chose to live in Lakeville.
Part of the resulting marketing plan included a new city logo and a tagline of "Lakeville: Positioned To Thrive". It also included a plan to attend business expos where larger and industrial companies would be and hope to convince them to expand into the Lakeville Minnesota area.
Lakeville is a perfect place to pitch to businesses looking to move or expand because it has great infrastructure, is close to the cities without being in the cities, has plenty of housing to accommodate employees that would be moving to the new factory or worksite, and already has a large educated population ready to work.
The marketing plan pointed out that it would be important to sell the importance of the Lakeville downtown as pleasant and thriving because the life of the community is important when considering where to plant your business. Though the downtown area is strapped on space and unable to be effectively expanded, it's beautiful and available for use to some degree.
It seems that Dave Olson, the Director of Economic and Community Development, was going to be one of the key people involved in making changes in the community based on the recommendations of the marketing plan. He made it sound like some of the advice is actionable straight away and some of it is a bit too lofty and would require a budget the city does not have available at the moment.
The article talked about several excellent employers that are already in the area, each food related, such as MOM Brands (Malt-O-Meal, which has been purchased by Post), Arden Culinary, and ConAgra.
Seeing as this article was written in 2012, there has been significant time for the plan to have done work and made changes. I feel like Lakeville is a great place with lots of options, though almost any place would prefer to have more employer options. I would love to have read a follow-up piece that talked about the progress made, but I haven't seen one yet.
Have you been living in the Lakeville area since 2012? Have you witnessed firsthand the changes and improvements in the business community? Do you think the recommendations in the marketing plan were reasonable? Share your views in the comments!