DeForest named fastest-growing community
New reports show DeForest is experiencing more growth than any other community in Dane County at a growth rate of 6.5%.
"El Alegre" Mexican restaurant owners said they looked in surrounding communities for the best place to open their restaurant and DeForest was their top choice.
"We’ve been looking around Madison, west side, east side, and we were driving by and found this town and it was special," Brian Trejo said.
Trejo’s family owns the restaurant coming to the village. He said DeForest was the perfect fit to open their first restaurant serving authentic Mexican food.
"I’m really happy. Not to brag but we have a really good menu that we'll be offering and I can't wait for people to try it out," he said.
He explained the growing community is what brought his family here.
"It’s a small town, but it's growing. There's a lot of people, I like the atmosphere. Then we found this place and went for it," Trejo said.
Village officials explained businesses that are already in the area are expanding and new businesses are choosing to call DeForest home.
"Businesses continue to choose deforest and they choose for three reasons. One is access, two is opportunity and three is speed to market," Michelle Lawrie, Community Development Director.
Officials said because the growth is smart-balanced -- meaning it's commercial, manufacturing, distribution and residential growth -- they’re able to keep up with the increase. But, it doesn't happen overnight.
"The community has really made an investment in the infrastructure that allows families to live work and play here in DeForest," Lawrie said.
Village officials said they strive to give residents the best quality of life, and Trejo said he wants to do the same.
With the restaurant name "el alegre" meaning happiness, Trejo said he hopes to bring flavorful Mexican cuisine to the village with a side of happiness.
"I really like that name and it goes with us, and we want to bring this vibe to this town," Trejo said.
Village officials said commercial growth brought more than 500 new employees to the economy in the last three years.
Heritage Credit Union is the next business set to call DeForest home. Construction should be finished by fall of 2020.