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1653 posts categorized "Early info/ more to come"

November 02, 2015

$56 million deal in 'one of our largest markets'

A North Dakota real-estate firm purchased Rochester's Grandeville at Cascade Lake for $56 million today.

Investors Real Estate Trust said this morning that it officially wrapped up the purchase of the 276-unit multifamily community. It announced in August that a purchase agreement for the 8-year-old property had been signed with LeCesse Development Corp. of Florida.

Nav-mobile-website-cascade-lake-rochester-mn-apartments-rent-apt-best_r1_c1Grandville is now IRET's 10th housing property in Rochester.

"We are excited to add GrandeVille to IRET's Rochester portfolio. Its convenient location and substantial amenities enhance the choices we offer to tenants and solidify our presence in Rochester," stated IRET's Vice President of Investments Matt Volpano in a press release this morning.

IRET long has been an active investor in Rochester. It now owns more than 1,300 housing units in 10 properties, including Quarry Ridge, Olympik Village and Sunset Trail.

"Rochester is one of our largest markets," said Volpano previously. "From our standpoint, it continues our strategy. DMC just improves upon an already strong market."

6a00d83451cc8269e201b8d1642d62970c-800wiIRET even is looking into building its own development in Rochester, on land it owns near 41st Street Northwest and West Circle Drive.

Volpano says plans have been drawn up for a potential project. The company is investigating whether it makes financial sense to move forward with it.

Today's deal is the largest real estate sale in Rochester for 2015. It tops the previous largest sale of the year, which also involved IRET.

IRET sold Maplewood Square shopping center in northwest Rochester for $15 million. The center, anchored by Best Buy, Fareway Foods and Ashley Furniture, was purchased by SGO MN Maplewood LLC, of San Mateo, Calif. The sale was part of a larger deal that included 15 IRET commercial properties, which sold for a total of $79 million.

The North Dakota firm previously announced that it is getting out of shopping centers to focus solely on housing properties.

October 28, 2015

New Roch. substation planned for Epic, Mayo Clinic growth

Mayo Clinic's partnership with Epic Systems, the largest electronic medical records firm in the United States, is driving the construction of a new $6.1 million Rochester Public Utilities substation.

Epic_Systems_112109_SignVerona, Wis.-based Epic Systems has been negotiating with RPU since June about the project. Epic says it needs more power capacity in the area to support future growth of the Mayo Clinic Data Center at 4710 West Circle Drive. The new Douglas Trail substation is slated to be built by the data center on land currently owned by Mayo Clinic.

The RPU board approved a "memorandum of understanding" about the project with Epic at its Tuesday night meeting. An escrow account already has been set up to fund project.

The memorandum states, "Due to the planned transfer of selected Mayo Data Center assets to Epic, Epic requests incremental electrical capability and capacity, needed to accommodate projected business growth in forward years…"
Epic has agreed to pay for the majority of the $6.1 million project, with RPU contributing $1.016 million for additional features that Epic doesn't need. The agreement also allows for Epic to apply  Mayo4710technologyparkfor up to $2.03 million in rebates over 10 years. The goal is to have the new substation up and running at least by April 1, 2017.

Rochester attorney Mark Utz spoke to the board as a representative of Epic. He said the deal  "Provides capacity not just for Epic, but a tremendous opportunity for the city of Rochester … to have a third substation in an incredible quadrant for Rochester. This is a win/win for the community, for RPU and for Epic."

Bruce Richards, Epic's director of facilities and engineering, assured the board his company is serious about coming to Rochester.

"This is a long-term situation for us. We're bringing in quite a few people to town," he said. "We'll start out with 80 to 90 people to the data center to work with Mayo Clinic."

Richards told the RPU board the additional capacity is needed for the potential that the current data center could grow to three times its current size.

Mayo Clinic built the $33.7 million, 60,000-square-foot computer support center in 2012. The data center was built to support all three of Mayo Clinic's campuses — Rochester, Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale, Ariz.

"Epic is expected to take title of the property nominally in December 2015, with site grading to begin in spring 2016, according to the RPU/Epic agreement. The agreement also states that, "It is contemplated that the City of Rochester, for the benefit of RPU, will acquire from Epic the title of the real estate where the substation and related infrastructure will be located.

Richards did not elaborate on what Epic plans to do at Mayo Data Center, though remote hosting medical records is a possibility. In recent years, Epic built a massive data center in Verona, Wis. to offer remote medical record hosting for its clients.

6a00d83451cc8269e201b7c791bc82970b-800wiEpic and Mayo Clinic began working together early this year, when Mayo chose Epic to handle Mayo Clinic's electronic medical records. The relationship is developing into a close collaboration. Mayo's Chief Administration Officer Jeff Bolton has said that Epic has shown "a strong interest" in being part of the planned Discovery Square development in downtown Rochester. Discovery Square is part of Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative.

Epic has about 8,000 employees and had $1.8 billion in revenues in 2014. Epic's software already is used by about 350 health-care organizations that care for 54 percent of U.S. patients.

Mayo Clinic is not Epic's only major partner in northwest Rochester. In May, IBM Watson Health, the health care unit of IBM, announced it has begun working with Epic as well as Mayo Clinic to add the Watson' super computer's cognitive capabilities to electronic health records. It's not clear if IBM is involved in the West Circle Drive data center project.

October 26, 2015

What's Mayo Clinic's plan for its new technology park?

Mayo4710technologyparkMayo Clinic is moving dirt and dividing up some open land by its Rochester data center at 4710 West Circle Dr. N.W.

However, details are sparse about the future of the site.

Mayo Clinic has submitted plans to the city for a "4710 Technology Park," a 22.5 acre tusk-shaped chunk of land north of the 4710 data center building.

The permit says:

 Final Plat #R2015-030PLAT to be known as 4710 Technology Park. The Plat proposes to subdivide three lots and one block for commercial development. The property is located at 4710 West Circle Dr NW.

I started asking Mayo Clinic about this project on Sept. 10. Mayo Clinic has not responded yet.
While no building is drawn on the plat, there are a series of driveways/st 10262015mayo4710techparkreets that curve around a space on Plot 2, that would seem to be designed to provide access to some sort of facility.
Mayo Clinic has certainly shown a lot of interest in that northwest area of the Med City for the past several years.
In 2000, it purchased a facility that Western Digital built at 4001 41st St. N.W.That became the Mayo Support Center, which houses Mayo Clinic's Dept. of Defense Medical Research Office spearheaded by Dr. Barry K. Gilbert.
In 2004, it bought a nearby complex at 3050 Superior Drive from Celestica. That eventually became the Superior Drive Support Center, which houses Mayo Medical Labs.
Mayo Clinic then built the 4710 Building, a data center, in 2012. It stands just north of the Mayo Support Center.
And now it is carving out a 4710 Technology Park by the 4710 Building.
In July, Mayo Clinic bought a nearby former mail processing center at 3939 Valleyhigh Drive. No word yet on how that will be used, though there is speculation that it could become a commercial laundry.


October 08, 2015

Will sale of North Broadway building attract developers?

The sale of a building on Broadway Avenue North clears the way for future development on a prominent block.

08102015MLT1Mike Pruett, co-owner of MLT Groupwhich is in the building, said he sold the 140-year-old brick structure that he owns with his wife, Dawn, at 411 Broadway Ave. N, on Wednesday. Real estate investor Les Nelsonof Clear Lake, Iowa, purchased it for $600,000, Pruett said.

"I'm happy with the price I got," he said. The Pruetts bought the building for $235,000 in 2003.

Nelson now owns most of that side of the 400 block of Broadway. He recently demolished two nearby empty buildings at 401 Broadway Ave. N and 407 Broadway Ave. N to make the area more attractive for developers.  08102015MLT2

After the demolitions, the Pruetts' building stood alone in the middle of the block. Amid the hype of the Destination Medical Center initiative, Rochester real estate prices have skyrocketed in recent months. Pruett's location made his building more valuable, since it is an obstacle that could keep developers away from the block. 

Besides housing the Pruetts' businesses, MLT Group and MLT Video, the building also has four apartments. All four currently have tenants. However, one has a lease until Dec. 31, while the three others are month-to-month.

After the tenant's lease ends in December, Pruett expects Nelson to knock down the building.

He plans to move MLT Group, which he owns with partner Ted St. Mane, and MLT Video to a business condo in the Plaza 14 West center at 4481 North Frontage Road. Pruett hopes to build out the unfinished 11,090-square-foot space and move the businesses at the end of November.

"It will be nice to have a change and a newer facility, though it's a little sad," he said.

Pruett said the new offices should work out well for his team of 10 to 12 employees, because it will have more usable space than the current building.  

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 15, 2015

High-profile 2nd Street property sold for residence

After years of being up for sale, a long-time Second Street Southwest business recently sold for $272,000.

On Sept. 1, Dick Saterdalen sold the 64-year-old house at 2120 Second St. S.W. where he lives and operates Dick's Auto Sales. He also previously ran the Liquidation Store at the site. He sold the property to Abdullah M. Aljaberi, according Olmsted County property records.
Saterdalen says he will continue to run Dick's Auto Sales at the site until Dec. 1, when he will move the operation to a small farm on Rochester's Viola Road.

Aljaberi is reportedly planning to renovate the house and use it as a residence, according to Saterdalen.

That Second Street house/storefront was in the news in 2013, when the City of Rochester began its $7 million re-construction of the area now dubbed as "Uptown." When a new median was built in front of the property, the 24-year-old business lost its direct left-turn access as well as on-street parking spaces.

Saterdalen complained that the Uptown project killed a deal he had with a bank that wanted to buy his property.  He also protested the assessment that the city charged him for the project.

Overall, Saterdalen blamed Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center Initiative for forcing his old-fashioned business/residence off of Second Street.

September 09, 2015

Is Shefzilla invading Rochester?

Is a top Twin Cities chef set to trek down to Rochester and start cooking?

It looks that way, i Stewart_woodman_cover_560f media reports are correct.

After 12 years as an award-winning chef at many top Twin Cities eateries, Stewart "Shefzilla" Woodman is coming to the Med City to work as the top food expert at the Kahler Hospitality Group, according to an Eater Minneapolis article.

Woodman is known for launching such Twin Cities foodie spots like Five Restaurant & Street Lounge, Heidi’s and the Workshop. He also is known for his cookbook, "Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home."
Representatives from the Kahler hotels were not available to confirm the reports this morning.

However, an Easter article published last week quoted Woodman as responding to queries about his future with the cryptic message, "Rochester I am going to." The man known as "Shefzilla" had been teasing Twin Cities media with Tweets alluding to his leaving his position at Kaskaid Hospitality.

He had been working at Haskaid overseeing Crave, Urban Eatery, Union and the Workshop since 2014. His last day there was Sept. 4, according to Woodman.

He told Eater that he is taking over management of the culinary operations of the Kahler Grand Hotel and its sister hotels. The Kahler Hospitality Group's restaurants include The Grand Grill, Salute, Martini's, Crossings Bistro, Lord Essex, Freshens and Dunkin Donut.

The Kahler Hospitality Group has been tweaking its restaurants in recent years to keep up with the increasingly competitive Rochester food scene.

Some of Woodman's accolades over the years include being named one of Food & Wines "Best New Chefs" as well as twice being a semifinalist for the best Midwest chef award from the James Beard Foundation.

September 03, 2015

Don't expect a second Sam's Club in Rochester

Destination Medical Center has many companies eagerly expanding their footprints in Rochester, though one huge retailer has decided to put on the brakes.

After years of discussion, Walmart has ended its plans for a second Rochester Sam's Club store.

6a00d83451cc8269e201a73d8867a9970d-250wiFor about eight years, I've asked a succession of Walmart officials about the possibility, as rumors repeatedly surfaced that a south Sam's Club complex could be built in the Shoppes on Maine area, possibly near the the 48th Street Southeast exit.

The answers from the Bentonville, Ark.-based giant always were vague, until last March, when Walmart's director of communications sent a positive response.

"We are always looking for opportunities to better serve our Rochester customers and are making plans to add a second Sam's Club to serve the growing need among area customers who want to buy wholesale merchandise in bulk at affordable prices," stated Delia Garcia by email.

However, those plans have changed between then and now. Garcia wrote another response to a request for updated information this week.

“We are constantly evaluating and refreshing our strategy to best serve our members and have decided this is not the right time to pursue a Sam’s Club in Rochester," she wrote.

Garcia could not expand on why Walmart decided to put the brakes on plans for a south Sam's store to complement its pair ofWalmart Supercenter stores on the north and south sides of the city, as well as a north Sam's Club warehouse.

The reversal does fit with a prediction from last spring by a Minnesota retail expert.

"It makes no sense at all," said David P. Brennan, a professor of marketing at St. Thomas University in St. Paul and co-director of the university's Institute for Retailing Excellence. "In regard to Rochester because of its size and relative ease of getting around, you don't need two stores to cover a market that size. It just doesn't make sense." 

Sam's Club has nine stores in the Twin Cities area and each does about $65 million to $75 million in business per year, according to Brennan. Costco has six stores in the metro region. Each of its stores move an estimated $120 million to $130 million of merchandise per year. 

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 14, 2015

South Dakota firm begins work on 192 apartments

Lots of dirt moving in northwest Rochester is a sign that work has started on a new, more than $20 million apartment complex.

South Dakota-based Stencil Homes is developing a two-building, 192-unit project called The Pines at Badger Hills. It's tucked away on Badger Hills Drive Northwest between the second and third roundabouts. That puts it just off of West Circle Drive and near the new Hy-Vee grocery store. A new roadway will connect The Pines with the new commercial development.

08132015thepinesonbadgerDeveloper and builder Nate Stencil describes The Pines as "a mix of market rate with one- and two-bedroom apartments." His goal is to have it open by summer 2016.

"This one is not a luxury project. It is a middle to upper, price-point-driven project," he said.

While Stencil only has been active in Rochester for a few years, he has a lot of projects in the works here.

"We've been pretty aggressive in the market. We've been able to make some good relationships there," he said. Stencil works closely with well-known Rochester Realtor Merl Groteboer.

The firm has two other Rochester apartment complexes — Nue52 and Kascade Place — under construction at Rochester's 65th Street Northwest interchange, across U.S. Highway 52 from the north Menards store.

Stencil expects Nue52, which has 83 units, to be ready to open within 60 days or so. Kascade Place, which will have 96 units, is expected to open in February or March.

Stencil Homes also has announced plans to build a $15 million, 110-unit apartment complex on the corner of Third Avenue Southeast and Fourth Street in downtown Rochester. That's across from the city-county Government Center. That project still is in the early planning stages.

More than 480 apartments might seem like a lot to have in the pipeline for Rochester, which has many other similar projects already in the works. However, Stencil isn't worried.

"There's a lot of pent-up demand there," he said. "I think everyone will be surprised how well the market there will handle adding a couple thousand units."

However, Stencil predicts The Pines will be the firm's last "suburban" or outlying Rochester development for a while.

"We feel strongly that there is more opportunity in the downtown area now. We have one other project we'll be doing in the urban core (in addition to the Fourth Street one)," he said.

Meanwhile, he's also moving quickly on another Minnesota project — revamping the former Pioneer Press building in downtown St. Paul. He recently purchased it and plans to convert it into 175 market-rate apartments.