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1238 posts categorized "Construction news"

July 30, 2015

Posh Boutique opening shop in Rochester

A Sioux Falls, S.D., women's fashion shop is opening a new location in Rochester soon.

Posh Boutique, a clothing store that carries "premium denim and unique fashion lines," plans to open on Saturday in Suite 200 at 123 16th Ave. SW. That's the space between Cherry Berry yogurt and the Rocco Altobelli Salon that last housed the About Face beauty boutique.

Posh BoutiquePosh, which is not connected with Rochester's Posh Facial Esthetics Med Spa, is owned by Sioux Falls natives Jenny Kaiser and Becky Carmody. The new Rochester store will be managed by Suzanne Ledeboer.

On their website, the owners wrote about why they decided to open their second store in Rochester.

"We are very excited about Rochester, because we feel it has many qualities that are similar to Sioux Falls. It has a vibrant downtown and draws people from many surrounding communities. We love that Rochester has all the amenities of a city, but still has a small town feel," they wrote.

In an announcement about the Rochester store, Kaiser explained what shoppers will find in Posh.

"Our clothing lines are unique and many times, exclusive to our store. We really value the relationship we build with our customers, and plan to take the time to get to know the needs and wants of each of them," she wrote. 

July 22, 2015

Dirt is moving for NW Rochester development

Dirt is moving in northwest Rochester for a new commercial development area. 

Edina-based New Era Development is starting to prepare its Creekside Development on the southwest corner of the intersection of 19th Street Northwest and West Circle Drive. 

XAerial_-Creekside-2011.8.3-005-e1432657863387-750x410.jpg.pagespeed.ic.F6OkG5ifGbNo businesses have yet been announced for the build-to-suit development. Plans show an entrance from 19th Street Northwest and streets within the Creekside area.

The marketing brochure for Creekside lists the build-to-suit opportunities as including retail, office and flex office space. Available lot sizes range from 1.13 acre to 4.22 acres.

New Era first proposed Creekside in the fall of 2007, just before the economic recession. Earlier this year, the firm updated its plans and began marketing the project.

Plans show a development that could grow into something very similar to the 100-acre commercial area anchored by Costco, Associated Bank, Aldi and Kwik Trip on the northeast corner of the same intersection.

The Radichel family, of Mankato, which is behind Venstar LLC and its affiliate, New Era, has owned the land for about 30 years.

In 2007, former Venstar President Nino Pedrelli told the Rochester City Planning and Zoning Commission that, “We are long-term holders, and right now the project is a go for us."

Venstar and New Era also own the Valley High Business Center buildings, Phase I and Phase II, at 3535 40th Ave. NW, and the Cascade Park commercial center on Ninth Street Northwest, behind Kwik Trip. — Jeff Kiger

July 17, 2015

Downtown tower's construction waiting on financing

Construction on a 23-story downtown Rochester tower has yet to begin because the developer has not finalized financing for the project, according to a city official.

In May, the City of Rochester pledged $6.5 million in assistance to developer Gus Chafoulias to build his long-planned $140 million Broadway at Center tower. Chafoulias, with limited assistance from his son Andrew Chafoulias and Titan Development and Investments, has been working on different versions of this project since 2007.

TowerBroadway 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 Destination Medical Center local contributions and credited toward the city's $128 million commitment.

The tower is to be built on South Broadway and East Center Street, just north of Broadway Residence and Suites by BridgeStreet. Since early last year, buildings that previously housed CJ's Midtown Lounge, Ginny's Fine Fabrics and Jakobson Management Co. have sat empty on the site. When the tenants were asked to vacate, Titan officials estimated that the buildings would be demolished during the summer of 2014.

When approving the project, the city agreed to work in conjunction with the developers to build an attached public parking ramp. But city officials said they have to wait on final paperwork from Titan Development before construction can start.

"Chafoulias indicated a while back that they are still reviewing some of their financing options for the project, so they have not provided us with that signed development agreement as of yet. I'm anticipating it should be fairly soon," City Redevelopment Director Terry Spaeth said. "I know they are looking at a couple different financing options."

The development agreement includes a number of provisions about vacating an alley, conveying properties and approving easements.

Spaeth said it's estimated it will take 22 months, from start to finish, to build Broadway at Center. The city's portion of the project is expected to take nine to 12 months to complete. The plan is for the city work to be completed to coincide with the opening of the overall project.

"Once they get going, I suspect things will get moving pretty rapidly," he said. "The first step is to get the development assistance agreement signed."

When asked about the status of the Broadway at Center project, Titan Marketing and Communications Manager Sheila Thoma said there wasn't much to report.

"I do not have a new/significant update. The project is still on course. With a major project like this, there are a lot of moving parts and it takes time to solidify all details," she wrote in response to inquiries about when the CJ's and Ginny's Fine Fabrics buildings would be demolished.

On May 4, the city approved a development assistance agreement with Titan about Broadway at Center. The Rochester Economic Development Authority, a board comprised of the seven Rochester City Council members, approved $6.5 million in tax increment financing and land write-downs. The EDA had put its development assistance agreement on hold until the Destination Medical Center Corp. board of directors named Broadway at Center as a DMC project. That happened on April 30.

Broadway at Center is reminiscent of a previous project called Time Square that Gus Chafoulias proposed for that block 15 years ago. When Mayo Clinic opted not to lease office space in the $200 million project, Chafoulias withdrew it in 2000.

"This is the single biggest disappointment of my career," Chafoulias said after making the announcement. "It never feels good when you fail. It didn't work out, but it's not the end of the world."

After Chafoulias withdrew, Dubai-based investors stepped in and built a 26-story tower, the tallest building in Rochester, on that corner. That tower, now known as Broadway Residence and Suites, stands next door to the proposed Broadway at Center project.

 

July 14, 2015

Rochester engineering firm merges with Minneapolis company

A 14-year-old Rochester engineering firm is merging with a large Twin Cities-based company.

Structural Design Group officially will become part of Meyer Borgman Johnson on Wednesday, said Al Hiniker, who founded the well-known firm in 2001. Both focus solely on structural engineering, which is in great demand during Rochester's development boom.

FireShot Capture - Structural Engineer Rochester, MN - Structural Design Gr_ - http___www.sdgmn.com_Clients won't see any change with the five-person team at Structural Design's office at 3270 19th Street NW, though the name over the door will change to Meyer Borgman Johnson. Hiniker also will stay on as the managing principal of the office.

"This will give us a lot more resources we didn't have before," said Hiniker. "My goal has been to grow. And MBJ's goal has been to have a presence in Rochester. This accomplishes both. It's a win-win."

This will be MBJ's third Minnesota office. It also has locations in Green Bay, Wis. and Phoenix, Ariz. with a total of 80 employees on staff.

"We've had experience in Rochester for many years," said Jason Pederson, MBJ's managing director. "We recognize Rochester as a vibrant and growing marketplace, even beyond DMC (Destination Medical Center.)"

MBJ has worked on Rochester facilities including Mayo Clinic's Dan Abrahams Healthy Living Center and Titan Development'sH3 Plaza on South Broadway.

"I've known Al for quite a while. This seemed like a very natural conversation," said Pederson. "We're just delighted with this."

Hiniker recalled that "the seeds" of this deal began at least two years ago.

While many construction-related firms have acquired a foothold in Rochester with similar deals with local businesses, Structural Design and MBJ are unique in one way. Instead of offering services ranging from architecture to electrical engineering to landscaping, they both have a laser-like focus solely on structural engineering.

This merger follows several similar ones that have occurred, since Mayo Clinic's DMC initiative was announced.

Rochester's Allman & Associates, Inc., a mechanical and electrical engineering firm led by Jeff Allman, merged with LKPB Engineers in January. Yaggy Colby Associates merged with the larger Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. last year. Rochester'sMcGhie & Betts Inc. merged Minneapolis-based WSB & Associates in 2013. Kane and Johnson Architects, a small firm with a 63-year history in Rochester and Austin, merged with Crookston-based Widseth Smith Nolting in 2014.

 

July 09, 2015

Development exploding in Rochester's Shoppes on Maine area

Downtown Rochester is not the only area being eyed by developers. 

It appears that Shoppes on Maine in south Rochester is exploding with development these days.

I wrote about a 211 apartment complex proposed for the area on Wednesday plus there's already a massive housing project called The Boulders already under construction, which will have 144 apartments and eight buildings with 10 townhouses in each.

FireShot Capture - Google Maps - https___www.google.com_maps_@43.9547185,-92.4647416,15zMeanwhile, yet another group of developers met with residents of the Maine Avenue neighborhood on Tuesday to discuss their plans for a 359 unit apartment complex slated the empty land across from Mills Fleet Farm store.

I don't know much about the Fleet Farm apartment complex yet, but should have more on it soon.

Beside more than 700 apartments, the buzz in the Shoppes on Maine is that a new car dealership could be revving up for the land around 48th Street and St. Bridget's Road. 

There is a lot of interest in real estate in that area right now, so it's possible that a new name might be on the road to join Rochester Toyota Scion and Mercedes Benz of Rochester in Shoppes on Maine.

July 08, 2015

More apartments proposed by Rochester's Shoppes on Maine

Preparing to build an apartment complex, developers have purchased more than eight acres of land in south Rochester for  $1.8 million.

Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors bought open, grass-covered land next to the Shoppes on Maine commercial area in preparation to build a proposed 211-apartment complex, according to Harbor Bay co-founder Tom Lund. HarborbayaptsHarbor Bay is based in Minneapolis and Chicago.

The land was purchased by Bascom Capital LLC, a firm set up by Harbor Bay. The acquisition was done in two transactions of $590,000 on June 26 and $1.22 million on July 1. The apartment complex is slated to be located by Maine Avenue Southeast near the two hotels.

While some design details still are being worked out, Lund described the unnamed complex as featuring Class A, high-end apartments.

"It (the complex) will be a higher end product," he said. "We'll have a clubhouse and lots of amenities."

A Site Development Plan for the project was filed the Rochester Building Safety Department on Monday. He hopes to have the plan before the Rochester City Council for approval this month.

Lund said the goal is to start construction in September and hopefully have it completed by late next summer.

Harbor Bay has projects in Minneapolis and Duluth, but this will be its first here.

"Rochester is an amazing community that's growing. The demographics for apartments are very strong and the supply right now is relatively limited," he said.

The location near Shoppes on Maine was attractive because of the easy access to shopping as well as one of Rochester's Park and Ride mass transit lots.

In fact, another developer agrees that area is prime for more housing. Big Rock, Ill.-based Executive Affiliates has its own $35 million housing project called The Boulders already under construction near Harbor Bay's site. The Boulders will include a three-story building with 144 apartments and eight buildings with 10 townhouses in each.

"I think we'll complement each other," said Lund of The Boulders.

June 16, 2015

Developer with Med City projects buys Pioneer Press building

A South Dakota developer who has three Rochester apartment complexes in the works is expanding into the less expensive market of St. Paul by buying the Pioneer Press building.

Stencil Homes, of Sioux Falls, S.D., bought the newspaper's eight-story headquarters at 345 Cedar Street on Friday. Developer and builder Nate Stencil says he plans to convert it into 150 to 168 market-rate apartments. Rochester Realtor Merl Groteboer, of Re/Max Results, handled the purchase for Stencil.

PioneerPressBuildingThe newspaper plans to announces its moving plans soon. Stencil hopes to begin construction in early 2016.

The purchase price was not released, though the building had been listed at $4.2 million. Whatever the price, it mostly likely was not close to the premium prices that downtown Rochester properties are selling for amid the Destination Medical Center boom.

"After hanging out in Rochester for a few years, things were looking pretty cheap up there (in St. Paul)," said Stencil on Monday. "After establishing a presence in Rochester, we couldn't help but look at more opportunities in the area. This is a good opportunity."

St. Paul real estate certainly looks to be more affordable than in downtown Rochester. Bloom International Realty paid $7.7 million for the seven-story Associated Bank Building at 206 S. Broadway in downtown Rochester in 2013. In 2014, the three-story Brackenridge Skyway Plaza at 21 Second St. S.W. was purchased by Baheya LLC for $10 million.

Stencil has two apartment complexes under construction in Rochester, Nue52 (formerly called Woodland Park) and Kascade Place, plus a third one in downtown that's still in the planning stages.

He expects the 83-unit Nue52 to be ready for tenants late this summer. It's at Rochester's 65th Street Northwest interchange across U.S. 52 from the North Menards store. Stencil describes Nue52 as it architecturally will be similar to the Metropolitan Marketplace complex in downtown Rochester.

Work on Kascade Place, which is near Nue52, is in the early stages. It will have 96 apartments. Stencil estimates it should be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

Details of the largest project, a $15 million, 110-unit apartment complex near downtown, still are being worked out at this point. Stencil and his partner, Sean A. Kaufhold, previously announced that they plan to build a six-story apartment complex with street-level retail space on Third Avenue Southeast and Fourth Street. That's across from the Olmsted County Government Center and Rochester City Hall.

To clear the way for that project, Stencil Homes purchased three buildings — Buckeye Liquor, the empty Flowers By Jerry shop and the former 3rd Avenue Pet Hospital — in 2014. The company previously had planned to have construction underway by now, but nothing has been done yet.

"We've met with the neighborhood. Now we're doing some re-tooling. We're trying to gauge what everyone would like to see," he said. "We're hoping to start by the first of the year."

Those apartments, along with the Kascade Place apartments, will be priced comparably to other market-rate units in Rochester, he said. That means rents ranging from $900 to $1,000 per month.

June 12, 2015

Rochester childcare center growing with new infant facility

A young child-care center is preparing to take the step to more than double capacity to better serve Rochester's growing demand for infant care.

First Steps Childcare Center is preparing to break ground on July 1 for a second facility on its campus at 3089 25th St. NW.

Founder and director Cassie Fenstra says the new building, which will be across the parking lot from her original one, will include seven classrooms, two offices and a basement conference room. The new building will be called Little Steps Campus.

1"It will be bigger than the one we have now. It'll be an infant specific building and our existing building will then handle toddlers and preschoolers," she said. "We have a wait list for infants that's like a mile long."

Fenstra opened First Steps in 2014. The center uses a tailored curriculum for each age group — infant, toddler, preschool and pre-kindergarten.

First Steps now cares for 72 children; 22 are infants and 50 are 16-months to 5-years-old. Building the new Little Steps Campus building will be bring Little Steps' capacity up to 150.

She has a staff now of 18 employees, but that will change with the new building.

"We'll need to at least double the staff by the time whole center is built," said Fenstra. 

June 10, 2015

Conley-Maass building sold for $450,000

The anticipated sale of a 115-year-old downtown Rochester landmark wrapped up on June 1.

Hunter and Traci Downs bought the Conley-Maass building at 14 Fourth St. SW for $450,000 with the intention of restoring it and using it as a business center. The couple, under the corporate name of CMD Holdings LLC, purchased it from AC Acquisitions LLC of Rochester
09062015conleymaasbuilding
AC Acquisitions, an offshoot of the Chafoulias family's Titan Development & Investments company, bought the building for $400,000 in 2013.

The building's last two tenants, Words Players Theatre and the Just For Kix dance studio, are moving out and construction is expected to begin soon.

May 22, 2015

Boutique owner to open second Rochester shop

A new boutique is bringing its quirky style to downtown Rochester this summer.

Camy Couture is slated to open on June 4 at 112 First Ave. SW, says owner Kim Shea. That's the high-profile spot next to O&B Shoes that previously housed Trademark Uniforms Inc. and About Face prior to that.

Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate brokered the deal.

CamycouturedowntownShea opened her first Camy Couture in Rochester's Shoppes of Maine area in 2013. She describes the store as having funky and unique women's fashions for "trendy moms and everybody else" at a reasonable price. It also carries accessories like handbags, scarves and sunglasses.

"We specialize in buying small sets. Once they are gone, they are gone. You don't see everyone around town wearing what you just bought," she said.

Now Shea is launching a second shop in the heart of Rochester's downtown.

"The opportunity came out of absolutely nowhere. It was too hard to pass up this location," she said. "The exposure of being downtown will help both stores."

She assures that new store will have the same "feel" of her at 4270 Maine Ave. S.E. Shea plans to have two on staff downtown. The Shoppes on Maine store is staffed by three, including her.