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Elk Grove's development is growing rapidly. Will businesses follow?

Elk Grove was once known as a sleepy suburb, but with new shopping centers like The Ridge coming to the area, officials say businesses want to come and stay.

ELK GROVE, Calif. — Elk Grove’s normal way of life continues to change. What was once considered a bedroom community is rapidly becoming a city of expansion.

Now, instead of just families moving to the area’s many suburban streets, Elk Grove is seeing a slew of new business development, too, said the city’s Economic Development Director Darrell Doan.

"When I started this job five years ago, nobody was taking our calls," Doan said. "Nobody was thinking about Elk Grove as a place to do business."

RELATED: Dignity Health unveils plans for new, 30-acre Elk Grove hospital

Doan listed the new District56, an aquatic center, a yet-to-open community center and more as recent examples of new business expansion, but is that development sustainable?

Many shopping centers are up and ready for merchants to lease, but due to competition with online shopping it has been a challenge to keep or get retailers in, Doan said.

"We are starting to see some vacancy in Elk Grove that we haven’t experience before," Doan explained. "But we are seeing those spaces are filling up pretty quickly."

RELATED: Elk Grove's District56 crosses halfway marker with civic center primed for long-awaited opening

Keeping people and business in Elk Grove won’t happen overnight, but Doan said the phone of opportunity continues to ring for the city.

Good jobs help attract people to a community, something Elk Grove has struggled with in the past. But with Dignity Health’s Hospital coming in a few years, and more expansion into the vast suburban city more jobs are on the way.

"We've seen tremendous growth with Apple — they have added 3,000 jobs," Doan said. "We have started seeing movement in recruiting state offices to Elk Grove. So many of our residents work for the State of California, so it makes since to have some of those offices close to home."

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Monica Coleman.

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