Downtown made some big strides this year.
Businesses such as Delish and Kranitz, Sadoun & Carpenter relocated, expanded and renovated prime real estate and Geneo’s Pizza & Pub remodeled. Boudreaux’s Louisiana Seafood & Steak is under new ownership after Robert Boudreau died, and 36th Street Food & Drink left the Holiday Inn and is under construction at the historic Ballinger Building. Goode Food Delivered and other specialty shops have opened their first storefronts.
The change in scenery has complemented numerous events in Downtown, too. The St. Joseph Sculpture Walk kicked off its first year and Better Block, Shamrock on The Square and numerous other gatherings found success.
While these businesses have made significant investments, probably the biggest contribution to growth is yet to come. Mosaic Life Care announced it is moving its business plaza Downtown, bringing as many as 300 employees to the area.
“We were looking for a way to really contribute to the community,” said Tama Wagner, chief brand officer at Mosaic. “Many of us are huge believers in historic preservation, restoring downtowns.”
So when the opportunity to relocate to such an area presented itself, Ms. Wagner said Mosaic was in the midst of rethinking its lease at its current business plaza.
While that project won’t break ground until January, the thought of an influx of consumers is good for the area.
“I don’t know whether (Mosaic’s move) will help, but it will help the restaurants,” said Bill Field, owner of the Duffel Bag. “Any time you have more business, it’s a good thing for the area.”
Mr. Field has owned the store at 727 Francis St. since 2001. He is pleased with the growth but is saddened by the fact that investments are more often made by those outside St. Joseph. He wishes locals would invest more in their community.
“I would like to see more retail shops, specialty shops,” he said. “Other towns are thriving, so it would be nice to see that in St. Joseph.”
Ms. Wagner said she believes the tipping point is just one entity taking a step.
“(Mosaic) will bring hundreds of caregivers with economic impact, purchasing power, boots on the ground using public spaces,” she said. “It brings hundreds of new lives to Downtown.”