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1254 posts categorized "Construction news"

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.

 

January 05, 2016

Credit union buys land for new branch

A Wisconsin credit union with plans to build a second Rochester branch recently bought a parcel of land for $1.25 million.

Altra Federal Credit Union bought land on Dec. 14 in the Chateau Circle commercial development at 55th Street Northwest and Chateau Road. That means the new branch will be located near the Walgreens drug store planned for that area.

O"We've been looking for a new spot to build a new full-service branch for quite a while," said Cheryl Dutton, vice president of marketing of the La Crosse, Wis.-based credit union. "The Rochester market is a very important market to us."

While the land is acquired, Dutton said the project still is in the initial stages, so there's no timeline yet.

Altra opened its first Rochester branch in 2012 at 123 16th Ave. SW in the Shoppes on Second development. It now has five on staff.

"The growth has been exceptional. However, it's a very small office in a very busy strip mall. To service our members better, we'd like to build a larger branch, usually 4,000 to 5,000 square feet," she said.

The credit union is aware residents in the Chateau Circle area have voiced some concerns about the commercial development in their neighborhood.

"We plan to be very good neighbors," said Dutton. "We think it's going to be a great area for us."

Altra began in 1931 as the Trane Employees Credit Union with a history similar to that of the IBM Mid-America Credit Union, which became Think Federal Credit Union. It has Minnesota branches in La Crescent and Winona. Overall, it has 17 locations in eight states.

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.