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101 posts categorized "Byron news"

June 21, 2016

Macken starts construction on Byron expansion

After 107 years of being based solely in the Med City, the Macken family is adding its first funeral home outside of Rochester.

The Mackens, who own Rochester's Macken Funeral Home, are investing more than $2 million to build a new full-service facility in Byron to be called Byron Funeral Home and Cremation Services. Work started this week on the 8,000-square-foot building at 1620 Voll Drive NW at the intersection of U.S.14 West and 19th Avenue.

It will offer full funeral and visitation services as well as on-site cremation.

Rochester-MN-FuneralHome-1A public groundbreaking ceremony involving the Macken family and local leaders is scheduled for Thursday morning at the construction site. Mortician Peter Macken estimates the new facility could be completed and ready for use by October or November.

"We've been toying with this for years," he said. "We're really excited about this. Byron doesn't have a funeral home. We think Byron has a bright future and we'd like to be part of that."

Jay Czeczok, a longtime Macken employee and Byron resident, will manage the Byron Funeral Home when it opens. He will be supported by a team of on-site and Rochester employees.

Pete Macken says the family is pleased to have Weis Construction, CRW Architecture & Design Group Inc. and many other local sub-contractors involved in the project.

This expansion to Byron is the latest milestone in the funeral home's history.

Dan Macken launched what would become Macken Funeral Homes in Rochester in 1909. It now is led by the founder's grandsons, Tim and Dan Macken. Peter Macken is Tim Macken's son and the fourth generation of the family to work in the business.

One of the Mackens last expansions was in 2010, when it built a large chapel to add to its longtime Rochester campus at 1105 12th St. SE.


May 14, 2015

Arrow Ace Hardware to close Byron store

Arrow Ace Hardware, an anchor of Byron Towne Square shopping center, will close this summer.

The store at 1067 Fourth St. NE in Byron is starting its "Going Out of Business" sale today, said owner Dave Neiman. Arrow Ace was one of the first businesses to open in Byron Towne Square, right after construction was completed in 2004.

Arrow Ace owns four Rochester stores, as well as ones in Owatonna, Northfield, Mankato, Shakopee, Chaska and St. Peter.
Neiman said the Byron store's lease was coming up, so they took the opportunity to evaluate the company's strategy in southeastern Minnesota.

"We decided that we want to concentrate our efforts in Rochester. We're having great success in the Rochester market, so we want to continue to capitalize on the growth we are seeing there," he said.

The Byron store will remain open through the Going of Business sale, which may last a few weeks.

Arrow Ace has eight employees in Byron and the company is offering those employees jobs at the four Rochester stores, Neiman said. Arrow, which employs about 40 people in Rochester, has stores in Miracle Mile Shopping Center, Crossroads Shopping Center and Silver Lake Shopping Center and a stand-alone store on 37th Street Northwest.

Oak Brook, Ill.,-based Ace, which supplies the locally-owned stores as cooperatives, now has more than 4,600 locations. It does more $13 billion in sales.

March 06, 2015

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post. Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my sixth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More  than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to businesPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11s in southeastern Minnesota.

It'syou, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years. 

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post.Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my siPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11xth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to business in southeastern Minnesota.

It's you, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years.  

March 05, 2015

Three local biotech start-ups win funding

A regional economic development fund is giving three local medical technology start-ups a financial boost.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation recently announced it's giving funding to three local companies: Ambient Clinical Analytics, a Mayo Clinic spin-off software firm in Rochester; Xcede Technologies Inc., a Rochester company that makes surgical sealants; and Sonex Health, a Byron-based company that markets a carpal tunnel surgery device device called Stealth Microknife.

G_southern-minnesota-initiative-foundation-1395-1410186849.1865SMIF, which typically doesn't release the amounts of its economic development investments, is tapping its new $3 million Southern Minnesota Equity Fund for the capital for these three companies. The fund was created to to invest up to $600,000 per year for five years. The maximum investment is $100,000, according to SMIF.

The fund provides capital and expertise to early-stage and start-up companies. SMIF partners with organizations and individual investors to leverage capital and expertise to grow these companies to provide economic opportunities for Southern Minnesota.

"We're pleased to invest in these high-tech businesses through our newly-created equity fund program. Our Foundation remains committed to providing resources to grow local businesses," stated SMIF President/CEO Tim Penny in the announcement of the investments.

Ambient Clinic: Ambient Clinical is based in the newly opened expansion of the Mayo Clinic Biobusiness Accelerator in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center. It's CEO is Al Berning, who previously led Pemstar, Hardcore Computing and other Rochester companies. Drew Flaada, a former Rochester IBM executive, serves as chief technology officer.

Ambient raised $1.18 million in funding in early 2014.

Xcede Technologies Inc.: Xcede, subsidiary of Watertown, Mass.-based Dynasil Corp. of America, designs, develops and manufactures innovative hemostatic (bleeding prevention) and sealant products for surgical application.

Xcede is based at 1815 14th St. NW. Ambient's Berning was listed as an executive director in 2014.

Dynasil acquired Mayo Clinic technology initially invented by Dr. Daniel Ericson in 2011.

Sonex Health: Sonex Health is the creator of the Stealth MicroKnife. The Stealth MicroKnife is a medical device that allows clinicians to perform carpal tunnel release surgery under ultrasound guidance in the office

Sonex is listed as being based in Byron as well as having a presence in Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic Biobusiness Accelerator. 

September 14, 2014

Fire destroys Byron home

A Byron neighborhood was lit up with flames Friday night as a house was completely engulfed with fire.

ByronhousefireThe house at 716 4th Avenue Northwest was empty at the time of the blaze a little after midnight. Records show the house is owned by Michele and Todd Borchardt.

By the time the sun rose on Saturday, the house was burnt out shell with a collapsed roof.

Neighbor Denyse Woodwick called 911 and reported the fire a little after midnight, according to another neighbor Chris Douglas. She had stepped outside to look for her cat and had noticed the glow of flames over the trees. Her boyfriend ran to the house and found flames shooting out all of the windows on both levels and the walk-out basement.

He awoke the neighbors on either side of the burning house and they began hosing the sides of their homes with water to prevent the fire from spreading.

Douglas says the blaze was incredibly hot. Since no one could enter the house, there was concern that someone might be in the house. One car was in the driveway, but other neighbors said there usually were more vehicles there. Eventually, it was determined that no one was home.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The fire photo was taken by Chris Douglas of Byron.

March 02, 2012

Byron printer lays off 45

Another round of layoffs in area, though this company does acknowledge cutting the jobs and the impact it has on employees.


Schmidt Printing in Byron announced Thursday that it is cutting 45 jobs in response to market pressures.

118613v2v1"We sincerely regret that this action carries a personal cost for a large number of our employees, many with long service to the company. We will do our best to assist them during this transition" said Schmidt President Craig Monson in a prepared statement.

Schmidt is a web-offset printer owned by North Mankato-based Taylor Corp., a large conglomerate with many printing businesses. Owner Glen Taylor is also the lead owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves professional NBA basketball team.

Monson declined to answer any questions beyond the prepared statement, so it is not known how many employees remain at Schmidt's facility in Byron.

In 2009, Schmidt officials said the company had more than 350 on staff. In March of that year, Schmidt laid off 35 employees. That layoff followed a $5 million equipment investment.

April 20, 2011

Winery moving into Roch.

When it comes to making wine, timing is everything.

Open Steve and Bonita Patton say now is the time for their Post Town Winery to step it up to the next level.

The Pattons are growing about 2,000 grape vines on four acres near Byron's Oxbow Park. Since regulations wouldn't allow them to build near their vineyard, the couple have been making a variety of wines at a facility in Byron.

However, that site was not large enough to accommodate retail sales or a wine area.

Now Post Town is uncorking the next stage.

The company closed on the purchase of a business condo in the Plaza 14 commercial center at 4481 North Frontage Road N.W. in Rochester.

"This is step two in building up our business," says Bonita Patton.

Once the new facility is up and running this summer, it will give Post Town the room to more than double wine production to more than 2,000 cases a season, says Steve Patton.

When the new Rochester site opens, the Patton will introduce a new dark wine called Marquette, described as similar to a Pinot Noir wine.

Expect Post Town's new site to be open for tastings and wine sales at least part of most weekends this summer.

Once the details are worked out, the company will post a schedule on its website.

Mike Haley of Braasch Commercial Real Estate handled the deal to place Post Town Winery in the Rochester space.

December 02, 2010

Kwik action in Roch., Byron, Lewiston and Zumbrota

Kwik Trip Here's some from a recent column item I worked up from a wide ranging chat with Hans Zietlow of Kwik Trip.

A couple of tidbits that didn't make it into print are that the Lewiston Kwik Trip has a re-build in its future, though it won't be quite as big a deal as the Byron deal, which will significantly upgrade that city's C-store.

And Kwik Trip is working on plans for a Zumbrota. It is still early in the process, but it looks like it should get a green light in the spring.


As it digs in for two meaty development projects in Rochester, the big dog in this region's convenience store pack is ready to sink its teeth into a Byron building project.

Kwik Trip, the La Crosse, Wis.-based convenience store and gas station operation, plans to scrape its rapidly aging building in Byron off its foundations this spring, says Hans Zietlow, Kwik Trip real restate guru.

Kwiktripnwdevelopment "Then we'll put in a LEED-certified building with a car wash and more parking," Zietlow says. "Right now, the pumps are so close to the road. We'll move them back."

Before all of that activity kicks off in Byron, Zietlow is laying the groundwork for two projects in the Med City's busy northwest quadrant.

Earlier this year, he announced Kwik Trip's plans for mixed-use developments — 100 acres at 19th Street Northwest and West Circle Drive and 50 acres at Valleyhigh Road and West Circle Drive. The vision is to have streets lined with stores, banks, industrial operations and office buildings, anchored by a Kwik Trip.

07262010kwiktripsign19thstreet "This is the biggest growth corridor within Rochester," Zietlow says. "Unquestionably, there will be a grocery store on one of the two sites, if not both."

Kwik Trip finished buying the Valleyhigh land earlier this month, and it is closing on the 19th Street land this week.

"When we own all of the land, then we can much more actively market it," he says.

Work with local officials to map out the details is underway, with hopes to be able to start moving dirt in the summer and begin construction in 2012.

November 17, 2010

The return of the King to Byron

The city of Byron is getting its own version of the Return of the King storyline.

Kingsflooringlogo In this take, it is Monte King who is moving his flooring business back to the city where he began his career in construction.

King used to work with Floors and More in Byron. That business transformed into Home Design Studio and eventually moved to Rochester.

Three years ago, King stepped out on the floor on his own and opened King's Flooring on Bandel Road Northwest.

Now King is back in Byron after moving his showroom and operation on Nov. 1 to 185 High Point Place, right next to Subway sandwiches. That places his operation right along busy U.S. 14.

"I have a lot more visibility here," he says.

With a staff of three, King offers a full range of flooring options, from carpet to ceramic to laminate to tile. Everything is on display in his 2,600-square-foot showroom.

"I'm excited about the move. I started in Byron and I grew up in Byron," he says. "It is good to be back in Byron."