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6 posts from December 2013

December 23, 2013

Ex-Hostess building sold for $720,000

Here's a real estate sale that has spurred my old cravings for Hostess SWonderbreadstoreno-Balls.

Don't judge me. I just can't resist those artifically colored, marshmallow skinned blobs of sweet, sweet calories. Heh.

Rochester's former Wonder Bread Hostess outlet store building at 406 37th St. N.E. for $720,000 on Dec. 18, according to county property records.

SnballsBuilt in 1990, the building has about 3,500-square-feet of retail space and an about 9,500-square-feet of warehouse space. It closed down, when Hostess imploded at the end of 2012.

I chatted with the new owner this morning and this sale opens the door for a regional business to expand into Rochester. This new name in town could eventually add up to about 10 to 15 new local jobs.

I'll have all of the details in the Heard on the Street column in Tuesday's Post-Bulletin. Just consider me Santa's little helper and the P-B as a present of information that can also be used as gift wrap.

In the meantime, I'd consider it a special gift if anyone out there can tell me if true Hostess Sno-Balls have ever returned to Rochester. If so, where can I find them?

December 10, 2013

Charter to add 140 jobs in Rochester

Cable provider Charter is following up its expansion into two ex-IBM buildings in Rochester by ramping up to hire at least 140 new jobs. All of the new staffers will work in the 002 Building on IBM's campus.

Here's a little about this. There's a full story here.

Charter-Business-Logo-smallCharter Communications plans to add more than 140 jobs to its business-to-business division in Rochester, with the goal of having 70 new employees on the job by January.

Charter spokeswoman Kimberly Noetzel said the cable television, Internet and telephone service provider is filling positions across the board, including jobs in sales, operations, service activations and some supervisory and support positions.

“Charter continues its growth in the Rochester area,” stated Joe Romano, vice president at Charter Business, in an announcement about the new jobs. “This community has historically provided us with a talented employee base to support the many areas of our business.”

Charter Business is the division of the cable company that sells Internet and telephone services directly to businesses.

Mayo Clinic wraps up $10 million buy of old courthouse site

Amid the boom in downtown development and the flurry of Destination Medical Center activity, a sale of a historic Rochester property has wrapped up after 20 years.

Mayo Clinic now officially owns the former Olmsted County Courthouse property after making the last payment of a $10.1 million, 20 year Contract for Deed deal.

The final payment was made on Sept. 1 to complete the agreement that was originally signed between the Mayo Foundation and Olmsted County in October 1993, according to Kelley Luckstein of Mayo Clinic.Get_photo

Mayo Clinic spent $7.7 million to renovate the courthouse into what is now the Ozmun office buildings at 515 Second St. The revamped complex was dedicated in 1995. The property also includes the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center at 565 First St. S.W.

The buildings and property on Second Street Southwest became available after the then-new City-county Government Center at 151 Fourth St. S.E. was dedicated in 1993.

After paying $1 down as earnest money, Mayo Clinic made payments to the county every Sept. 1. The first installment was $1,031,946 and then the payment increased by one dollar for the next four years.

By the fifth year, the payment grew to $1,216,807 for five years. It increased to $1,401,665 on year 11 and the annual remained at that level through the final payment.

The original deal was made by the Mayo Foundation, but that entity has since been converted into the Mayo Clinic legal body, says Luckstein. On Nov. 19, the ownership was transferred from the foundation to Mayo Clinic.

December 06, 2013

Two Rochester nonprofit "animals" may move in together

Two of Rochester's nonprofit "animals," Flamingo Bingo and the Elks Lodge 1091, are looking to possibly move in together in early 2014.

Both organizations have generally agreed on a plan to have Flamingo Bingo move into the Elk's large Lodge Room at 1652 U.S. 52 North in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.

However, no lease has been signed yet. The proposed project is subject to the final approval from the state, which is needed before anything happens.

Flamingobingo"Both organizations are very excited about this," says Deb Nusbaum, Flaming Bingo's charitable gaming manager.  "We anticipate that we'll eventually be moving there, but there are a lot of details to work through yet with the Minnesota Gambling Control Board."

Flamingo Bingo, which raises money for the Rochester Senior Center, has called games at 2828 U.S. 52 North since it opened in 2007. It is now looking for a new home due to coming changes to its building, which previously housed Circus World bingo.

Nusbaum stressed that Flamingo Bingo is open for business at its current spot along U.S. 52 North and will remain so until it moves, probably in early 2014.

Flamingo Bingo's fund raising efforts are "critical" to supporting the Rochester Senior Center, she says. It's annual financial goal, which it met in 2012, is to raise at least $100,000 for the senior center, according to Nusbaum. The bingo parlor has 16 employees on staff.

For their part, the Elks members see a lot of benefits in bringing Flamingo Bingo into its facility.

"It's multi-faceted for us," says Chris Holloway, the current club president. "We have an excess of space that we don't use on a daily basis. We're both charitable organizations. There's a lot of crossover in our clientele. Plus it brings in additional revenue."

December 05, 2013

Breast cancer scanner maker, once linked to Mayo Clinic, sold to Mexican company

Qg3q4q112233Here's a potentially interesting nugget of news about San Diego-based Naviscan Inc., which was at one pointed linked with Mayo Clinic through intellectual property licenses as well as direct investment by Mayo Medical Ventures.

"… Certain Naviscan Inc. assets including intellectual property and the Naviscan Trademark" have been aquired by a Mexican medical scanner company called Compañía Mexicana de Radiología or CMR.

Not sure what that means exactly, but my guess is that CMR is now behind the steering wheel at Naviscan.

Now I don't know if Mayo Clinic still has any links with Naviscan, but it certainly did at one time. I've got calls into Mayo and Naviscan to check on that.

I wrote the Mayo Clinic-Naviscan relationship back in 2005 through 2007 or so. Sheesh, I've been doing this for a long time.

From back in November 2005:

Naviscan “entered into an agreement with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (Mayo Clinic) to clinically validate and commercialize a dynamic patented molecular imaging agent for use with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and other imaging modalities. … Mayo Clinic has licensed the vitamin B-12 molecular imaging agent technology invented by Dr. Douglas A.Collins to Naviscan PET Systems, Inc and will receive royalties from this license. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have published studies that cancers have high uptake of radioactive B-12, especially in breast tumors."

"The combination of the Mayo Clinic’s patented Vitamin B-12 molecular imaging agent and Naviscan’s high-resolution PET scanner holds great promise for the future in terms of early detection of breast cancers,” said Paul Grayson, newly-appointed CEO of Naviscan PET Systems, Inc. and a Managing Director of Sanderling Ventures. “We sought out Naviscan’s technology to strategically invest in this important imaging technology platform.” Naviscan is planning clinical trial work with Mayo Clinic and other luminary sites in the U.S. to prove the value of the PEM Flex in breast cancer patients, as well as for evaluating PEM’s role with high-risk patients.”


From the same date in 2005:

“Naviscan PET Systems has raised a $6.5 million in Series B funding for its high resolution positron emission tomography (PET) products. The firm said that it raised the round from Sanderling Ventures, with participation from Mayo Medical Ventures."

FYI, Sanderling Ventures now leases a space in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator.

December 03, 2013

Downtown property deal - money shuffle?

A couple major downtown Rochester buildings sold for $10 million in late November.

Buy-sell-keyboardHowever, the names of the buyer and the seller are very, very similiar and they have the same address.

So it's some sort of internal deal, but it still seems a bit odd. This kind of internal real estate shift is often some sort of tax thing, but that doesn't apply here.

I'm checking on this, but not sure how detailed of an answer I'll get. The entities involved are not the most.... transparent that I work with.