An engineering and architecture firm settled into its newly renovated digs in northwest Rochester last week.
Crookston-based Widseth Smith Nolting officially moved into the former Home Design Studio at 3777 40th Ave. NW on Thursday. WSN opened a Rochester site in 2009, which has grown into one of the largest of its seven offices in Minnesota and North Dakota. It now houses a staff of 21.
It moved from a 4,500-square-foot office at 6301 Bandel Road NW.
To accommodate its rapidly expanding needs, WSN purchased the 32,000-square-foot complex on West Circle Drive for $1.6 million in February.
"We looked at lot of different buildings all around the city. We really like this building," said Brian Carlson, WSN's director of business development in Rochester, earlier this year. "We liked the exposure. We liked the location and the ability to have our whole team in one spot."
WSN, which merged with Rochester's Kane and Johnson Architects in 2014, has been renovating the building for several months.
In addition to creating offices and conference rooms for its staff, WSN has carved out parts of the building for commercial tenants. Many prospective tenants are seriously considering leasing the space, but none have been announced yet.
This project has breathed new life into the unique nine-year-old building along West Circle Drive.
It was designed by Kane and Johnson Architects as a home builders' showroom with model kitchens, bathrooms and other room layouts. Spearheaded by local contractor Jerome Bigelow, a group of 13 owners optimistically launched the operation with a grand party attended by hundreds of Rochester business leaders. It had 59 people on staff working for a variety of construction-related businesses. The last occupants moved out in April 2012.
Event Studio LLC, of Rochester, then bought the complex from Partnership 10, of Byron, in 2013 for $1.3 million.