Meanwhile, in both downtown Brookfield and downtown Riverside, the calls for economic development that people in both villages have made for years look like they’re being heard.

Certainly, a rebound from the recession is part of the reason for some of the business activity. But it’s also a direct result of attention both village governments have given to economic development in recent years.

Riverside’s uptick in new businesses follows in the wake of a comprehensive planning process that the village board has taken to heart and has begun implementing. The investment in the downtown infrastructure was a beginning, and a new marketing plan is in the works.

Brookfield is just beginning its comprehensive planning process while updating its zoning code and adding a third TIF district to spur redevelopment. Economic development does not happen by magic. It takes constant effort and planning, and locally that’s now beginning to pay off.