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1260 posts categorized "Construction news"

April 08, 2016

New Rochester art gallery is thinking big

Wendy Westlake has a big vision for 535 Gallery, her new Rochester art gallery.

"The concept is for large-scale contemporary pieces as a service for designers and the general public looking for a distinctive statement piece to make an impact in a large space," explained Westlake, as she took a break from converting a former industrial space into an art gallery.

04072016535galleryWith the help of her gallery director, Nick Sinclair, Westlake is working on the new gallery at 535 Sixth Ave. N.W. in Rochester's artsy Cooke Park Design District. The more than 2,000-square-foot gallery will share the block with the funky Dwell Local art and antique shop as well as Fox & Fern Floral and A Beautiful Soul, a New Age Boutique and healing store.

They hope to open the doors some time this summer. Realtor Dylan Carty, of Rochester's Realty Growth Inc. (RGI), handled the deal to line up that spot for 535 Gallery.

Westlake's 535 Gallery is located between the imported car repair shop, Werkstatt 533, and Auto Refinishers Plus.

"We think this Cooke Park area is a good place for us to be. We like what it is becoming," she said. "Though it is kind of a strange place to be sandwiched between two auto places."

Westlake and Sinclair caution that people should not expect a gift shop or even a place like the recently closed SEMVA (Southeastern Minnesota Visual Artists) gallery. It will specialize in paintings and mixed media pieces with interior designers in mind, though it also will be open to the public. They envision the large artworks in both local residences and commercial spaces.

They are adding a designer's room to the gallery for meetings with interior designers and their clients.

"It'll be a nice space where we can show them our catalog of art," said Sinclair.

The plan is to host 10 exhibitions featuring two local or regional artists every year. 

SEMVA, which was downtown near Mayo Clinic, was popular with visitors. Westlake expects 535 Gallery to serve a different group of customers, because of the size of its art and its location.

"We want to be an art gallery for Rochester," she said. 

 

April 01, 2016

MEP engineering to move to new Rochester office

A growing engineering firm is planning to move soon to a new, larger northwest Rochester office.

The Rochester office of Eau Claire, Wis.-based MEP Associates plans to move into the former Venture Computer Systems/ Marco Inc. complex at 3416 Lakeridge Place NW.

Ex-venturecomplex"The building is empty and we've already started construction," said Luke Johnson, a mechanical engineer and project manager at MEP. "We're going more than double our office space."

MEP is moving from 2900 43rd St. NW. MEP opened its Rochester location there in 2009. MEP hired the entire engineering team from the former Holabird & Root office, when Holabird closed up its Med City location.

Since MEP began operating in Rochester, this location has flourished and grown. It opened in 2009 with the nine ex-Holabird engineers. MEP, which handles a lot of projects for Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and Carleton College, now has 15 staffers in Rochester.

"With the new space, we'll have room to add 10 more people," said Johnson. "We're seeing a lot of construction of all kinds, mostly in the Rochester region. Two of our niches, building labs and campus utilities, are very active."

MEP is leasing the 9,794-square-foot Lakeridge complex from owner Jon Eckhoff.  Eckhoff originally built it 2005 for his company, Venture Computer Systems. Marco Inc. bought Venture in 2009 and leased the building from Eckhoff. 

Marco moved to a new Rochester office at 1014 Bel Air Lane NW in 2014.

 

February 19, 2016

A second scoop of Flapdoodles is on the way

A double scoop of Flapdoodles Ice Cream is on the way for Rochester.

Flapdoodles-homemadeMatt Tierney, who launched his original hand-made ice cream shop in 2011, has decided to open a second location at 1710 South Broadway. That's the former Wheeler's Autobody Supply building.

While this will be another full restaurant site, Tierney said this is not just about reaching more customers.

Flapdoodles.1jpg1"What really drove the whole decision was a lack of production space (at the current 3525 22nd Ave. NW)," he said. "We've been growing every year and we just don't have enough room."

That means the back of the South Broadway store will be devoted to making ice cream for both stores. During the busy days of summer, Flapdoodles makes about 400 gallons of ice cream per week.

Tierney hopes to have the new store ready to open by early to mid-summer. He has about 20 employees on staff at the 22nd Avenue location and expects to have a similar crew at the new store.


"We really like the feel of South Broadway with a lot of hotels and Graham Arena nearby. And we're close enough to downtown, that you can see Mayo Clinic from the windows," he said.


He purchased the 38-year-old building from Wernimont Properties on Feb. 12 for $500,000. Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate represented Tierne Wheeler's Autobody Supply y in the deal, and Jay Christenson of Braasch Commercial Real Estate represented Wernimont. Wernimont Properties bought the 1710 South Broadway building in April 2015 from $389,900/

In the few years since it opened the former Subway sandwich shop, Flapdoodles has attracted a growing crowd of fans.

"Our customers are nice combination of local people, visitors to Mayo and people here for sports tournaments," said Tierney. "I'm really happy with how things have gone." 

 

February 17, 2016

North Broadway parcel cleared of buildings

02172016MLTbuildingdemoWhere a 140-year-old brick building once stood on North Broadway is now a hole in the ground.

Real estate investor Les Nelsonof Clear Lake, Iowa cleared away the former MLT Group building at 411 North Broadway this week.

In October, Nelson bought the building for $600,000 from Mike and Dawn Pruett. He also demolished two nearby empty buildings at 401 Broadway 08102015MLT2 and 407 Broadway last summer to make the area more attractive for developers. There's no word yet on what might happen there.

The Pruetts and partner Ted St. Mane have moved their businesses, MLT Group and MLT Video, to a 11,090-square-foot business condo in the Plaza 14 West center at 4481 North Frontage Road.

 

 

 

February 10, 2016

North Menards to grow a little bigger

After being open less than two years, Menards is planning a small expansion at its north Rochester store.

The 90,000-square-foot store opened in April 2014 near the intersection of U.S. 52 and 65th Street Northwest. Menards also has another Rochester store at 3000 S. Broadway.

5342bd12e28c4.imageNow, the Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer has filed permits for a small 12,914-square-foot garden center with a mezzanine area. The permit estimates the value of the project at $193,000.

The store already includes a garden center as well as a full-service lumber yard and an extensive array of tools and appliances.

A Menards representative didn't have a lot to say about this project, other than to describe it as "a few changes."

Presumably, the work on the expansion will start soon, to be ready for the spring garden season.

Menards built the store on 35 acres in 2014 to replace its previous north store at 5150 U.S. 52 North, which is smaller. Jim Sather and Mark Byer bought that building and moved their Furniture Superstore and America's Mattress stores into that building.

 

February 09, 2016

Rochester mortgage firm is on the move

A 13-year-old Rochester mortgage firm plans to move soon into its own digs after buying a northwest business condo.

TimthumbThe plan is for Premier Mortgage of Rochester to move to 3135 Superior Drive NW in the Badger Village Office Condos in early March, said owner Todd Satre. That's the former home of R!ah Hair Salon.

After leasing space in the Crossroads Shopping Center and in the Highlands on 19th Street since he opened in 2003, Satre said he felt it was time to buy a space of his own for his growing company. Remodeling work began on the 1,500-square-foot space this week.

"As we've grown with the market, we've outgrown the space we're in. It made sense to have more of a professional storefront of our own," he said.

Timthumb-1The new space is about double the size of Premier's current offices.

Mike Busch and Scott Hoss, of Rochester's Paramark Real Estate Services, handled the deal.

Satre describes Premier Mortgage as an independent "wholesale mortgage" company, which works with a number of banks to get the best deal possible for its home-buying or refinancing clients. 

Premier Mortgage has four employees on staff, but that could change soon.

"We're hoping to add some more loan officers in near future," he said.

February 03, 2016

Another hotel to be built near Costco

The final pieces of the Costco development in northwest Rochester are slated to be built this summer, starting with a new hotel.

A South Dakota-based developer, SD Rochester LLC, purchased land between the Comfort Inn and McDonald's along West Circle Drive from Northwest Investments of La Crosse for $1.45 million on Jan. 15.

Si_ms_slides_01According to city documents, the firm lead by Dan Henderson is planning to build an almost $6 million, three-story hotel under the dual brands of Sleep Inn and MainStay Suites. It will join two hotels — Comfort Inn and Staybridge Suites — built last year.

"They are a highly sophisticated group. I think this will be a good project," said Hans Zietlow, of Northwest Investments. "They got a pretty key piece of property."

Zietlow began carving the development out of a farm field for Northwest Investments in 2010. Northwest Investments is the real estate arm of Kwik Trip Inc. Zeitlow typically handles land planning for the Wisconsin convenience chain's stores, so this was not his usual type of project.
 
Starting it during a recession gave it a slow start, but a recovered economy plus a prominent anchor such as Costco has made it a hot property.

"Once or twice in your life, you have way more buyers than land to sell. Then you get to be picky about selling property," he said. "This is one of those times for me."

Beside the addition of the third hotel, a multi-tenant center also is slated to be built by Aldi this summer by a Twin Cities developer. There's no word yet on what retailers or restaurants it might house.

"I think that one will take off like a rocket," Zietlow said.

With the Costco development pretty much wrapped up, Northwest Investments is turning its attention to a nearby 50-acre property at West Circle Drive and Valleyhigh Drive. They have started the planning process to add roads and utilities into the area to prepare to sell lots, just as they did at the larger Costco property.

If things go as expected, construction could start there yet this year.

"There's a lot interest in that area, particularly since the new Hy-Vee opened," he said.

Zeitlow and Northwest Investments have driven a lot of change along Rochester's West Circle Drive area, and now more is one the way.

"Anyone looking for a place to build in Rochester now has to look at Northwest before they make a final decision of where they are going to go," Zietlow said. "That wasn't the case 10 years ago."

January 28, 2016

Semiconductor maker to open new Rochester office

GlofoAfter its $1.3 billion acquisition of IBM's computer chip operations in 2015, an international semiconductor company is setting up a new office in Rochester.


GlobalFoundaries, which is owned by an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, bought IBM's Microelectronics Division in July 2015. That deal gave the California-based company a footprint in Rochester.


"As part of this transaction, we acquired a team of about 30 engineers based in Rochester. These engineers are part of the global design team for our application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) business unit," said Jason Gorss, senior manager of corporate and technology communications.


GlobalFoundaries' deal also included major IBM facilities in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt. 3555-9th-St-building-front-690x410

That team has continued to work at IBM's Rochester campus since the acquisition. Now the company is renovating an off-campus space in north Rochester. GlobalFoundaries is revamping a spot at 3555 Ninth St. NW. That's in the commercial center off of West Circle Drive, behind Kwik Trip.

Semiconductor maker PMC-Sierra operated there from 2010 to 2012. PMC-Sierra was collaborating with IBM at that time on "a multicore, multithreaded RAID solution." The resulting maxRAID device was used in IBM's System x EXA servers. That office closed when PMC-Sierra abruptly pulled out of Rochester.

Since PMC-Sierra left, the about 8,000-square-foot space has been briefly used by other tenants, such as the Minnesota Department of National Resourcesand outdoors retailer Scheels as a hiring office for its large Rochester store.

Gorss expects GlobalFoundaries to be in up and running in the spot in the near future.

"Beginning some time in Q2 2016, we plan to move this (Rochester) team into the independent office," he said in an email.

 

January 20, 2016

New owners, old name at Northgate Health Club

A longtime Rochester health club is getting an upgrade under new owners as it returns to its old name.

When Dan and Ronaele Hoffman took over Northgate Fitness and Wellness Center in November, one of the first things they did was ask employees and clients about the name.

"Employees preferred the old name of Northgate Health Club. That's what people call it in the community, so we decided to change it back to Northgate Health Club," said Dan Hoffman.

12472391_10153879088087292_5822154243486821442_nBesides returning the 47-year-old center to its original name, the Hoffmans plan to update all areas of the club at 1112 Seventh St. NW in the Northgate Plaza.

"We've already made improvements in the free weights room and there's a lot more to come," he said.

Northgate Health Club has a team of 30 employees on staff.

The Hoffmans bought the club from Prow Co., which owns the shopping center. The idea of buying it came up as they were outfitting a health club in their other property, the Grand Meadow Business Center.

"We starting looking at it. Pretty soon we decided the culture was right, so we bought it," explained Dan Hoffman.

January 08, 2016

ArchMN mag's take on Mayo Clinic's DMC plan

20141216_dmc01_53Over the past few years, many publications have analyzed, dissected and speculated about Mayo Clinic's proposed Destination Medical Center plan.

And now Architecture MN magazine has published its own take on the plan in an article by Thomas Fisher. He looks at the plan and chats with DMC's lead urban designer Peter Cavaluzzi of the New York firm.

Here are a few excerpts that caught my eye:

• "One of them —Discovery Square—will provide a place near the Mayo Medical School for technological development and entrepreneurial spin-offs from the school and the Mayo Clinic. That integration of research and practice, innovation and application, fits the Mayo model perfectly, and Discovery Square may, ultimately, do the most to secure the economic future of the city, as start-up companies emerge and grow. The Perkins Eastman master plan calls for an open space at the center of this district, above which skyways converge into an elevated glass building that, while a good idea, looks too big for the space and a bit ominous in the renderings."

6a00d83451cc8269e201b7c791bc82970b-300wiIt's nice to hear an expert question the big glass structure slated for Discovery Square. My uneducated eye has always thought that it looks like a big, glass "Independence Day"-like spaceship landing on downtown in the renderings. However, I have never be very good at visualizing what development projects will look like in reality.

• "Another big move in the master plan—the Downtown Waterfront—links the government center and the civic and art center with pedestrian-friendly plazas that open up to a widened Zumbro River, finally freed from its current flood-control channel to become a real asset for the city. This district’s sweeping set of bridges, embankments, and buildings will break Rochester’s insistent street grid and provide a place for community events and celebrations that today have few options for outdoor venues. A grand gesture like this doesn’t happen without controversy, however. Some have questioned the planned removal of the existing public library near the river, even though, as Cavaluzzi observes, the library had already begun to look at moving, having outgrown its small, nondescript building."

Hhmmmm.... I have never heard the Rochester Public described as a "small, nondescript building" before. I guess it is a matter of perspective.

Read the full ArchMN article here.