Phase 2 goal for Mainstreet to attract new residents, businesses
By Anna Jauhola
Over the next 10 years, members of the Hallock Mainstreet committee are determined to attract 100 new residents in Hallock.
During a meeting on Thursday evening, the group spoke about plans for economic development and housing to reach that goal. They have formed a housing committee in conjunction with the city of Hallock and are working to determine how to bring more housing to town.
“We need to have reasons for people to come here and stay,” said Paul Blomquist, Mainstreet member.
Through the last two years, Hallock has added new businesses to fill existing buildings, which fulfilled the committee’s goal of all buildings filled on the town’s main street. These businesses have helped the movement to breathe new life into Hallock gain momentum.
The newest business that town has been buzzing about is Last Chance Trading Post, tentatively set to open this summer in the old Gullander’s Hardware building on Second Street.
Jonathan Carlson and Britt Slusar are teaming up with Mandi and Tanner Samuelson to open the shop. Its main feature will be Carlson’s and Slusar’s grass-fed Scottish Highland beef in smaller portions rather than the quarter and half a cow they typcially sell.
The shop will also feature a wine bar with on and offsale. They already have a liquor license from the city, which will allow them to also sell beer and “minimal amounts of liquor,” Slusar said.
The partners bought the building in August 2018 and are currently working on a business model, the design and atmosphere, and have gathered construction bids from all local contractors.
“The contractors are all extremely excited,” Tanner Samuelson said.
Mandi Samuelson said they will work to bring in unique mercantile for the retail portion of the store, noting it’ll be a store like nothing else in Hallock or the area.
Now, as beautification and branding efforts are ongoing, Phase 2 is in the beginning stages.
The committee is looking for suggestions and help to improve housing in Hallock. Rodney Bakken spoke briefly about his idea to develop the former elementary school lot between Fourth and Third Streets into a housing development, stating it has endless possibilities.
The developing theme of Thursday’s meeting was many retirees and empty-nesters could potentially move into smaller houses in developments like Bakken’s, leaving family homes open to for new residents.
Which led to discussion of needing more economic development and encouraging people to open new businesses in town and sustain current businesses.
Guy Gustafson, who is on the economic development board, said the board has preliminarily defined core businesses needed in Hallock, some of which include a bakery, dentist, veterinarian and a barber.
“If you know anyone who is looking for an opportunity, tell them about Hallock,” said Blomquist.
Finally, Todd Johnson spoke about leaving a legacy by supporting the Hallock Community Fund. The fund board is looking at not only sustaining Hallock’s current businesses and amenities – such as the pool – but also moving the city into the future.
A portion of the Hallock Community Fund is specifically set aside to fund the reconstruction of the current swimming pool or construction of a new one, Johnson said. Businesses and individuals looking to improve local businesses or the town can apply for funding from the general fund.
“Places like this don’t happen by accident,” Johnson said, referring to Hallock. “They happen intentionally when someone’s willing to leave a legacy.”
To stay in touch with what the Mainstreet committee is doing, you can text HALLOCK to 22828 and sign up for email updates.