A recent study of local taxable retail sales found that Oakdale's sales were higher per capita than neighboring communities Woodbury and South St. Paul, the University of Minnesota Extension Services reported.

During 2008, Oakdale's sales were $10,793 per capita. Since 2005, taxable retail sales in Oakdale have increased by 15 percent.

The data indicated consumers were coming to Oakdale businesses especially for electronics and building materials purchases.

The city attributes their "pull factor," or the ability to entice shoppers from other communities, to new retail areas like Oakcrest Village, Oakdale Marketplace and Oakdale Village.

SCANDIA

Shopping center expansion to start

Construction on the first phase of renovations and expansions to Scandia Plaza could begin as early as October.

The City Council recently approved a conditional use permit allowing developers to add nearly 2,500 square feet to the shopping center on Ozark Avenue.

City Administrator Anne Hurlburt said the final building plans still have to meet certain conditions before they are approved.

The center is currently home to Security State Bank, Old Towne Liquors, Scandia Pizza and the post office.

The exterior of the existing building will get a facelift in addition to the expansion.

A second phase also is planned which eventually will add up to 6,000 square feet to the complex and expand the parking lot.

LANDFALL

Youth programs win acclaim

America's Promise Alliance recently named Landfall one of the 100 Best Communities for young people in the United States.

The city was cited for investing nearly 3 percent of its operating budget toward youth-development programs.

"Landfall serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children, and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life," Marguerite W. Kondracke, America's Promise Alliance president and CEO, said in a news release.

Four other Minnesota cities made the top 100 list: Edina, Mankato/North Mankato, Northfield and St. Louis Park.

COTTAGE GROVE

Hallmark store celebrates re-opening

Borgstrom's Hallmark on East Pt. Douglas Road held its grand re-opening on Thursday along with the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority.

The store's ownership recently changed hands, and it is now run by Brad Boogren.

EMMA L. CAREW