Alexandria has long been an island of prosperity for its residents and visitors.  It seems that no matter what the rest of the world is doing, Alexandria has always come through the worst of economic storms with little fanfare but relative solidarity with it’s main street businesses, manufacturing, service sectors, “it’s real estate”, and more intact.  It almost seems “bullet proof” to the hurricanes of economics.  Nonetheless, there are ebbs and flows in the real estate market…a constant sea of change.  But, in looking at the progression of this area, one’s belief in the Alexandria market seems validated by the activity in the City’s Building Department.  If we look at the projects that are either started/completed in 2008/2009, we see an impressive array of ideas and investment dollars that are going forward, investments that are being made into this community for the future.  Here’s a rundown of what I have so far:

(click on the link below to get the total dollars and square footages of these projects)

These projects total 1,352,472 square feet at a total cost of $213,095,335.

These numbers are from the Alexandria City Building Department and the Alexandria Area Economic Development records.  The City of Alexandria had $308,507,539 in building permits issued from 2001 to 2007.  The townships (around Alexandria) had $139,611,792 in building permits for the same period.

Alexandria enjoys this tremendous growth and optimimism over other communities because of it’s diversity, it’s economic base, the ever expanding medical community, our commitment to learning and knowledge in education, the lakes and it’s surrounding recreation areas, our connection to I-94, the available options we have to our senior citizens, the quality of our infrastructure, the skilled labor force that’s available and the consistent performance of investing into this town.  This entire combined make Alexandria one of of the fastest growing non-metro communities in Minnesota.

Through recent years, the Alexandria area has also experienced one of the highest “pull factors”, measuring the avearage amount of taxable sales in Minnesota.  In 2006, the pull factor for Alexandria was 4.26, which means that per capita taxable sales for 2006 was 4.26 times higher than the MN average.  Other comparable regional centers are:  Bemidji-1.79, Detroit Lakes-1.81, Fergus Falls-1.52.

In visiting with Jason Murray, Executive Director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission he says:  “Alexandria continues to show strong growth in these uncertain times, we see significant investments in our medical and manufacturing sectors, which continue to solidify our regional center economy.  Our economic strength and balance of Alexandria is built on a foundation of business innovation and growth that is attractive to our new businesses.  The lakes and recreational opportunities continue to be a draw to business and individuals”.

Jason is right on the mark.  The future looks bright for everyone here; we have a lot to be thankful for.

Randys article on Alexandria for 2008