‘Fridays in Frazee’ planning meeting April 3

Photo by Robert Williams
New businesses downtown, such as The Monarch Coffee House, and the increased foot traffic seen since its opening has helped create an uptick in interest in businesses seeking out space in Frazee, according to reports at the monthly meeting of the Frazee Economic Development Authority.

By Robert Williams


An increase in interest in both new businesses and housing development in Frazee was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Frazee Economic Development Authority (EDA) on Tuesday, March 26.

EDA member John Olson of OK Lumber has completed drawings for building out the interior of the downtown commercial retail space. The EDA board approved moving forward with acquiring bids for construction.

According to EDA Consultant Karen Pifher, the space has been shown to six different interested parties. Much of the reason the spaces have remained empty is because they are unfinished and the EDA’s move to complete that part of the project has interest up.

“There are a few that are looking at that and other spaces in town,” said Pifher.

One of the other buildings garnering interest from two separate parties is 207 West Main, the green building currently owned by Roger Boe.

Interest has been shown by both permanent businesses, along with pop-up shop space with those parties stating their interest is to open after summer.

“The good news is there are lots of people interested all of a sudden in businesses and we’ve had several new businesses open,” said Pifher.

Another food and beverage option coming in the near future will be CornerStone’s upstairs bistro, which is currently slated to open in May at the earliest.

A potential new realty office is also in discussion.

Much of the renewed and new interest in bringing more businesses to Frazee is based on the efforts of Pifher as the new city economic development consultant and her company Creating Community Consulting (CCC). The group has sent out multiple surveys to 100 businesses in the Frazee zip code.

The group is supporting and promoting current businesses with a bimonthly newsblast called “Frazee Forward.” The blast can also be seen on social media.

Pifher will also be a panelist at this year’s Economic Development Summit, Friday April 5, at the Midwest Bank Ballroom of the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes.

Pifher also stressed working with the Frazee Community Club, which has 10 board members this year and all officer positions are full.

“It’s a really good step in the right direction,” said Pifher.

The two groups are working on increasing community club membership, including a sponsorship level for businesses and an increase in goal setting.

A program that has been created to support existing businesses and new shops is “Fridays in Frazee,” a consistent schedule of end-of-the-week activities aimed at bringing families together in town, and in turn, supporting local businesses.

A meeting to plan “Fridays in Frazee” is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, at 4:30 p.m. in D&K Designs on West Main Ave. (The blue building with the mural).

The public is invited to attend and bring ideas. Snacks will be provided and attendees will have a chance to win a $50 Frazee Bucks gift card.

Dental clinic

Apple Tree Dental has confirmed they will be moving to the north campus of Essentia Health in Detroit Lakes. The non-profit was appreciative of support and engagement from Frazee. They stated they feel the DL location is a better fit for them, according to a report by Pifher.

Albertsons Lake Trailer Park

Pifher and City Administrator Stephanie Poegel met with Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation (MMCDC) about Albertson Trailer Park, which is currently on the market for $1.6 million. 

Much of the discussion concerned how to aid and support local residents during a potential transition. Opportunities are limited due to the property being listed with a realtor. Pifher has also connected with Minnesota Housing to discuss options or financing programs for trailer owners in regards to maintenance.

Housing development

According to Pifher, a local developer is finalizing a housing proposal for the property near Dollar General. A housing grant application is open in April and one proposal is scheduled to be brought to the city council for review of the plan.

Business Survey Results

The EDA’s survey of local businesses showed highest satisfaction rates among owners as public services, roads and infrastructure projects, community members and an affordable cost of living in Frazee.

Business owners cited lowest satisfaction rates and concerns about land planning and zoning, cost and availability of buildings, having a skilled labor force,  public transportation, and local government’s attitude toward business. The latter two scored the lowest.