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1249 posts categorized "Construction news"

November 18, 2015

After demolition, what next for Ronald McDonald House project?

Rochester's Ronald McDonald House plans to demolish two apartment buildings on Second Street Southwest to make way for a possible future project.

Demolition permits were filed for the apartment buildings at 806 and 812 Second St. SW, just east of the Ronald McDonald House at 850 Second St. SW. The nonprofit McDonald House acquired the buildings in January in conjunction with Mayo Clinic, which is partnering on the deal.

564c8711dd9b4.imageThe 35-year-old Ronald McDonald House provides housing for children and their families who are in Rochester for medical treatment at Mayo Clinic. It can house up to 42 families at one time. In 2014, it served 795 families, but had to turn 1,071 families away.

The facility's last expansion was 11 years ago.

"Our Board of Trustees is committed to serving more families," according to Marit Williams, the Ronald McDonald House's communications and community relations coordinator. However, she would not say if the demolition will make way for a future expansion.

"We are committed to serving more families, and in order to allow us to continue focusing on the best possible way to do that, we do not have any expansion-specific information to share publicly at this time," Williams wrote in response to inquiries. "The land is intended to help us continue providing a home-away-from-home and caring support for more families in the future. There are no commercial development plans."

Whatever the future holds, the next step in the project is to knock down the two 1960s brick apartment complexes. Williams confirmed both buildings now are empty of tenants.

"We do not have a firm date for the demolition, but we expect this activity to happen in early winter," she wrote in a recent email.

Both buildings were officially acquired on Jan. 30. The 812 Second Street Street property was purchased by the Ronald McDonald House in a pair of separate deals for $825,500 and $137,500. 

A similar series of transactions occurred for the 806 Second Street building. The Ronald McDonald House paid the estate of John T. Oliphant estate $890,000 on Jan. 2, 2014.

Mayo Clinic then paid the Ronald McDonald House $1 million for both properties on Jan. 30 of this year, according to Olmsted County Property Record.Both the Ronald McDonald House and Mayo Clinic are listed as owners of both apartment complexes.

October 16, 2015

Rochester's ProBuild to pack up on Monday

A large building supplier in Rochester announced this week it is closing its doors on Monday.

The manager of ProBuild sent out letters to customers on Thursday saying the large construction operation along U.S. 14 West at 2953 Wilder Road N.W. is closing "effective Oct. 19."

No one at ProBuild or at its corporate office would confirm the closing on Thursday. The operation has an estimated 8 to 10 employees.

6a00d83451cc8269e2010535cefa84970b-320wiThe letter was sent by Dave Mills, ProBuild's area manager based in the Twin Cities.

Mills wrote that ProBuild made the decision to close "After careful review of the market conditions and our operational footprint in Rochester …"

The letter said ProBuild's sites in Mankato, Lakeville and Waseca will take over coverage of the Rochester market. ProBuild has about 30 locations in Minnesota.

The move comes just two months after Colorado-based ProBuild was acquired by rival Builders FirstSource for $1.6 billion. Builders FirstSource, headquartered in Dallas, said the combined company is expected to have annual revenues of about $6.1 billion.

Before it became part of a billion dollar deal, the Rochester construction supplier was a United Building Center. UBC was started in 1855 in Winona by three brothers,  William, Matthew and John Laird.

ProBuild acquired all of the UBC locations in 2006, and the ProBuild name went up on the Rochester site in 2008.

In July 2014, ProBuild closed its Austin lumber yard. It had eight on staff when it closed.


October 09, 2015

Cheap chic coming to the heart of the Med City

Cheap chic is coming to the heart of downtown Rochester.

Primp, a popular boutique with six Twin Cities stores, is slated to open a Rochester location in November, before the holidays.

09102015primpsiteCo-owner Michele Henry says the first Primp shop outside of the metro area is moving into the high-profile Peace Plaza space on the corner of 100 First Ave. SW. That's the storefront where O&B Shoes sold footwear until it moved less than a block away to 19 First Ave. SW in August.

"We were looking at a lot of places. But when this space came, we dropped all of the other locations," Henry said. "There is such a great energy in downtown Rochester."

Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate Services brokered the deal to bring Primp into the Rochester market

Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus launched the first Primp store just five years ago, when they were both 25-years-old. The idea was simple: to offer inexpensive, fun fashion.

"Our whole tagline is 'Cheap, chic boutique.' Everything is under $100. Most are under $50 and we put new things out every day," Henry said.

Primp carries a full array of women's apparel, from fancy dresses to denim and sweaters. Primp also stocks plenty of accessories, like handbags, jewelry and scarves.

Moving beyond the Twin Cities is a big step, but Henry and Uthus are very excited about coming to the Med City, Henry said, adding that many Primp customers, as well as employees, have been asking them to come to Rochester for a while.

Now they have a high-profile location in the center of the city. The next step is to prepare the store and hire a team of 10 fashionable employees.


October 06, 2015

Rochester 'Who's Who' breaks ground for new bank

A "Who's Who" of Rochester used golden shovels to toss scoops of dirt Monday to officially launch the construction of a new $7 million bank complex.

While construction crews have already dug a huge hole for West Bank's new Rochester headquarters, the Iowa-based bank bought out its leadership team and its well-known local community board members for a groundbreaking ceremony.

05102015westbankgroundbreakingThe bank has operated a branch office in Rochester, since 2013. The new two-story, 15,000-square-foot complex is completed in late summer to early fall of 2016. It will stand on the hill overlooking West Circle Drive Northwest, next to Rooster's Bar & Grill and across from McDonald's. The bank expects to have a team of about 12 employees to staff the new location.

"This bank is different. We're not all things to all people. This is a community bank focused on business," West Bank CEO Dave Nelson.

Despite being a 122-year-old Iowa bank, West Bank has deep roots in Rochester. Nelson was the president of Wells-Fargo Rochester for many years, before he took the reins of West Bank in 2010. He has recruited many of his former co-workers to staff West Bank's Rochester location.

"We know Rochester. We have experienced bankers who know how to work with businesses," he said. "As a community bank, we make local decisions. We're what businesses are looking for - predictable, dependable and accessible."

In addition to the staff, Nelson has recruited what he calls "a Who's Who" list of Rochester's business leaders to serve on West Bank's local community board. The board includes Gus Chafoulias, Joe Powers, Pat Deutsch, Sandy Keith, Dave Pederson Jim McPeak Sr., Hal Henderson, Pete Schuller, Ed Stanley, Tim Weir, Greg Groves, Charlie Kuehn, Dick Kuehn and Norb Harrington.

"It really is an endorsement of West Bank to have them all on the board," said Nelson. 

It focus on business banking means the new building with not look like most bank branches. While it will have a drive-through, it will not have many teller lines for customers. The West Bank building will have a large roof-top plaza for events as well as a large conference center for meeting.

"It is unlike any other bank in Rochester," said local architect Hal Henderson of HGA. 

Builder Pete Schuller of AB Systems pointed out that the site allows for extensive landscaping.

"It will be like a new park here. It's a great addition to Rochester," he said.

Rochester has seen many new financial institutions - Bremer Bank, Alta Credit Union, Manufacturers Bank & Trust Co. and F&M Community Bank - come into the market in recent years. Driving much of that interest has been Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative. However, Nelson says that's not the case with West Bank.

"DMC is not why we came to Rochester. We came because Rochester deserves a good community bank," he said.

October 05, 2015

More Goodwill for Rochester

The new Goodwill thrift store is going up quickly in northwest Rochester.

10042015goodwillThe framework of the new 28,000-square-foot stands at the corner of 19th Street Northwest and Scott Road Northwest. That's the 19th Street entrance to the Costco commercial area. The store is slated to sit opposite the Kwik Trip station across Scott Road.

It's being built by a Minneapolis developer, The Driessen Group. The nonprofit Goodwill organization has not commented much about the project, but the unofficial buzz is that this new store will serve as a second Rochester location.

In 2008, a Goodwill store with 15,000 square feet of retail space was built at 239 28th St. SE in the Broadway Commons commercial area. The nonprofit organization moved into it after leaving its old Rochester spot at 660 37th St. NW. 

October 01, 2015

A Mayo Clinic linked firm working with DMC planner to develop new Madison biosciences hub

A firm with deep ties to Mayo Clinic is making a move to anchor a downtown Madison, Wis., biosciences hub with help from the development manager of Rochester's Destination Medical Center initiative.

Exact Sciences Corp. licensed technology from Mayo Clinic in 2009 and 2012 for Cologuard, a stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer. The test is based on research by Mayo Clinic's Dr. David A. Ahlquist and his laboratory.

LogoOriginally based in Boston, city officials at one point hoped Exact would move to Rochester. However, Madison gave the company $1 million to move its headquarters there in 2009.

Since then, the company has flourished, and now it's planning to build a new $200 million, 250,000-square-foot headquarters in downtown Madison with $46.7 million in financial aid from the city.The Madison City Council recently OKed the deal, which requires that Exact will have 400 employees in the building by 2019.

The developer of the project is JDS Development LLC, which is a joint venture between Hammes Co. and Majestic Realty. Hammes is the Wisconsin consultant that is in charge of DMC. It also is working directly with Mayo Clinic on the Discovery Square portion of the DMC project. Hammes also has been hired by the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau to do a feasibility study for the proposed hockey arena to house a possible US Hockey League team here.

Hammesco_blue_logoHammes' Exact development will include a 250 room hotel, a food court, health and wellness facility, conference and media centers and lots of room for retail and restaurants.

Exact CEO Kevin Conroy told the Madison City Council that, "We hope that by having a life science company headquarters in downtown Madison, it will spur economic development throughout the region and have a positive impact on downtown."

September 14, 2015

Firm settling into new offices along West Circle Drive

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.

7f0e237b3c81468f9c2209c9df28e638It 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. 

September 08, 2015

Clements to build 2nd dealership for Subaru

Clements Chevrolet Cadillac Subaru is looking south to build an $8 million dealership just for Subaru, its fastest growing brand.

The 87-year-old, locally owned dealership has purchased a 9.5-acre site covered in grass and clover at the corner of 48th Street Southeast and St. Bridget Road Southeast. That's just east of Mills Fleet Farm.

Clements Managing Partner John Wade expects construction to begin next year and hopefully wrap up in the fourth quarter of 2016. Wade owns Clements with partners Jack Remick, Dave Remick and Dan Penz. 

09-04 Subaru enWade described the planned dealership as an "eco-friendly, state-of-the-art sales and service campus" that will face the 48th Street intersection at a northwest angle.

The owners say the explosive growth of its Subaru brand, with its sales doubling in the past year, is driving this plan to spin a second dealership site off the main dealership at the entrance of Rochester's Apache Mall.

"This expansion is what we need to keep up with the service and sales demands of our customers," explained Wade.

Nationally, Subaru sales are exploding in the United States. Subaru reported 45 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in August, when it sold 52,679 vehicles for the month. It was the 25th consecutive month where Subaru sold more than 10,000 Foresters and the 18th consecutive month where it sold more than 10,000 Outbacks

In 2011, Clements built a 4,200-square-foot showroom adjacent to its main dealership to spotlight Subaru, but the demand has outgrown its capacity to display 40 vehicles. Todd Penz, who will serve as the general sales manager of the Clements Subaru dealership, says the new lot will be able to house more than 370 vehicles.

Clements, which now has 115 employees, expects to add 20 new positions to staff the new site. Wade estimates that equals an additional of more than $1 million in payroll for Rochester.

He also expects the addition of the second site will bring Clements' annual property tax contribution to more than $500,000.

"This multimillion dollar commitment is a major investment as well as an expression of confidence in the Rochester area marketplace, which in the end expands the local tax and employment base," said Gary Smith, the president of Rochester Area Economic Development Inc.

The new dealership will join Rochester Toyota and Mercedes-Benz of Rochester in the growing Shoppes on Maine area off US 63, which is booming along with the rest of the city. A 360-unit apartment complex called Maine Heights has been proposed right behind the Clements Subaru property. A $35 million housing project called The Boulders, which will include 144 apartments and 80 townhouses, also is planned.

"There's great growth in the area with a strong economic base," said Wade. "We're a regional dealership with customers throughout southeastern Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. This is a good crossroads for us to build this new dealership."

August 26, 2015

O&B Shoes to stroll to new home this weekend

Downtown Rochester will see a major migration of Mary Janes, moccasins, mukluks and more this weekend as a crew of between 20 to 30 people march a mountain of shoes to a new storefront.

O&B Shoes will hit the sidewalk this weekend as staff, family and friends move more than $61,000 in shoes, boots and sandals less than a block to the store's new downtown home.

08262015newobshoes"It's going to be a total team effort," said owner Don "Sole Man" Hadley. "We're excited about it. It's going to be a new adventure for me, my staff and my customers."

If everything goes as planned, O&B should re-open on Monday or possibly Tuesday.

O&B Shoes, which has been a downtown feature for 82 years, is moving north from its long-time spot on the corner of 100 First Ave. SW to a new space at 19 First Ave. SW. That's the street-level spot in the Kahler Hotel building where Hanny's Men's Wear operated for decades until that store closed last year. Hanny's still has stores in the Kahler subway.

A crew of between 20 to 30 people is slated to walk the boxes and boxes of footwear to move the 6,000-square-foot storefront. The store will be accessible from the subway, as Hanny's was, although that access won't go through Hanny's store under the space, he said.

O&B shoesO&B, which was founded by Leo Olson and Herbert Bergerson in 1933, has been in its present location since 1976. Its previous downtown spot at 217 Broadway Ave. S. was damaged in a fire.

The prominent spot on the Peace Plaza in the heart of downtown has made O&B a well-known landmark and regular stop for returning Mayo Clinic patients.
No new tenant for the 100 First Ave. SW storefront has been announced by the building's owner, George Psomas, though signage has gone up for Cloud 9 Spa in the adjacent one. O&B operates its O&B Athletic and O&E (Odds & Ends) Bargain Room in that space on First Avenue. 

August 19, 2015

Mayo Clinic officially opens Mayo Medical Labs expansion

About a year after breaking ground on the project, Mayo Clinic officially opened a 60,000-square-foot expansion of its Superior Drive Support Center on Tuesday.

The Superior Drive Support Center, which houses Mayo Medical Laboratories, is located at 3050 Superior Drive NW. The three-story addition built on the south side of the complex. Mayo Clinic is moving its the toxicology, endocrinology and proteomic core labs to the new space from downtown. They expect to be fully moved in by April.

Moving those three labs out of the Hilton Building will open up 24,000-square-feet of space. While this expansion will not bring new jobs, it will mean moving 150 to 170 people out of downtown to join the more than 1,000 Mayo Medical Labs employees at the Superior Drive complex.

"That's essential to allow other Mayo labs to decompress," said Dr. Matt Binnicker, the chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology's Facilities and Space Committee, in 2014. "Having those labs here makes a lot of sense."

Mayo Medical Labs, which generates revenue for Mayo Clinic, performs about 20 million tests for more than 4,000 hospitals annually.

Binnicker explained that while the three labs handle tests for both Mayo Clinic's patients and Mayo Medical Labs clinical customers, about 90 to 95 percent of their work is for MML.

Mayo Clinic moved into the 13-year-old complex in 2004. By 2011, about 800 employees worked at the facility. It originally was built by electronics manufacturer Celestica Inc. in 2001. When that company closed its Rochester operation, the building was left empty.

Mayo Clinic leased the property for eight years, until it paid $18.5 million in August 2012 to buy it. Before that, it was owned by 17 national investors through Triple Net Properties of Santa Ana, Calif., until they defaulted on the mortgage in 2012. The investors bought the property for $36.8 million in 2006.

When the mortgage defaulted, HSBC Bank USA took over the property. HSCB then sold it to Mayo Clinic.

While it originally was under construction, New York City-based W. P. Carey & Co. LLC bought the complex from Celestica, which leased it back. W.P. Carey later sold it for about 70 percent more than the $21.6 million it paid.