So remember the huge fight going over in court right now about whether or not Proctor should be able to annex land from Midway Township for a new 65 acre development for an unannounced retailer?? Well the fight is still going on, but now the retailer has been revealed. Why? Because they backed out of the deal being it is taking so long and that it officially went over the six month grace period the owners of the land we given. So what retailer was hoping to bring 200 jobs to the area and build a store that could have been almost 400,000 square feet? Bass Pro Shop.
It’s a MAJOR loss for the area. Why? Well, Bass Pro Shops are like Cabela’s, only larger and far more well known across the country, even across the world. Even worse, this would have been their first location in Minnesota and would have been a HUGE destination for anyone in the Midwest, let alone Minnesota. If everything would have gone correctly, it would have preceded their planned store at the Mall of America when the complete their expansion in 2015, but that store too may even be on the back burner due to the delay in development. I think this really should be a wake up call for all the cities and townships in the area. This could have been something really significant development wise for the Northland. It would have put us even more on the map when it came to a tourist destination and would have truly completed the image of Duluth being the entryway to the Northland. But due to our constant fight on development and our need to fight any sign of progress, we destroyed something that really could have changed things. The developers are still going through in trying to annex the land and hopefully will be out of court and finished with the entire ordeal in a few months. Then they will try to lure Bass Pro Shop back to the site. But hey, who would blame Bass Pro Shop if they had no interest at all. They did spend half a year trying to bring a store to the are only to be fought by every city surrounding it except for Proctor. The developers are hoping that if those plans don’t work out that they can lure a retailer like Lowe’s or Costco to the site. I think this really should be something that the township of Midway and the city of Duluth look at and really learn from. We made a HUGE mistake. Let’s hope the final word has yet to be said and that Bass Pro Shop will make Proctor the home of their first Minnesota location within the coming years.
Keep your fingers crossed.