Washington County Community Perfect for Business
Monday, October 05, 2020
Nestled between the Minnesota Twin Cities urban areas and the scenic bluffs of the St. Croix National Scenic River System, Washington County is an area popular with businesses for a number of unique advantages. Available commercial space, a skilled workforce, diverse communities and interwoven natural areas combine to offer a quality of life unmatched across the country.
The foremost advantage Washington County offers business is an abundance of commercial and industrial land. Ranging in size from 5 to 300 acres, plots are located within 30 minutes of 18 Fortune 500 companies, including 3M’s world headquarters, BestBuy, Target, Xcel Energy, Securian Financial, Valspar and MedTronic. Many sites are available within a 15 minute drive of downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.
A second advantage to Washington County businesses is a large supply of talented and available workforce. Over 100,000 people leave the county for work every day and present recruitment opportunities. The total labor force is growing, with the population of 25- to 34-year-olds living in the county projected to grow 65% by 2030.
A third advantage to Washington County businesses is a series of tax advantages. Washington County has the third lowest property taxes in Minnesota and the state corporate income tax rate is 9.8%. In 2014, the state moved to a single sales apportionment, which makes Minnesota a top location for headquarters, plants and equipment that propel sales. Minnesota exempts personal property, including machinery and inventory, from the property tax, which lowers the effective tax rate for real and personal property. There is also no sales tax on clothing, pharmaceuticals, or food used for home consumption.
Finally, connectivity is crucial in today’s business environment and Washington County’s broadband infrastructure is another valuable advantage. Multiple carriers have made serious broadband investments across the county to ensure businesses have what they need to succeed. Additionally, Washington County is part of the Minnesota Technology Corridor, which is an area of developable land ideal for technology companies and data centers to locate.
Washington County comprises 33 charming and pro-business communities, from large urban centers to quaint rural towns. For example, Woodbury is the largest city in the county at a population exceeding 70,000 residents. As the ninth-largest city in Minnesota, it is one of the fastest growing and most diverse. Woodbury is a regional draw for shopping experiences and is in the midst of rapid growth as a destination for medical businesses.
Stillwater is a town of nearly 20,000 residents on the picturesque St. Croix River with a historic downtown. It is one of the oldest towns in the state and is said to be the birthplace of Minnesota’s statehood. It is home to the Washington County Historic Courthouse, which is the longest standing courthouse in the state. The town is a favorite for visitors and residents alike for its modern amenities, restored historic mansions and over 100 owner-operated shops and restaurants along the downtown Historic Main Street.
Premium Quality of Life
A bountiful range of activities and entertainment supplement the business environment resulting in a premium Quality of Life in Washington County. From the area's 19 golf courses to many other outdoor activities, Washington County has something for everyone. Many parks and the presence of the St. Croix River makes the county a destination for those seeking outdoor activities.The 579-acre St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park has 3,800 feet of shoreline on the St. Croix River, a nationally-recognized wild and scenic river route.
The county is home to the St. Croix Valley and high-quality upland and wetland wildlife habitat of Big Marine Park Reserve. Lake Elmo Park Reserve is 2,165 acres, with 80% of its acreage set aside for preservation and protection. A unique feature of this park is the use of goats to browse oak savanna restoration areas to help reduce shrub surface area and allow for other groundcover.
Biking enthusiasts will love Washington County’s Point Douglas Regional Trail along the Mississippi River at the southern tip of the county. Most of the trail is along bluff land and connects to downtown Hastings and the Dakota County Regional Trail System.
Finally, Washington County does not go into hibernation for winter. It is home to eight parks and 65 miles of groomed trails for all levels of cross-country skiing, most with room for snowshoeing or winter hikers. It is also home to the Afton Alps ski area, which has been one of the Midwest's premier winter destinations for over 50 years. Located along the St. Croix River in the southeast corner of Washington County, it has nearly 300 skiable acres and a ski hill with 300 feet of vertical drop.
The business advantages, diverse communities and unmatched Quality of Life make Washington County a destination for businesses and employees from all industries. Contact us to learn more about how you and your business can benefit from what Washington County has to offer!