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40 posts categorized "Construction progress"

August 17, 2016

Miracle Mile project to be unveiled soon?

579781715a9e4.imageWhile there has been no official word about the proposed grocery/apartment complex project at Rochester's Miracle Mile Shopping Center, it looks like it is on the agenda of Thursday's meeting of the Committee on Urban Design and Environment.

CUDE is slated to hear about the "Miracle Market Mixed-Use Project," according to the agenda. No other details are listed. This project is expected to involve the mysterious, unnamed owner of the Miracle Mile shopping center and Nate Stencil of Stencil Homes, who has a number of apartment complex projects in Rochester.

No word yet on what grocery chain will occupy this possible building.

August 16, 2016

New biz incubator is up and running

08152016collider1The renovation of the 115-year-old Conley-Maass building at 14 Fourth St. SW by owners Traci and Hunter Downs is almost complete

The Bleu Duck Kitchen on the main level of the building is ready to open to the public next week.

0816collider2Meanwhile, upstairs, the Downs' new Collider business incubator is officially open for business under the management of Jamie Sundsbak. About one-third of the works spaces are contracted out so far, he said.

On Monday's opening day, Chris Lukenbill moved in his software development teams, which works for Bright Agrotech of Laramie, Wyo.

August 15, 2016

Bleu Duck Kitchen taking reservations for Aug. 26

It looks like the 08152016bleuduckBleu Duck Kitchen is ready to fly in downtown Rochester.

I hobbled over to the almost completely renovated 115-year-old Conley-Maass building at 14 Fourth St. SW. this morning for the open house for the Collider business incubator on the second floor. 

I'll put up more about the Collider soon. But first, I thought I'd share that Chefs Erik Kleven and Erik Paulsen say that they are accepting reservations for Aug. 26 for the public opening of their Bleu Duck Kitchen on the main level of the building.

08152016bleuduckcounterConstruction on the 60-seat "New American Bistro"-style restaurant is mostly complete, though some fine-tuning of the private event space is still underway  in the back.

 

Front of the house staff showed up at the new eatery today to meet for the first time. 

Pro tip - the chefs say the tables in the front window space are already the most popular spots. So if you want one of those high-profile tables, make your reservations earlier.

 

August 10, 2016

Back in the groove - the return of vintage vinyl

Vintage vinyl is back on Rochester's Broadway.

It all started when Hussein "Huss" Esmailzadeh began selling old records in his Man Cave Consignment store in the 21th Century Building at 2130 S. Broadway. It didn't take long until the growing popularity of vintage vinyl overshadowed everything else in his store.

"I decided to split off and open Rochester Records. I'm phasing the Man Cave out of the physical store and moving it online," said Esmailzadeh.

Products--element32He's re-organizing the building, which he owns, to open up about 2,000 square feet for the record store. While the change is in process, he is open and has about 7,000 to 8,000 records, CDs, cassettes and DVDs available for sale. 

Rochester Records also offers an album locator for people looking for any particular disc from the past.

Esmailzadeh expects to really turn up the volume soon. A consignment dealer out of the Twin Cities is bringing down about 50,000 records to sell in the near future. He also is lining up eight-track tapes, reel-to-reel movies and other vintage media for the store.

Next to him, Rochester's Just for Kix dance studio is moving in and preparing to start classes in September. The studio previously was located downtown in the Conley Maass building, which has been renovated into office space and for a new restaurant, the Bleu Duck Kitchen.

The return of vinyl brings back memories of when Rochester had several chain music stores as well independent ones carrying used records and CDs, like Broadway Records and Face The Music

 

August 05, 2016

Longtime Rochester printer is on the move

After 30 years in the same location, a Rochester printing company is planning to move to a new home.

Paper & Graphics Inc., a division of Smyth Cos., has a new 15,000-square-foot office under construction at Suite 400 of the Sienna Squarecommercial building, at 2711 Commerce Dr. NW, according to Smyth owner and director Bill Hickey.

"We're hoping to be in there in September," he said. "We think there will be a lot of good exposure there. It will be a fresh, new place organized to fit our needs."

6a00d83451cc8269e201b8d175fbac970c-200wiThe new office along West Circle Drive will put the printer right in the middle of a booming commercial area.

Paper & Graphics long has been based at 1116 Ninth Street NE in a building owned by the business' owners, Tim and Steve Fields. The Fields sold the commercial printing firm to St. Paul-based Smyth in 2015.

The Rochester location has a staff of four, but that is supplemented from Smyth's Austin operations as needed. Hickey says the new office will be large enough to add more staff in Rochester as well as new machinery.

Paper & Graphics specializes in general commercial printing, such as stationary, brochures, booklets, posters, cards and other items.

This move will strengthen Smyth's footprint in southeastern Minnesota. The 138-year-old firm has been printing in Austin, since 1971. Smyth expanded in Austin in 2007, when it built a new 30,800-square-foot facility in the Cook Farm Industrial Park and expanded its other site there. Among other contracts, Smyth prints labels for Hormel Foods in Austin.

Smyth also has locations in Minneapolis, Virginia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Colorado.

 

August 04, 2016

Name of new complex revealed as Flats on Fourth

The Buckeye is out, as is Ovation.

The name of the new 92-unit apartment and retail complex being built on the corner of Fourth Street and Third Avenue Southeast in downtown Rochester has fluctuated during the planning phase. 

F89c28e7467b81cdb720c0c067eca5d3_f252Now that a major hole has been dug across from the Olmsted County Government Center and Rochester City Hall, the developer unveiled the official name for the $15 million project.

Nate Stencil, of Stencil Homes, confirmed Wednesday it is now called Flats on Fourth. The South Dakota developer is driving the project with his partner, Sean A. Kaufhold.

The new name was announced this morning during a public event organized by the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency, according to Stencil.

The name was a minor issue in the neighborhood, because some people objected to having it called The Buckeye. The complex is being built on the corner where the longtime Buckeye Liquor store once stood. The store since has moved a little farther south down Third Avenue.

As the project progressed through the early planning stages, the project name was changed to Ovation on Stencil's website. However, it turns out that was just a possible name that was ultimately rejected.

Now, when this complex opens next summer, the name over the door will be Flats on Fourth. 

While they haven't started marketing the space, Stencil says there already has been interest in the ground level retail space in the complex.

"We've had some inquiries on the retail end, but not from the kind of retail we are looking for. We're looking for very specific tenants that will be a good fit for that area," he said.

Stencil recently built and opened two other apartment complexes, Nue52 and Kascade Place. Both are near Rochester's 65th Street Northwest interchange across U.S. 52 from the North Menards store. 

Another Rochester apartment project by Stencil, The Pines, still is under construction. Once Flats on Fourth and The Pines open, Stencil will own 463 apartments in Rochester. 

 

July 12, 2016

Civic Inn = The Parker

07122016theparker 6a00d83451cc8269e2011570b90dd1970b-800wiThe new sign is up across from the Post-Bulletin for The Parker, the transformed Civic Inn.

The 96-year-old building at 101 East Center St. has been transformed and upgraded in the past few months.

A grand opening for the "dorm-style" complex with 62 units is slated for Friday.

July 07, 2016

Broadway Flashback - early 2013 Broadway at Center plan

Following Wednesday's announcement about the delay in the financing for the now-$145 million Broadway at Center project, I decided to look at back an earlier version of that project rolled out by Titan Development and Investments in 2013.

Here's an article I filed on May 31, 2013 with an assist from Managing Editor Jay Furst. The rendering is of the version of Broadway at Center introduced at Titan's press conference:

Just a week after Mayo's Destination Medical Center plan was approved by the state, a Rochester developer announced plans today for a 25-story tower at the corner of South Broadway and East Center Street.

6a00d83451cc8269e2019102c4aed3970c-800wiThe Broadway at Center mixed-use project, proposed by Andy Chafoulias' Titan Development and Investments, would have about 30,000 square feet of Class A office space, a 150-room four-star hotel, 150 market-rent apartments, a "high-end grocery" and a Minnesota-branded steakhouse, among other attractions.

The announcement was made at a news conference this morning at Titan's offices in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center. Chafoulias didn't attend; the announcement was made by John Beltz, vice president of brand revenue development.

Titan is "poised for some very significant growth and contributions to Rochester," Beltz said, citing the company's planned restaurant and entertainment complex three blocks south at the C.O. Brown building site and a seniors apartment project further north on Broadway.

No cost estimate was provided for the Broadway at Center tower, and Beltz said the tower could go higher as planning proceeds -- possibly topping the Broadway Residences and Suites tower next door, which is the tallest building in Rochester and southern Minnesota. As planned, the building would have about 300,000 square feet of space and would be connected to the skyway system and a planned city parking ramp on the block.

The new building would be on the northwest corner of the block bounded by South Broadway, East Center Street, First Street Southeast and First Avenue Southeast. The Broadway Residence and Suites tower is on the southwest corner, and the new project would be on the current site of CJ's Midtown Lounge, Jakobson Management Co. and Ginny's Fine Fabrics.

The goal is to have a "hole in the ground" and construction underway next year, Beltz said. He declined to identify the hotel, restaurant and retail tenants who are in discussions with Titan but said in a news release that they're "finalizing negotiations with several recognizable Minnesota brands."

Rochester's lack of a top-tier hotel brand was often cited during the DMC legislative process as something the city needs to attract national and international medical visitors.

The announcement signals Andy Chafoulias taking the wheel of a project envisioned by his father, Rochester developer Gus Chafoulias, in 2007. That proposal was for a two-tower mixed-use project with retail, apartments and office space as well as possible space for University of Minnesota Rochester.

As with the previous version, Rochester architect Hal Henderson of HGA Architects and Engineers would direct the project design. Darren Schlapkohl, Titan vice president of development and construction management, said the project has "been in design for some time and continues to evolve."

Mayo's DMC initiative, which was announced in January and won legislative approval less than two weeks ago, is "an excellent addition to the vision" for Rochester, Beltz said, but Henderson said the Broadway at Center project has been at an advanced stage for at least six months.

June 21, 2016

New downtown skyway going up quickly

Construction of a new downtown Rochester skyway is well underway.

06212016skywayworkThis is a small skyway that will link the 318 Commons building on First Avenue to the former Paine Furniture building on South Broadway. It will span a small alley to make the link.

The connection will link University of Minnesota Rochester offices in the 318 Commons building to future UMR offices in the Paine building.

A quick peek down the alley from behind Cafe Steam showed that the construction is rolling along really quickly.

Once completed, downtown pedestrians will be able to get even farther without stepping out in the snow or rain. 

 

June 07, 2016

Broadway at Center development still awaiting financing

A long-anticipated downtown Rochester development, the first Destination Medical Center project, is still waiting for financing before can can begin.

Broadwayatcenter3City officials were notified recently by Hinshaw & Culbertson, a Minneapolis law firm, that a $102.5 million loan to finance the bulk of developer Gus Chafoulias' 23-story Broadway at Center tower was scheduled to close on May 31. A $2.3 million tax-increment financing loan was expected to close at the same time.

However, that didn't happen.

When asked Tuesday about the status of the financing and the timeline for the Broadway at Center project, Titan Development Marketing and Communications Manager Sheila Thoma made a statement via email. Titan is a Chafoulias family company.

"It has not closed. As soon as it does, I will let you know," she wrote

The loans are being made by Minneapolis-based Dougherty Financial Group, which includes seven financial companies that manage more than $42 billion in assets. The firm's founder and board chair, Michael E. Dougherty, is very familiar with Rochester and Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative.
Dougherty joined the the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees in 2012. He then became a DMC Corp. board member in April.

While the loans and $6.5 million in assistance from the city of Rochester will finance the majority of the $140 million project, people close to the project say an additional $35 million is coming from Middle Eastern investors.

Chafoulias, with limited assistance from his son Andy Chafoulias and Titan, has been working on different versions of this project since 2007.

Broadway at Center will house a 264-room Hilton Hotel, 33 apartment units and space for office, retail and restaurant use. More than $14 million — including the city's $6.5 million assistance to the developer and the remainder of infrastructure costs — is planned to be reported as DMC local contributions and credited toward the city's $128 million commitment.

There has been a lot of interest about when demolition of the empty CJ's Midtown Lounge and other buildings on that corner would begin. Once the financing for the project is locked in, that should clear the way for work to start.