ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- This past year has been one of growth and progress for downtown St. Cloud.

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St. Cloud Economic Development Director Cathy Mehelich says they approved 14 projects that received a total of $1.5 million in Main Street grants, along with another 10 projects that shared $100,000 in exterior improvement grants.

She says the former Herberger's Building continues to be a focus for her department. She says it is still for sale or lease and they are working with the local broker. But, some good news is the office space in that building is being used again.

We did see that Midland Credit occupies 20,000 square feet in that building.  They did a remodel of that space as well.  That was largely space that was previously occupied by Capital One.  That really brought a nice shot in the arm back to downtown with 200 workers.

Mehelich says she has talked to the owners of TequilaTown Mexican Cuisine who say they are planning to open their new restaurant in the former Searles On Fifth building sometime in January.

Another big project that is expected to be completed in 2024 is the opening of the Great River Children's Museum which should be open to the public by late next year.

We also learned this week that Gnarly Bard Theater has bought the former Black Box Theater building on West St. Germain Street and is planning a full live entertainment schedule beginning in the fall of 2024.

The former Cowboy Jack's Property was placed on the market for sale back in September.  The After Midnight Group is looking for a developer to buy the property and develop it.

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