Manhattan Mayor Envisions Economic Growth With Population Growth

Manhattan Mayor Envisions Economic Growth With Population Growth

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MANHATTAN, IL — There’s been some change in the Village of Manhattan recently: A new mayor took office, the village has a new police chief and a long-anticipated Dunkin’ is scheduled to be up and running later this year.

Manhattan is a town on the rise, and Mayor Mike Adrieansen said he hopes that economic opportunities follow that rise.

The village was recently named the No. 8 fastest-growing cities in Illinois by Home Snacks, a regional infotainment company that provides rankings for cities, neighborhoods and counties across the country.

“That feels a little overwhelming at times, but I think we’re prepared for it,” Adrieansen said. “I think the previous administration was fiscally responsible, and we’re ready for that growth.”

Adrieansen said the Village is focused on “the right development that services our community,” including such services as a pharmacy, themed and fast-food restaurants, and an auto parts store.

Those hoped-for services are a part of Adrieansen’s plan to put the community first and focus on the things the community needs.

“I don’t want to be building massive [big-box stores]. I’m not interested in that,” he said. “I’m interested in services for the community so we don’t have to go 20 minutes away for a prescription, for example.”

Adrieansen stressed that any economic growth should serve as a supplement to the local businesses already in the village and not be a threat to those businesses or push them out of business.

“I support our local businesses,” he said. “… So, the biggest things is not only attracting new businesses but retaining the ones that we have because otherwise it’s a revolving door and you’re going to be stagnant.”

The community focus extends beyond just the economic growth, as Adrieansen said he is also working to keep residents better informed about its various governmental bodies via a quarterly newsletter that will be delivered to residents’ homes.

“I’m also focused on the community events,” Adrieansen said. “I feel like if we can just keep pushing that agenda of community events to the people, then they’ll get a feel that we’re serious about it, and they’ll come to our town more to have these nice, unique events that we might have. And we’ll draw people from other towns to come visit our great town.”

There already has been an increase in people noticing and moving into Manhattan over the last 10 years. According to the latest U.S. Census data, the population increased from 7,051 residents in 2010 to 9,385 in 2020, a 33 percent increase in the village’s population.

Adrieansen, originally from Orland Hills, first moved to Manhattan in 2005; however, life happens, and a change in careers forced a move in 2016 while he was a trustee on the Village Board. At that time, he decided to resign his seat so that someone else who lived in the village could represent the community. But, Adrieansen and his family moved back to the area in 2020 and was elected mayor in April of this year.

“I love this town,” Adrieansen said. “It has a lot of great potential. It is a great town, a great community. I like to be involved and give back whatever I can.”

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