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348 posts categorized "Downtown Roch. buzz"

September 14, 2016

Mayo Clinic actually bought all 3 of 'IBM White Buildings'

I got it wrong yesterday. I wrote that Mayo Clinic bought the 4111 Building in Rochester's 41st Professional Campus for $10 million. It turns out that Mayo bought all three buildings - 3033, 3055 and 4111 - for $10 million on Sept. 1.

I apologize for the error.

I looked at a state document, which only listed the 4111 building in the sale. Olmsted County had not published the sale yet on its website and Mayo Clinic could not respond to my questions on Monday. I probably should have waited to confirm the details on Tuesday, but I thought I had enough to get the basics of the sale out there and then follow up once Mayo Clinic filled in the blanks.

Here's some from column on this in today's paper:

In turns out that Mayo Clinic bought all three buildings in Rochester's 41st Street Professional Campus, known locally as the IBM White Buildings, earlier this month.

NorthwestclinicI reported in Tuesday's column that Mayo Clinic purchased the 4111 West Frontage Road building, which houses its Mayo Family Clinic Northwest.

The $10 million Mayo Clinic paid to New York Life Insurance Co. on Sept. 1 actually paid for all three sprawling, connected buildings. In total, the complex is 435,000 square feet in size. 

Olmsted County estimated the market value of the three connected buildings at $13.8 million for 2016, so it looks like Mayo got a pretty good deal.

"With existing leases set to expire at this site at year end 2017, Mayo Clinic was presented with the opportunity to purchase the three-building campus. This purchase will secure our existing occupied space long-term and allow us to avoid any patient-care disruption associated with any relocation and provide an opportunity to address growth and consolidation needs for various departments," said Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Kelley Luckstein about the purchase on Tuesday.

The purchase opens open more space for the ever-growing Mayo Clinic, since the 3055 building is empty.

"The investment will allow for consolidation of certain administrative, clinical, educational and research functions that do not need to be in the proximity of downtown. This will then open up space downtown to expand various functions that are critical to the downtown area,” added Luckstein, via email.

There are five non-Mayo tenants leasing space in the 3033 building. Luckstein says the change in ownership "will not have an impact on their current occupancies."



September 09, 2016

Foreign patient numbers trending down at Mayo Clinic

I'm wading through a 216 page statement Mayo-clinic-logo for issuance of $220  million bonds by the City of Rochester for Mayo Clinic.

While that might not sound very exciting, there are a lot of interesting details. This document is looked at bond buyers who are judging Mayo Clinic's stability.

Here's one thing that jumped out at me:

Foreign patients, not including Canadians, accounted for 1 percent of the patient population in Rochester in 2013.

That dropped to .03 percent in 2014 and 2015.

I don't know how many patients that accounts for or why the numbers are down. Plus I don't know if t
hat trend is continuing in 2016. I have submitted those questions to Mayo Clinic.

I realize this is a random fact, but it interests me. And there there a lot more little tidbits like this in the bond statement.


August 24, 2016

Ex-Michaels restaurant sells for $5.5 million in downtown Rochester

More than a year and a half after one of Rochester's most beloved restaurants closed its massive doors, the prime downtown property has unexpectedly sold for $5.5 million.

The buildings which housed Michaels restaurant at the corner of South Broadway and Center Street for 64 years were purchased by Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors of Illinois on Friday. The sale included four properties — 11, 13, 15 and 17 Broadway.

08242016michaelsOlmsted County estimated the total market value of the properties at $1.17 million, which means it sold for almost five times its estimated value.

Harbor Bay bought the buildings from 15 South Broadway LLC, which is described as a joint venture owned 50-50 by the Chafoulias and the Pappas families. That group bought the property on Jan. 6, 2015, from the Pappas family for $1.4 million, almost a fourth of what it sold for last week.

The high profile 2015 sale and emotional closure of Michaels was described as clearing the way for redeveloping the land and then connecting the new building to Gus Chafoulias' proposed Broadway at Center tower via a skyway across Broadway. Michael Pappas described the plan in late 2014 as involving closing the restaurant, demolishing the buildings and developing a new retail center that would connect with both the Shops at University Square and the planned Broadway at Center project, both Chafoulias properties.

Why change the plan and sell the buildings to an outside developer?

"There are many family members on each side and they felt it was a very fair price and preferred selling to developing the site," wrote Sheila Thoma, spokeswoman for the Chafoulias family's Titan Development and Investments company.

No member of the Pappas family was available for comment on the deal.

Thoma added that Gus Chafoulias still plans to connect whatever is built on the Michaels site to his long-delayed $145 million Broadway at Center on the southeast corner of Broadway Avenue and Center Street. Broadway at Center is the first high-profile project approved by the Destination Medical Center Corp. in 2015 to count toward Rochester's DMC commitment to the state.

"We have an agreement with the group that purchased and they want a skyway as well," she wrote.

Mark Bell and Tom Lund, the partners who run Harbor Bay, were not available for comment on Tuesday, so it is not known what their plans are for the Michaels property. However, the duo already have a housing development under construction in Rochester.

Harbor Bay is the company behind the 211-unit Preserve on Maine apartment complex at 4010 Maine Ave. SE. The developer describes Preserve on Main as "a place where luxurious residences and resort style living meet." Rents for the 17 styles of apartment range from $975 to $1,995 a month.

Chafoulias' Broadway at Center project has been stalled for months awaiting a financing deal to be finalized before starting demolition and construction. In July, Chafoulias announced that his team was terminating its relationship with Saudi Prince Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and Anas Abukhadra, of Minneapolis, because they had failed "to fulfill (their financial) obligations."

The project is still awaiting financing to clear the way for a needed $105 million loan to help finance the 23-story complex.
Could this latest deal with Harbor Bay be connected to financing Broadway at Center? Thoma says definitely not. She wrote that the Michaels sale has nothing to do with Broadway at Center other than the proposed skyway link.

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.


Eye clinic moving into Kahler space

The eyes have it.

Rochester's Dr. Ty Huber has signed a lease to open a second location for his Huber Eyecare clinic in the Kahler Grand Hotel lobby, in the corner space that overlooks the Peace Plaza and was last occupied by the Revelation/Les Wigs Renee shop.

08152016kahlercorner"I'm sure it will be very successful. I'm not concerned at all about taking on such an expensive space," he said. Huber estimated that this new downtown location will cost about double the per-square-foot cost of his main clinic at Sienna Square, 711 Commerce Drive NW.

"I have a lot of customers who work downtown. This will make it easier for them to access Huber Eyecare," he said.

08152016kahlerinsidespaceHuber, who opened his first local office in 2007, expects his contractor, Todd Severson of TLS Cos., to start work on the space later this month. He hopes to be able to open 1,360-square-foot space in early October. He's hiring a second optometrist and two other employees for the new clinic.

Leasing that high-profile corner of the Kahler to an eye clinic is a change to the previous strategy that Kahler Hospitality Group discussed during the high-profile lawsuit to evict Renee Carlson's Revelation/Les Wigs Renee/Merle Norman Cosmetics. While Carlson won the case, she eventually moved her businesses out of the Kahler at the end of 2015. In June, she opened a store in Decorah, Iowa.

During the 2013 case, Javon Bea, the Oronoco businessman who leads the investment partnership in charge of Kahler Hospitality Group, testified that "the new owners thought it (the hotel lobby) was very hodge-podge ... Some functions in the lobby were destinations, not impulse services, and they didn't think those were appropriate to be in the lobby of the Kahler Grand Hotel."

When asked for comment last week, Bea forwarded questions about how Huber Eye Care fits with that strategy to KHG's Chief Financial Officer Leslie Hohmann.

"I feel that Huber Optical is going to a good addition providing patient care support directly across from Mayo and the front of the Kahler Grand," Hohmann said in an email. "We expect that the optical business will be very neat and clean right next to the main entry to the Kahler Grand. While impulse businesses work well in many spots, they are often food-related and carry debris and smells that we did not feel were appropriate for the entry to the Kahler."


August 11, 2016

The end is near for Rochester's Nelson Cheese

After more than 30 years of selling sandwiches on Rochester's Broadway, Nelson Cheese Factory is planning to call it quits.

LsHowever, the exact closing date of the small deli at 210 North Broadway still is being determined.

"I'm not sure yet when it will close … maybe next week," owner Ed Greenheck on Wednesday. "I do know that soon there will no longer be a Nelson Cheese Factory in Rochester."

Greenheck is hoping to find a buyer to step in and re-open it as a di Nelsoncheeseclippingfferent eatery. The deli has two employees in the small spot in the Disons Cleaners building on North Broadway.

He cited several reasons for the closure, including the high
er costs of doing business in Rochester as well as Minnesota, competing with Mayo Clinic to hire employees and focusing more on the growth of their Wisconsin locations.

Rochester's Nelson Cheese is a satellite of the 158-year-old cheese factory in Nelson, Wis. The Greenheck family opened the Med City shop in the 1980s. It was located at 506 N. Broadway until an expansion of Marigold Foods, now Kemps, forced them to move.

The deli reopened at 210 N. Broadway in 1988, where it has served Mr. T and Old Fashioned sandwiches ever since.

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.