The City of Hallock underwent a strategic planning process in 2015. Five priorities were identified including business, industry and community pride. In an effort to increase community pride, the city is on a mission to enhance the physical appearance of its downtown to make it more inviting to residents and visitors. A downtown revitalization group called Hallock Main Street was created as a part of this effort to address these priorities.
Hallock Main Street has been actively visioning, researching, engaging the community, strategizing and pursuing business development, while prioritizing quality of life. In 2017, there used to be six empty, run-down buildings downtown. Today there is only one left. The rest have either be torn down and converted into green space, or renovated to be used for new business opportunities.
Hallock has recently seen a boost in economic development. Cheri Reese and husband Michael Swanson moved back to Hallock in 2013 from Saint Paul to use their family rye farm to open a distillery, Far North Spirits. In 2016, brewery Revelation Ale Works opened in a historical building that was slated to be torn down and has had tremendous success in drawing residents and visitors from all over to downtown Hallock; so much that the owners recently came back to partner with NMF’s lending team to plan an expansion for the brewery.
Since its opening in 2016, downtown Hallock has become more active. The town has engaged citizens who are committed to making the downtown space more appealing for all ages. A new flooring store has recently opened its doors, and an electronics store is projected to open this fall. A coffee shop and art space is planning to open in a soon-to-be renovated historical building that historically housed banks and jewelry shops. There is also an AirBNB space available in the apartment above the future coffee shop.
NMF has granted $25,000 to the Hallock Main Street group to invest in their efforts to improve natural resources and green space throughout the town. Additionally, the group has been working with the Bodega branding firm from the Twin Cities to create a town tagline – “Things are clearer up here” – along with a typeface and a logo that can be used on the city’s water tower and welcome sign.
“It is our goal to make Hallock a better place to work and live. We believe this project will help do that,” says David Treumer, mayor of Hallock.
The Hallock Main Street group shows no signs of slowing down their work. They have teamed up with Hallock Area Community Fund, and they meet quarterly to synthesize their goals for the
future of the community. Grace Lutheran Church has offered space in their building for the city to open a child care center. The two groups have partnered with NMF to pool resources and community leaders together to make it a reality.
The work being done in Hallock is a great example of how NMF plans to help other communities through the new Communities Thrive program. It will take the collaboration of many entities and a touch of creativity to find solutions to the issues that our residents are dealing with throughout the region. Hallock is showing us that it’s possible.