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1671 posts categorized "Early info/ more to come"

September 19, 2016

It's a brave new blog

Kigersaysheh-tshirtAfter 11 years of all sorts of news, goofiness, errors, corrections, thousands of 'Hehs' and more, things are changing at this blog.

New "blog" postings are now moving to a new blog section on the revamped and upgraded Post-Bulletin web site. Right now my recent columns are collected there, but expect new, incredibly interesting postings to go up there soon.

This blog will remain live on Typepad, so everyone can still access the years and years of Kiger typos, until we get all of the archives shifted to the new version of the blog.

So hang on, we're going off-roading into new territory. It might get a bit bumpy, but I promise it will be fun.

September 15, 2016

New hotel plans by Zumbro River #rochmn

Plans for a new 103-room, extended hotel in southwest Rochester are starting to move ahead.

North Rock Real Estate, a tandem effort of Jeff Brown Jr. and Mike Zirbes, is proposing building a four-story Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel along the Zumbro River, next to the under construction Red44 luxury apartment complex.

HiltonhotelplansBoth projects are located at Mayowood Road and 16th Street Southwest, just across the river from the Apache Mall.

The Red44 developers, Minneapolis-based CPM Cos. and Roers Investments LLC of Long Lake, Minn., plan to have their 159-unit apartment complex ready to open late next summer.

North Rock hopes to start construction of the Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel in the spring. It will stand near 16th Street and along the river.

"The idea is to target people staying for a days with a place to be comfortable with unique amenities," said Brown Jr.

The hotel, as proposed, will include a large grilling patio overlooking the river as well as a pool and easy access to the adjacent bike path. Details for the hotel have not been completely finalized yet.

Next to the hotel, North Rock would like to build a commercial building of up to 6,000 square feet to house retail shops and/restaurants. Plans for that project are not as far along as the ones for the hotel.

September 12, 2016

Mayo Clinic buys 2 Rochester properties for total of $10.2 million

Sold-signMayo Clinic must have had some money burning a hole in its pocket on Sept. 1.

On that day, Mayo Clinic bought a northwest Rochester building for $10 million and a house in southwest Rochester for $217,000.

I'm waiting for response from Mayo Clinic about their plans for those buildings. I should have more soon.

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.


September 08, 2016

Rochester 'Gold Rush' spurring bank, credit union branches

I'll have a full piece on this in the weekend paper. Here's a sample with some extra data.

At a time when many banks and credit union are seeing less people using branches, Rochester is in the midst of a mini-branch building boom.

In 2009, banks had U.S. 99,550 branches, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. By the end of 2015, that national number fell to 92,997.

09-01 2construction enRochester has 46 bank branches and five credit union branches. That's a bank or credit union branch for every 2,093 of Rochester's 106,769 residents.

Rochester is the bucking the national trend when it comes to branches. The easy answer to the question of why is the Med City's robust economic growth powered by Mayo Clinic makes it attractive for banks and credit unions.

However, each institution has their own ideas about branches.

• Altra Credit Union has purchased two parcels to build future branches.

• West Bank has a large branch under construction along West Circle Drive.

• Think Mutual Bank is building a new branch in northeast Rochester. 

• La Crosse, Wis.-based Coulee Bank is transforming the former Family Service Rochester building on Civic Center Drive into a branch.

Data from Minnesota Bankers Association

• For the record, Duluth has 35 bank branches. I don't know how many credit union branches. Duluth has a population of 86,277.

• Mankato has 28 bank branches. I don't know how many credit union branches. Mankato has a population of 39,396.

A national study found most bank chains in the U.S. reduced their number of branches in 2015.

• Wells Fargo - 6,272 branches down 39 from 2014

• US Bank - 3,209 branches down 35 from 2014

• Associated Bank - 224 branches down 13 from 2014.



August 17, 2016

Miracle Mile project to be unveiled soon?

579781715a9e4.imageWhile there has been no official word about the proposed grocery/apartment complex project at Rochester's Miracle Mile Shopping Center, it looks like it is on the agenda of Thursday's meeting of the Committee on Urban Design and Environment.

CUDE is slated to hear about the "Miracle Market Mixed-Use Project," according to the agenda. No other details are listed. This project is expected to involve the mysterious, unnamed owner of the Miracle Mile shopping center and Nate Stencil of Stencil Homes, who has a number of apartment complex projects in Rochester.

No word yet on what grocery chain will occupy this possible building.

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.


August 05, 2016

Longtime Rochester printer is on the move

After 30 years in the same location, a Rochester printing company is planning to move to a new home.

Paper & Graphics Inc., a division of Smyth Cos., has a new 15,000-square-foot office under construction at Suite 400 of the Sienna Squarecommercial building, at 2711 Commerce Dr. NW, according to Smyth owner and director Bill Hickey.

"We're hoping to be in there in September," he said. "We think there will be a lot of good exposure there. It will be a fresh, new place organized to fit our needs."

6a00d83451cc8269e201b8d175fbac970c-200wiThe new office along West Circle Drive will put the printer right in the middle of a booming commercial area.

Paper & Graphics long has been based at 1116 Ninth Street NE in a building owned by the business' owners, Tim and Steve Fields. The Fields sold the commercial printing firm to St. Paul-based Smyth in 2015.

The Rochester location has a staff of four, but that is supplemented from Smyth's Austin operations as needed. Hickey says the new office will be large enough to add more staff in Rochester as well as new machinery.

Paper & Graphics specializes in general commercial printing, such as stationary, brochures, booklets, posters, cards and other items.

This move will strengthen Smyth's footprint in southeastern Minnesota. The 138-year-old firm has been printing in Austin, since 1971. Smyth expanded in Austin in 2007, when it built a new 30,800-square-foot facility in the Cook Farm Industrial Park and expanded its other site there. Among other contracts, Smyth prints labels for Hormel Foods in Austin.

Smyth also has locations in Minneapolis, Virginia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Colorado.


July 26, 2016

Golden Corral has not tied up a Med City spot

Don't expect a return of the Golden (Corral) age in the Med City.

An announcement about the Golden Corral all-you-can-eat restaurant chain taking over ex-Old Country Buffet spaces in the Twin Cities had local buffet buffs celebrating last week. Rochester was mentioned as a candidate because it has its own empty ex-OCB spot.

Old-country-buffet-2While it looks as though the restaurant going into the open spot at 1300 Salem Road SW will be a buffet, the word is it won't be a Golden Corral.

Darci Fenske, of Paramark Real Estate, says she has brokered a lease deal for the restaurant space in the TJ Maxx & More Plaza. It sounds as if Golden Corral might have put in one of the nine bids for OCB space. If so, it didn't win.

4fc28fb6f45f1467382372-golden-corralThe Twin Cities restaurateur who has locked up the spot still is working out his plan for the future restaurant, so he is keeping his plans under wraps for the moment.

The unconfirmed buzz is that he may be working on some version of an American/Chinese buffet.

Old Country abruptly shuttered its Rochester eatery in Chamberb 044early March, along with a number of ones in the Twin Cities area, as part of its bankruptcy. The large restaurant at 1300 Salem Road SW has stood empty since then.

That left a hole in Rochester's food lineup similar to what happened when the beloved Golden Corral closed its restaurant at 2775 43rd St. NW in 2007.

The popular buffet chain had operated there for six years, until the owners revamped it into Gorilla's Sports Bar and Grill. After some attempts to change and find more customers, Gorilla's closed in 2010.

July 08, 2016

Old Abe Coffee to park the cart, open a shop

A high-profile member of Rochester's small food/drink cart community has lined up a permanent home.

Old Abe Coffee Co., which serves cold brew coffee and unique food, is a familiar sight in downtown Rochester. Now Abe Sauer is planning to set up shop in a fixed address near Rochester's Cooke Park. He eventually will move into a house-turned-commercial building at 832 Seventh St. NW. Westwood Realty last occupied that spot.

Old+abe+serving+4The new place will be called Old Abe at Cooke.

"I am very happy to announce Old Abe is playing fair and is now a property tax-paying Rochester business," stated Sauer via email. "Old Abe at Cooke will be an extension of what I have been doing on the trike. Fun and food and fun food (and our popular cold brew coffee). It will be goofy. Maybe a little unpredictable."

Beside serving coffee and food, he wants to create a bike-friendly, fun spot for families near a park and the growing Cooke Park arts district.

"I hope to create a social space for the neighborhood and Cooke Park users. Activating Cooke Park will be a goal as it’s one of Rochester’s best located parks, on the bike path, and canopied in shade," he wrote. "In particular, I want to create a place for young families that will, if all goes as planned, include a dedicated kids playroom so parents can enjoy their meal without fighting a toddler at the table. It will also include an expanded menu influenced by both my own vegetarian-leaning diet and my many years in Asia."

Sauer doesn't have a timeline for parking the cart and opening the new shop. The first step will be renovating the 1950s house with the help of Rochester architect Adam Ferrari of 9.Square. He estimates the earliest he'll be able to open is later this fall.

So why the decision to park his anachronistic coffee trike/cart?

"First and foremost, I needed space to grow. But also I want to create something distinctly geared for the thousands of younger families in Rochester that often get lost in the food and beverage landscape. I also want to create a fun space for Rochester residents that are NOT focused solely on the downtown and immediate area," said Sauer.