ST. JOSEPH - The future is looking bright economically for St. Joseph.

The town has grown from around 4,600 people in 2000 to just under 7,000 now. The population growth has led to several new businesses and developments (like a community center and new government building).

St. Joseph Community Development Director Therese Haffner says newer businesses like Bad Habit Brewing and Sliced have been very successful in their downtown. There's also a couple of senior developments coming soon: Fortitude Senior Housing and the Country Manor Campus.

"St. Joseph has been growing just like Central Minnesota as a whole, we have several projects and residential subdivisions that are adding new lots," Haffner says.

Haffner says the town benefits commercially with key transportation connections to I94 and County Road 75. There's also a growing interest in outdoor activities and park space.

"I think we're seeing a shift in people becoming more healthy and active: communities are focusing on walkability, access to local food, community gardens and farmers markets."

St. Joseph is in the process of updating their city comprehensive plan. The plan will be a guide for future development and how the community wants to grow. Haffner says they'll be working close with residents for feedback and that they'll start launching the plan in December or January.