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96 posts categorized "Byron news"

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."

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.

April 01, 2010

Landscaper to expand, move to Kasson

This is the follow-up to the earlier tease about Kasson landing new businesses. And yes, Trisha was correct. One of the three new businesses is Jason Wilkers Retaining Wall and Pavers:

Jason Wilkers Retaining Wall and Pavers is being transplanted to a new home in Kasson from its current spot in Byron.

And Wilkers is planting more than roots for his business in his new location on Eighth Avenue Northwest, also known as the Dump Road.

He is planting trees to eventually grow into a nursery.

While it will be a long time until that project bears fruit, Wilkers expects to be have his landscaping operation up and running by early May.

It will be more than double the size his business. Wilkers has four on staff now and will probably hire four to five more.

February 01, 2010

Apartment buildings in Byron, Roch. change hands

Kodiak At the end of 2009, Byron Partners LLC sold an apartment complex in Byron for more than $6 million and picked up one in Rochester as part of the deal.

Byron Partners LLC, a local group lead by Byron developer Joel Bigelow, sold Kodiak Apartments on Dec. 31 for $6.4 million. The 73-unit complex in Byron was purchased by Kodiak Apartments LLC, led by Steve Cheney, a Plymouth, Minn. business man.

Clinicsuites As part of the Dec. 31 deal, Byron Partners acquired the Clinic Suites Apartments  on Third Avenue Southeast in Rochester from Kodiak Apartments LLC. It was priced at $650,000.

Bigelow and Byron Partners built the three-story Kodiak complex in 2002.

Bigelow said the sale was all about adjusting and preparing for the future.

"I just don't know what the economy is going to bring for us in the next year or two," he said.

Mac Hamilton of Hamilton Real Estate in Rochester handled the transaction.

January 24, 2010

Happy China sells in Roch., still open in Byron

011910happychinajk Here's the follow-up to the earlier Happy China posting:

 Happy days are over…for Happy China in Rochester at least.

However, Byron's Happy China is still cooking.

Owner Xing Yang said he closed the northwest Rochester location in the Sienna Square commercial center last week, because juggling it and the Byron one had become too much.

He says a sale of the business is in the works.

If it closes as expected, Yang says another type of restaurant should open at 2711 Commerce Drive N.W.

January 18, 2010

New drug store + Byron

Here's some from a piece by Gretta Becay about the drug store that is moving into empty storefront in the Byron Market Place commercial center.

That spot was left vacant after the Weber & Judd drug store closed recently.

The new retailer moving in is Sterling Drug, an Austin, Minn. icon that has grown into a regional chain over the years.

On Friday, Tim Gallagher, vice president of pharmacy operations for Astrup Drug Inc. of Austin, and Randy Fogelson, owner of the Byron Market Place, signed a lease for the pharmacy to occupy space in the building.The Byron pharmacy will be the 14th store under the Astrup Drug corporate umbrella.

Gallagher said the new Byron store will offer free delivery and delivery by mail for prescription drugs.

Gallagher said the Byron location would employ at least two people full time.

Weber & Judd  closed in November.

Ann Hammond, a rural Olmsted County resident, had a prescription at that pharmacy. Since it closed, she’s been looking forward to the new pharmacy opening, she said.

“I was sad to hear that they were closing because it was very convenient for me. I do plan on using the new pharmacy when it opens,” she said.