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April 27, 2005

Century Square ground breaking

I popped out to the ceremonial groundbreaking (Where do all those gold shovels come from?) for Century Square out by Century High School and Kindercare.

The project is spearheaded by the tireless Ken Dewan and his project manager, Nathan Hartung of Counselor Realty. Hartung promises news of tenants signing in the very near future.

A handful of brave folks faced a biting wind (I was the dope without a coat) to watch Dewan, Mayor Ardell Brede and a the minster of the adjacent church to scoop up some semi-frozen soil. A warmly dressed city council member Bob Nowicki and Mitch Glynn of Leo's Pizza Palace looked on. Glynn is building his second Leo's in the development and is keeping his eye on hungry hordes of Century high school students. He is launching a lunch buffet with that in mind.

We got the story on this in today's paper. Here's some from Bob Freund's article:

For the past couple of years, the land near the northwest corner of Viola Road and East Circle Drive has been a work with little apparent progress to passersby.

Today, developer Ken Dewan and his investment group unveil plans for Century Square, a neighborhood business center.

The initial tenant will be the second Leo’s Pizza Palace in Rochester. But “I’m close to signing some deals with some other services,” including at least one casual restaurant, Nathan Hartung, real estate agent and project manager, said this week.

The real estate group, called Vidya Investment Properties L.L.C. of Rochester, owns all but one of the available lots in the area between Viola Road and 26th Street Northeast, which is the entrance drive.

Dewan is the majority investor in the group, with others from central Minnesota and Chicago.
The group made a door-to-door survey of residents in the Century Hills subdivision and found demand for a strip-style service complex, Hartung said.

Except for a Kwik Trip convenience store, there is no commercial development for a mile or more in any direction. The Kwik Trip’s traffic shows it at busy times, such as at noon. “You can simply see the demand” by being in the store, Hartung said.

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