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34 posts categorized "New local jobs"

May 29, 2014

Second Salvation Army store to open

Rochester should have two Salvation Army thrift stores within a few months.

Work has started in a 1,400-square-foot space in the Slumberland Center at 4909 U.S. 52 North, along the frontage road, according to David Ferber, the local director of community engagement for the Salvation Army.

The space is being divided to set up a sales floor separated from the donation sorting area.

E06c662a-9cf7-4fa6-b6ed-565c49263db1The hope is to have it ready to open by late summer or more likely by early fall.

The Salvation Army is leasing the space from Lou Grimaldi, who owns Slumberland as well as the commercial space behind the store. It will be about half the size of the current south Rochester thrift store at 201 Ninth St. S.E., though it will offer the same mix of donated clothing, household goods, toys, books and more.

"We have been working on this for a while. We realized there was a need in Rochester for another store," Ferber said. "Our customers have told us that they want a northwest store."

He credited Grimaldi with helping to finally make this project a reality. While the location is not as visible as most traditional stores want, Ferber says it is a good fit for the Salvation Army.

"We're a destination. I think people will find us," he said.

The Salvation Army's thrift store always has been popular in Rochester, though it has been located in different spots.

Since 2006, the thrift store has been in its spot in the west end of the Kmart center. Its former building downtown now is used for its Caring Partners Adult Day Program.

In recent years, the resale market has grown in Rochester, with Savers, Goodwill and several private shops opening or expanding. That has served Salvation Army well, as more than 80 percent of the sale of each donated item is used to support Rochester programs.

"We have an amazingly generous community," said Brad Dahlke, who is assistant manager of the current store and will be in charge of the new north Rochester location.

Dahlke anticipates it will take about 15 to 18 employees to staff the new store. The current one has about 28 staffers.

He says Rochester always has responded well to the Salvation Army's store with donations as well as shoppers. Some frequent the store for its inexpensive basics. However, others shop like it's a "treasure hunt."

"Lots of antique dealers and collectors shop the store," Dahlke said.

While finding that valuable item is rare, it does happen occasionally. He recalled the story of a person who bought a dusty floor lamp for $5 and re-sold it for $5,600.

May 09, 2014

New trustees bring political, financial clout to Mayo Clinic board

Mayo Clinic is bringing a significant amount of political and financial clout onto its Board of Trustees with the addition of two new members.

Armando Codina and Diana Taylor were officially named as board members at the organization's quarterly meeting on Friday in Rochester.

SFBJ Armando Codina 315*304Codina, a 66-year-old Cuban immigrant, is the executive chairman of Coral Gables, Fla.-based Codina Partners. Codina Partners is a powerful real estate investment and development company.

He has deep personal, political and business ties to the Bush family. By joining the Mayo board, he follows in the footsteps of Barbara Bush, who was a trustee from 1993 to 2001. Codina serves on the boards of many public companies, including General Motors, Home Depot and Merrill Lynch.Diana-Taylor

Taylor, 59, is a managing director of Wolfensohn Fund Management in New York City. She served as the superintendent of banks for the state of New York from 2003 to 2007. For many years, she has been a very public companion of billionaire and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Taylor serves on many boards, including Citigroup and Sotheby’s.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a 31-member group of public representatives and Mayo Clinic physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research at Mayo Clinic’s sites.

October 07, 2013

Roch.'s new DSW announces opening date

My intrepid and ever-alert co-worker Mike Klein laced up the opening date of the Designer Shoe Warehouse in today's PB.
Good news for shoe shoppers — Rochester's Designer Shoe Warehouse store is opening on Thursday, the company has announced.

10072013dsw1It's in the 22,000-square-foot former Old Navy store at 50 25th St. S.E., and construction is wrapping up this week.

DSW — Designer Shoe Warehouse — sells designer shoes, boots and sandals at value prices, as well as handbags and accessories. It also runs a popular loyalty program called DSW Rewards that issues certificates to customers for future purchases.

07102013dswopeningsignColumbus, Ohio-based DSW operates 389 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

In November 2011, Old Navy moved out of its 22,000-square-foot store at 50 25th St. S.E. between Bed Bath and Beyond and Michaels craft store. It moved farther south to a new spot between Dick's Sporting Goods and Maurice's in the Shoppes on Maine retail cluster.

"Of late, DSW has been extensively using its cash flow to expand throughout the United States," said the analyst blog. "We believe that the company’s aggressive store expansion plans signify that its designer shoes and accessories are fast gaining popularity among consumers."

Recently, DSW reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 results. Earnings increased 47 percent to 97 cents a share and net sales jumped 9.7% to $562 million, whereas comparable-store sales rose 4.4%.

August 28, 2013

DSW's work on new Roch store is picking up speed

I've been getting questions from eager shoppers about DSW's new Rochester shoe store.

08282013DSWWhile construction has only recently kicked off inside the 22,000-square-foot store former Old Navy store at 50 25th St. S.E., it looks like it's moving along at good clip now. I'll check with the company, but my completely uneducated guess-estimate would be that we could see an opening in Oct. or Nov.

DSW, also known as the Designer Shoe Warehouse, is based in Columbus, Ohio.

In November 2011, Old Navy sailed out of its 22,000-square-foot store at 50 25th St. S.E. between Bed Bath and Beyond and Michael's craft store. It moved farther south to a new spot nestled between Dick's Sporting Goods and Maurice's in the Shoppes on Maine retail cluster.

That left a big gap in the Broadway Commons shops area.

"Our stores have had a huge positive reaction in Minnesota," said Christina Cheng, DSW's director of investor relations, in January. "We are always looking for areas where we can expand our market share."

"We've been opening stores aggressively this year," Cheng says. "We opened 39 in 2012, and now we have 365. We're looking to open 25 to 30 more in 2013, one which will be in Rochester."

April 16, 2013

Rochester's DMC tight rope walk - Looking for people for article

Last week I interviewed a few local leaders about the DMC tight rope walk, particularly after last week's political chatter about Rochester being boring.

WelcomeIt seems the path is between "Rochester needs money to be better" and "Rochester is a great city."

I'm looking for to interview folks who normally don't get quoted in the newspaper for feedback on if Rochester actually is dull? Dull or not, everyone seems to have ideas about what this city needs to improve the quality of life here plus add some zest to the community's personality.

Beside looking for the opinions of average people, I'd also like to chat with some young doctors as well as some patients visiting here for medical treatment.

If you are interested, please contact me at or 285-7798.

January 03, 2013

New sandwich chain to fire up in Rochester

After years of trying to fire up a Med City location, plans for a new Potbelly Sandwich Shop are heating up in downtown Rochester.

A group of local owners have signed a deal to open a Potbelly franchise — the first in southeastern Minnesota — in the 318 Commons building on First Avenue Southwest.

194896_416312508412371_1535335892_oThat'll put it in the same complex with hundreds of University of Minnesota Rochester students, The Loop bar and grill and the latest Eastwood Bank branch.

Potbelly, known for its toasted sandwiches and cast-iron potbelly stoves, has been looking to spark a franchise here since at least 2010. Fans have been vocal in their appeals for a local Potbelly.

In addition to warm sandwiches, Potbelly serves up salads, soups and hand-dipped milkshakes.

Owners Kirk and Kim Gordon are spearheading the project, along with partners John and Sandy Rogness and Bill and Erin Nystrom.

The decision to sign on for a Potbelly franchise was an easy one for the Gordons.

“We loved Potbelly when we lived in Chicago, and we’ve been hoping ever since that Rochester would be added to the Potbelly family," Kim Gordon said.  "We got tired of waiting and decided, ‘Let’s bring it here ourselves.’”

There's no target opening date yet, but look for construction of the new sidewalk level eatery to kickoff very soon. The chain's namesake stove commemorates how the first shop started as an antique store then evolved into an eatery. Expect customized woodwork within.

Potbelly typically hires about 20 to 30 people to staff a shop.

It'll be interesting to see how this new player in Rochester's already meaty sandwich market carves out its own niche. The Med City already sports Jimmy John's, Subway, Quizno's, Cousin's and local deli-style places like Salad Brothers, City Market, Nelson Cheese and others

In 2010, Potbelly's franchise manager was confident that a shop was destined for Rochester.

"These are definitely not cookie cutter shops. We want to be part of a community," Mike Walters said back then. "We want to be a neighborhood sandwich shop."

January 01, 2013

DSW to step up and open Rochester store

It's a shoe-in.

A popular national retailer is following its feet to the Med City with plans to open a new store here in the fall.

Look for DSW, also known as the Designer Shoe Warehouse, to stroll into this market in the fall, possibly by September. The shoe chain, based in Columbus, Ohio, is following in the footsteps … or maybe in the wake … of Old Navy.
Old navy
In November 2011, Old Navy sailed out of its 22,000-square-foot store at 50 25th St. S.E. between Bed Bath and Beyond and Michael's craft store. It moved farther south to a new spot nestled between Dick's Sporting Goods and Maurice's in the Shoppes on Maine retail cluster.

That left a big gap in the Broadway Commons shops area, and it stayed empty throughout 2012. Now, DSW has signed up to fill the "shoes" that Old Navy left behind.

"Our stores have had a huge positive reaction in Minnesota," says Christina Cheng, DSW's director of investor relations. "We are always looking for areas where we can expand our market share."

In the past few years, the retailer found a good fit with its "warehouse cool" style and its passionate approach to selling shoes. That has given DSW the traction it needed to rocket through its competitors from its 2004 spot as the No. 8 seller of adult footwear in the U.S. to No. 2 in 2011, right behind Macy's.

"We've been opening stores aggressively this year," Cheng says. "We opened 39 in 2012, and now we have 365. We're looking to open 25 to 30 more in 2013, one which will be in Rochester."

Of course, that means more retail jobs. DSW typically staffs its warehouse stores with 30 to 40 employees.

It will be interesting to see how DSW fits into the Rochester mix, which already has the big brands of Famous Footwear, Payless Shoe Source and Rogan's Shoes as well as well known local names such as O&B Shoe Stores, Danielle's Shoes and the recent addition TerraLoco.

October 19, 2012

Clothes Mentor hopes to start selling soon

The Med City's latest women's used clothing shop is stocking up for its upcoming opening.
Look for Clothes Mentor to start selling gently used clothing, designer handbags and other items at its new Rochester store at 3851 Marketplace Drive N.W. on Nov. 15, says owner Stacey Kollasch.

That date puts the store in that retail sweet spot on the calendar that is after the presidential election, but before Thanksgiving. The store is open now. However, it is just buying clothes for now. Sales will begin on Nov. 15.
"We've been getting a lot of good things coming in the door. We've a ton of designer purses," says Kollasch.

Clothes Mentor pays cash on the spot for used women's clothing. It focuses on clothing that's two years old or less and then it re-sells for about a third of what it was priced when new.

Some eager shoppers are already preparing for the opening sales day by pinpointing where exactly their favorite pieces are located in the store to map their plan of "attack."

While many racks and shelves in the 3,500-square-foot space are full of clothes, Kollasch and store manager Rachel Prickett say they would still like to beef up their stock in these weeks before starting to sell.

"The more we have, the better," she says.

The store, which is near Target North where Erik's Bike Shop used to be located, should be more easy to spot soon. Kollasch hopes that the large Clothes Mentor sign will go up over the door yet this week.

September 18, 2012

What goes around, becomes Ground Round

It is almost time to hit the ground running, because Rochester's new Ground Round Restaurant & Bar is circling towards opening next month.

For much of the summer, construction has been under way to turn the former 331 Bar and Grill/ Hangar into a Ground Round. That's at 7386 Airport View Drive S.W. by the Rochester International Airport.

"It is going to look totally different inside and outside from what it was before," says Joe Powers, one of the quartet of local owners. "It is going to be absolutely spectacular."

Powers is launching the new restaurant with Andy Chafoulias, Todd Klees and Jason Windsor. Windsor will be the owner/manager running things.

While there is no specific date yet, they hope work will wrap up in time to open the doors during the first week of October. Most of the team of 70 to 80 employees have been hired, though the store will still accept applications.

Why launch a new restaurant in a location some would say is too far from the heart of the city?
"People don't realize that there is an amazing amount of households that are out here," says Powers. "There is plenty of market out here."

And there is the expected synergy between the Ground Round with Powers' nearby Rochester International Events Center and Chafoulias'  AmericInn hotel.

"It will be a heck of a combination," he says.

There was a Ground Round in front of the Crossroads Shopping Center in south Rochester for many years, but it closed about a decade ago.

While this new updated version of the family dining restaurant will have a similar atmosphere and menu, diners should not expect an exact recreation of the Ground Round from the 1980s and 1990s.

The well-known practice of eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor is gone. The chain discontinued that in 2004, but every table does get a fresh bowl of popcorn.

August 28, 2012

Mercedes shifting into high gear to build Med City dealership

I popped out to the groundbreaking at the new Mercedes-Benz car dealership Monday morning. They have done an amazing amount of work in less than a week out there. The dirt is really flying.

GregorWhile out there, I had a flashback to September, 2006 when I went to another groundbreaking for a car dealership out there at the Shoppes on Maine area. That was before Target, before Lowe's, before Wherenberg and before my mustace went gray.

That groundbreaking was for the Rochester Toyota dealership owned by Rob Gregory.

Coming back to the present, here's some on the Merecedes groundbreaking:


Construction of a new Mercedes-Benz car dealership is shifting into high gear in south Rochester as it drives toward a goal of opening sometime in March.

The Ballweg Family of Dealerships is moving its Mercedes dealership from Wausau, Wis., to a spot at Shoppes on Maine near Target South and Rochester Toyota.

08272012mercedesgroundbreaking1Officials from Ballweg and Mercedes were at the site Monday for a ceremonial groundbreaking as big machinery roared by moving dirt in the background.

Ballweg CEO Jason Brickl says the project is moving forward quickly because of interest in Mercedes in Rochester.

"They did a market study and Rochester looked incredibly appealing," he says.

Jack Holt, Mercedes' franchise manager for the central region, said the company's research found that this location looks very promising.

"We think Rochester is the right place to be and we think we have the right partner in Ballweg," he says. "We think this will be great."
08272012mercedessiteAlready, area customers have been calling to inquire when the dealership will open.

"We've never had that kind of interest this early in a project before," he says.

Rochester has been without a new Mercedes dealership since about 1998.

Brickl expects to hire between 20 to 25 employees to staff the 21,000-square-foot dealership. It will have nine service bays. He has already brought in a general manager to run the Rochester operation.

Beyond Mercedes' well known line of vehicles, this dealership will also offer its smart brand of mini and micro cars and its line of Sprinter commercial vans.

Once open, Ballweg's Rochester dealership will keep between 100 to 150 new and used vehicles on display.