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Shortage of available land, high capital requirements, and high building costs are the factors inhibiting the launch of new business and job growth in Cook County, Minnesota.


Tofte is a gateway for over 1.1+ million people who come to visit the North Shore, Lutsen Mountains, and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness each year. Sawbill Village is positioned at the heart of it all!


Retail space at Sawbill Village is an opportunity for new or existing business owners to fill the need for more shops and restaurants in Tofte. By providing retail space for lease, Sawbill Village is a solution to the demand for these businesses AND the needs of business owners. 

The location is positioned for success! It is on Highway 61 in the heart of Tofte, MN, in a walking area by the Gitchi Gami State Trail, Tofte Park, Bluefin Bay, the Lake Walk, other shops & restaurants, Fishing Museum, and more. 

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Sawbill Village will offer 3 retail spaces and 1 restaurant space for lease in a prime location on Highway 61 in Tofte, MN.

The new, modern facility can be customized to the business and has ample indoor storage space. 

The retail spaces range from 960 - 2400 sq. feet. They will share three uni-sex public restrooms and indoor entry to all units.  

The "village model" of shared customers across multiple businesses brings higher sales and more consistent traffic. 

Restaurant Owner
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Tofte, MN on Lake Superior’s beloved North Shore is a thriving tourist destination. There are over 340 rental units within 5 miles. These resorts, hotels, and rental properties see above 90% occupancy during the peak season (May - October). The winter and shoulder seasons also have significant visitation due to the area's excellent winter recreational opportunities and the four-season lure of Lake Superior. 

The area sees over 1 million visitors per year traveling through Tofte, MN to visit Grand Marais, state parks, Lutsen Mountains, Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters, or any of the dozens of attractions, resorts, campgrounds, cabins, or property rentals in the region. 


However, there are limited shopping and dining options for residents and visitors of Tofte, MN. Over 85% of Cook County’s stores and restaurants are located 20-60 minutes away. This shortage of restaurants and retail stores has been identified by both Tofte residents and visitors as a key issue in the area. 


  • By providing a new, modern facility for local entrepreneurs to lease, they can establish a business on the North Shore with minimal investment. 

  • Business owners at Sawbill Village can leverage the demand for shops and restaurants in Tofte.

  • Tofte residents and visitors will have another restaurant (which they have asked for), and more shops to add to the attraction of Tofte. 

  • The retail spaces will drive economic development in Tofte, MN. 



"To build community infrustructure that will empower local business growth and facilitate opportunities for people to build a future in the West End of Cook County, MN."

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