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9 posts from February 2016

February 25, 2016

Grocery still could be on way for Miracle Mile, but not Whole Foods

A national grocery chain could be on the way for Rochester's Miracle Mile mall.

5553522a8afe9.imageHowever, it won't be Whole Foods as previously predicted.

Word that the popular organic grocery chain was talking to the owners of the mall at 115 16th Ave. NW popped up last year, soon after Miracle Mile sold for $10.4 million. In the end, that deal was not done. 

Another brand now has stepped in and has taken negotiations with the owner of Rochester's oldest mall farther down the road than Whole Foods did.

"We're working with a national grocery chain. They have submitted a letter of intent, and we have responded," said Rochester Realtor Merl Groteboer of Re/Max Results. "Whole Foods is out of the picture at this point."

Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svgHe represents the mall owners, Miracle Mile LLC. There are no public details about the unidentified owners, but Groteboer previously has described them as a Twin Cities couple.

Miracle Mile LLC purchased the mall along U.S. Highway 52 and Second Street Southwest in March 2015 from Jordan Realty Corp. of Dallas. Jordan had owned it since 1988.

While the deal is progressing forward, there is no guarantee it will happen in the end. That's why Groteboer is keeping quiet about the name of the grocery store. He does say it is a national chain that is not in Rochester now, but does have a presence in Minnesota.

In December, two high-profile tenants — The Mouse Gift & Home store and the Bread Baker bakery — closed. That seemed to fit with the possible development plan to demolish the south end of the mall to make space for a new stand-alone grocery store. The tenants on that end, such as Arrow Ace Hardware and Plaza Morena, could be moved into open spaces in the north end of the mall.

"Any tenants displaced would be offered another space in the center," Groteboer said last year.

February 19, 2016

A second scoop of Flapdoodles is on the way

A double scoop of Flapdoodles Ice Cream is on the way for Rochester.

Flapdoodles-homemadeMatt Tierney, who launched his original hand-made ice cream shop in 2011, has decided to open a second location at 1710 South Broadway. That's the former Wheeler's Autobody Supply building.

While this will be another full restaurant site, Tierney said this is not just about reaching more customers.

Flapdoodles.1jpg1"What really drove the whole decision was a lack of production space (at the current 3525 22nd Ave. NW)," he said. "We've been growing every year and we just don't have enough room."

That means the back of the South Broadway store will be devoted to making ice cream for both stores. During the busy days of summer, Flapdoodles makes about 400 gallons of ice cream per week.

Tierney hopes to have the new store ready to open by early to mid-summer. He has about 20 employees on staff at the 22nd Avenue location and expects to have a similar crew at the new store.


"We really like the feel of South Broadway with a lot of hotels and Graham Arena nearby. And we're close enough to downtown, that you can see Mayo Clinic from the windows," he said.


He purchased the 38-year-old building from Wernimont Properties on Feb. 12 for $500,000. Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate represented Tierne Wheeler's Autobody Supply y in the deal, and Jay Christenson of Braasch Commercial Real Estate represented Wernimont. Wernimont Properties bought the 1710 South Broadway building in April 2015 from $389,900/

In the few years since it opened the former Subway sandwich shop, Flapdoodles has attracted a growing crowd of fans.

"Our customers are nice combination of local people, visitors to Mayo and people here for sports tournaments," said Tierney. "I'm really happy with how things have gone." 

 

February 17, 2016

North Broadway parcel cleared of buildings

02172016MLTbuildingdemoWhere a 140-year-old brick building once stood on North Broadway is now a hole in the ground.

Real estate investor Les Nelsonof Clear Lake, Iowa cleared away the former MLT Group building at 411 North Broadway this week.

In October, Nelson bought the building for $600,000 from Mike and Dawn Pruett. He also demolished two nearby empty buildings at 401 Broadway 08102015MLT2 and 407 Broadway last summer to make the area more attractive for developers. There's no word yet on what might happen there.

The Pruetts and partner Ted St. Mane have moved their businesses, MLT Group and MLT Video, to a 11,090-square-foot business condo in the Plaza 14 West center at 4481 North Frontage Road.

 

 

 

February 15, 2016

Change in downtown Rochester … in 2007 and 2008

The general feeling in Rochester today is that a lot of change is imminent, particularly in downtown.

11-29 Galleria food  ct olA quick look back at February in my blog archives shows that there has already been plenty of change in recent years.

In late February in 2007, the downtown was wracked with spasms as the long-time and much-loved Food Court on the third floor of the Galleria Mall closed to make way for the new University of Minnesota-Rochester to move into the top floors of the retail mall.

The mall is now officially named University Square, though everyone still calls it the Galleria.

In 2007, Sandy Keith, the then-executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, said the Galleria’s transformation is a “key ingredient” along with the proposed Biobusiness Center to  reviving downtown. “The Galleria has not been a very functional building for a long time. It will be a very, very substantial improvement.”

As a foreshadowing of the Mayo Civic Center (Hockey) arena debate, Brad Jones, the executive director for the Rochester Area Visitors and Convention Bureau, proposed building a new lacrosse field to bring more business to the city.

“Right now if you build it, they (teams and tournaments) will come. But you don’t want to be on the back end of that,” he said. “We grow the club and get facilities. What’s the downside?”

6a00d83451cc8269e200e5505fd23b8834-800wiA year later, on Feb. 15, 2008, I posted a pic of the first walls of the future Minnesota BioBusiness Center beginning to rise. At that time, the only signed lease for the center was Mayo Clinic Health Solutions, which included Mayo Medical Ventures and MMSI.

A Belgium company called Cardio3 Biosceinces was rumored to be looking at leasing space, which eventually did happen in 2015. However, Cardio3/ now known as Celyad has since decided to pass on building out space in the center.

Also in February 2008, construction work was heating up on a new restaurant on the street level of the Galleria. While people were a little cautious about a place being opened by folks out of the Twin Cities, Chester's Kitchen and Bar seems to have caught on.

Construction was also underway to transform the Broadstreet Cafe into 300 First, though the Redwood Room remained untouched.

6a00d83451cc8269e200e550758a8a8833-800wiAt the start of February 2008, Jan Daly bought the former Labor Temple building at 405 1⁄2 S. Broadway for $437,500 

Her plan then was to create the Rosie Belle Performing Arts center on that site.

Street design and bike racks weren't big issues in 2008. The biggest threat to downtown then was the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, which described as potentially "deadly."

Altura State Bank to merge with Plainview bank

Altura State Bank has signed a deal to merge with the People State Bank of Plainview.

"We are pleased to announce the combination of these two quality banks," said Dick Zabel, board chairman of Peoples State Bank. "Our banks are both family owned and share a similar culture and approach for customers and employees."

LogoThe merger is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.

Altura has one branch at 411 Main Street NW in Altura. The bank was founded by the Kramer family in 1910. It now has more than $50 million in assets. That branch will operate under the name of Peoples State Bank.

"The merger will provide our customers with more products and services, while maintaining the small community banking experience they have come to expect," said President and CEO Peter Kramer of Altura State Bank.

0logoPeoples State Bank of Plainview has approximately $200 million in assets and five branches, in Plainview, Elgin and Millville in Minnesota, as well as Boyceville and Menomonie in Wisconsin.

The combined bank, operating as Peoples State Bank of Plainview, expects to have assets of more than $250 million

"We welcome Altura State Bank employees and look forward to working with them as partners in serving the Altura customers," Plainview CEO and President Gary Timm.

Timm took over as president of the bank in January 2014. He took over from Zabel, who became the chairman or the board.

 

February 11, 2016

TaDa! - it's a new Rochester consignment store

A local couple have launched a new addition to Rochester's line-up of consignment stores.

TaDa!+(bird+only)Cindy Rolfing and Joe Crest opened TaDa! Consign at 1814 Second St. SW last week. They buy and sell furniture, home decor and household items ranging from new and trendy to antique and retro. The shop is open four days a week from Wednesday to Saturday.

The idea is to give local amateur and professional interior decorators a selection of stylish couches, end tables, lamps, mirrors and more to chose from as they look for just right piece.

Tada-consign-furniture"It couldn't be going better," said Rolfing of their first week in business.

TaDa! operates in the 2,500-square-foot space last occupied by Antiquity and Real Deals before that.

Rolfing is well-known as a Rochester educator and her husband previously worked in air travel. The pair say they are excited to try this new endeavor.

"It's (opening a store) been in the back of my mind for 30 years. I always liked to decorate," she said.

TaDa! is just a block or so away from the brightly-colored Karma Consignment

"I like being close to Karma. They are so well-know and have a huge selection. I think it is good for us," said Rolfing. "There are a lot of great consignment stores in Rochester, each with their own style. " think there's more than enough market for all of us plus room for even more."

February 10, 2016

North Menards to grow a little bigger

After being open less than two years, Menards is planning a small expansion at its north Rochester store.

The 90,000-square-foot store opened in April 2014 near the intersection of U.S. 52 and 65th Street Northwest. Menards also has another Rochester store at 3000 S. Broadway.

5342bd12e28c4.imageNow, the Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer has filed permits for a small 12,914-square-foot garden center with a mezzanine area. The permit estimates the value of the project at $193,000.

The store already includes a garden center as well as a full-service lumber yard and an extensive array of tools and appliances.

A Menards representative didn't have a lot to say about this project, other than to describe it as "a few changes."

Presumably, the work on the expansion will start soon, to be ready for the spring garden season.

Menards built the store on 35 acres in 2014 to replace its previous north store at 5150 U.S. 52 North, which is smaller. Jim Sather and Mark Byer bought that building and moved their Furniture Superstore and America's Mattress stores into that building.

 

February 09, 2016

Rochester mortgage firm is on the move

A 13-year-old Rochester mortgage firm plans to move soon into its own digs after buying a northwest business condo.

TimthumbThe plan is for Premier Mortgage of Rochester to move to 3135 Superior Drive NW in the Badger Village Office Condos in early March, said owner Todd Satre. That's the former home of R!ah Hair Salon.

After leasing space in the Crossroads Shopping Center and in the Highlands on 19th Street since he opened in 2003, Satre said he felt it was time to buy a space of his own for his growing company. Remodeling work began on the 1,500-square-foot space this week.

"As we've grown with the market, we've outgrown the space we're in. It made sense to have more of a professional storefront of our own," he said.

Timthumb-1The new space is about double the size of Premier's current offices.

Mike Busch and Scott Hoss, of Rochester's Paramark Real Estate Services, handled the deal.

Satre describes Premier Mortgage as an independent "wholesale mortgage" company, which works with a number of banks to get the best deal possible for its home-buying or refinancing clients. 

Premier Mortgage has four employees on staff, but that could change soon.

"We're hoping to add some more loan officers in near future," he said.

February 03, 2016

Another hotel to be built near Costco

The final pieces of the Costco development in northwest Rochester are slated to be built this summer, starting with a new hotel.

A South Dakota-based developer, SD Rochester LLC, purchased land between the Comfort Inn and McDonald's along West Circle Drive from Northwest Investments of La Crosse for $1.45 million on Jan. 15.

Si_ms_slides_01According to city documents, the firm lead by Dan Henderson is planning to build an almost $6 million, three-story hotel under the dual brands of Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites. It will join two hotels — Comfort Inn and Staybridge Suites — built last year.

"They are a highly sophisticated group. I think this will be a good project," said Hans Zietlow, of Northwest Investments. "They got a pretty key piece of property."

Zietlow began carving the development out of a farm field for Northwest Investments in 2010. Northwest Investments is the real estate arm of Kwik Trip Inc. Zeitlow typically handles land planning for the Wisconsin convenience chain's stores, so this was not his usual type of project.
 
Starting it during a recession gave it a slow start, but a recovered economy plus a prominent anchor such as Costco has made it a hot property.

"Once or twice in your life, you have way more buyers than land to sell. Then you get to be picky about selling property," he said. "This is one of those times for me."

Beside the addition of the third hotel, a multi-tenant center also is slated to be built by Aldi this summer by a Twin Cities developer. There's no word yet on what retailers or restaurants it might house.

"I think that one will take off like a rocket," Zietlow said.

With the Costco development pretty much wrapped up, Northwest Investments is turning its attention to a nearby 50-acre property at West Circle Drive and Valleyhigh Drive. They have started the planning process to add roads and utilities into the area to prepare to sell lots, just as they did at the larger Costco property.

If things go as expected, construction could start there yet this year.

"There's a lot interest in that area, particularly since the new Hy-Vee opened," he said.

Zeitlow and Northwest Investments have driven a lot of change along Rochester's West Circle Drive area, and now more is one the way.

"Anyone looking for a place to build in Rochester now has to look at Northwest before they make a final decision of where they are going to go," Zietlow said. "That wasn't the case 10 years ago."