State and local officials got a peek at what the new, 217,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Shakopee will look like on Monday as the shovels hit the ground for the first time.
The south metro city is going through some growing pains, ballooning in population by 80 percent in just 10 years. There's no doubt the community is welcoming the growth, and the jobs, that San Francisco-based Shutterfly is bringing to town.
For a decade, the land has waited for a business to break ground. Now, development on the new plant is underway and is scheduled to finish next year.
The construction project is also highlighting an interesting new quandary for Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke. Soon, they'll be out of land to court businesses with.
"We are going to run out of land quite soon," he acknowledged, "but that's a good problem to have. We are working on our next projects as we speak."
To lure the company and its 400 jobs, Gov. Mark Dayton traveled to California at the end of July.
"They wanted proximity to their customers in the Upper Midwest," Dayton explained. "That's what really narrowed it down to Minnesota or Wisconsin."
Shakopee beat out Wisconsin, and the city's average age of only 37 certainly didn't hurt.
"It's part of the reason Shutterfly wanted to come here, because our demographics in the city of Shakopee match the demographics of the folks who use Shutterfly," Tabke said.
A glance at the local newspaper shows the effects of the growth spurt -- adding full-time firefighters, creating a strategy for the old downtown to preserve a Main Street with the charm of a small town now that Shakopee, frankly, no longer is.
"I think it was 8-9,000 when we came to town," Bruce Garness, owner of Shakopee Bakery, told FOX 9.
Garness has been serving up sweet treats since 1976, and he says the biggest change came with the big bridge.
"The Bloomington Ferry Bridge," he said. "[Shakopee's] been sitting here, ready to expand. Just transportation was holding it up."
When Highway 169 brought commuters, housing boomed. Now, the available land for building houses is almost gone too.
KDFW FOX 4
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