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August 06, 2010

Kwik Trip is bullish on N.W. Roch.

I had an interesting chat today with Hans Zietlow of the regional convenience store power house, Kwik Trip.

07262010kwiktripsign19thstreet "West Circle Drive seems like one of the safest business investments out there," he says.

 We talked about his company's plans for its planned development plus a Kwik Trip at 19th St. N.W./ West Circle Drive.Zietlow, hans

AND he also talked to me about Kwik Trip's OTHER West Circle Drive development project - this one covers 50 acres - at Valleyhigh Drive and West Circle Drive.

It is a very similar concept to the proposed 19th Street one, which is already generating quite a bit of interest from retailers and other companies.

Expect 19th to lead the way in development ahead of Valleyhigh Drive.

In the course of our chat, we also talked about Kwik Trip's plans in Byron and its interest in Rochester's proposed 65th Street interchange.

I'll have much more on this in my column Monday.


Valleyhigh Drive could become a great area for businesses and an artery out of downtown, but it has to become a 4-lane at least out to 60th Avenue NW and it needs to be resurfaced between 19th Street and Circle Drive. Who knows when that will happen.

So 3 kwik trips within less than two miles on the same road? Why does this remind me of starbucks?

Fifty acres? Five-zero? That's, like, truck stop scale.

And still, our genious city decision makers have no apparent plans for the already heavily traveled 19th street NW to the highway, as all of these developments materialize. Shame on them for allowing the future traffic conditions, and those already present, on this stretch of street that runs directly through a residential nieghborhood.

Mr. RN, I don't see a need for the 19th Street to be done between Highway 52 and West Circle Drive to be redone, even if a large commercial area is put there. West Circle Drive is already a major road, and it is just off of Hwy 63. Possibly 19th between West Circle Drive and Valley High Drive, but not all the way to Hwy 52, if these projects really explode into a larger retail area than is already planned, otherwise there are too many other projects in Rochester that need to be dealt with first. If you drive around to major retail sectors in the Twin Cities and get outside of those areas by a mile, the roads connecting to other highways just aren't that great. I know, because I've driven some main roads there that connect retail to highways, and they are no better than 19th street. Unless you're talking about just eliminating all those homes and putting in more retail there. You may have some opposition from those homes you want to bulldoze.

King, I think you misunderstood my post. I'm not sure where you were going with the Twin Cities comparison, and bulldozing homes for more retail...
A traffic count done 2 years ago showed there were nearly 16,000 vehicles per day using 19th street between 19th Avenue and the hwy. There are 12 single family homes just on the south side of this short one-block stretch. All types of vehicles are allowed on the street, including: semi tractor-trailers, hundreds of buses per day, and a multitude of other commercial, industrial, and utility vehicles; this, on top of the already heavy car, truck, and motorcycle traffic. Speeding is also a big issue; enforcement is minimal, and far less than adequate. Various city decision makers have acknowledged and validated these concerns when brought to them, but have offered no apparent plan to address them as of yet.
Now, add the soon-to-be-built-on-19th-Steet Lourdes High School and large retail/industrial development. This is an issue.

Jeff, what are the plans for kwik trip in Byron? Would they be moving to the open lots acroos from Ace Hardware and Snap Fitness? This could create a log jam of traffic on 10th AVE, especially in the mornings when school is in session. The morning tend to get busy by the elementary school.

The Byron plan is still being worked out, but the hope is to re-build the current store. I'm certain the city would be involved in the planning before anything is locked in stone.

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