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March 03, 2016

Sports Authority to hit the showers

It's official.

SportsauthoritylistSports Authority is closing its Rochester location as well as 139 other stores as part of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Rochester employees began telling customers last week that the 33,000-square-foot store at 80 25th St. SE would be closing soon. On Wednesday, the Englewood, Colo.-based company filed for bankruptcy.

As part of that filing, it submitted a list of 140 stores that it will be closing or selling within the next three months. The sporting goods retailer has 463 stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico.

Rochester's Sports Authority has been open in the Broadway Commons commercial center since 2001. 56cc794c4ca4b.image

"We are taking this action so that we can continue to adapt our business to meet the changing dynamics in the retail industry," CEO Michael Foss said in a written statement. The executive said that it needs fewer stores, as consumers are increasingly shifting to online shopping.

Sports Authority stores will remain open and run on normal schedules during the Chapter 11 process. The company's website will continue to function, and the chain plans to honor warranties on items purchased at its stores or online.

In a letter to customers posted on the company's website, Foss said that Sports Authority's long-term plan includes upgrading stores and improving its website.

Foss said that The Sports Authority Inc., which is privately-held, has received interest from third parties that may want to invest in or buy some or all of the business. The company plans to continue evaluating all of its options, he added.

Sports Authority said that it expects to have sufficient liquidity during the Chapter 11 process when factoring in cash from operations and anticipated access to up to $595 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

In 2014, Sports Authority ranked fourth with $3.4 billion in revenue among U.S. sporting goods chains. Dick's is the leader with with 603 stores nationwide, including one in Rochester,  and $6.5 billion in revenue. Academy Sports ranked second and Bass Pro Shop came in third.

Sports Authority has 470 stores, according to Statista. According to a Moody's research note, Sports Authority reported more than $2.6 billion in revenue for the 12-month period that ended in October.

The Broadway Commons center, which also features Kohl's, changed hands in January, when Austin, Texas-based EREP Broadway Commons bought the 131,931-square-foot retail complex for $14.5 million. They bought it from Inland Private Capital Program, of Oak Brook, Ill.

The 15-year-old shopping center was appraised at $15 million, according to state documents. Inland originally acquired the property in 2002 for $16 million. Olmsted County estimated its 2016 market value at $11.23 million.

It originally was built by Wisconsin-based Continental Properties in 2001.

Indian cuisine on way to downtown food court

IMG_0362It looks like a new Indian cuisine place will soon start cooking in the First Avenue Food Court in Rochester's downtown skyway.

The sign recently went up for Blue Diamond Indian Cuisine in front of the vendor spot last occupied by Mexican eatery.

I haven't talked to them yet, but I pretty sure Blue Diamond is vendor some people might remember from summer events at the Squash Blossom Farm in Douglas.

I should have more on this soon.

March 02, 2016

Coffee and Bagels on way for N. Broadway

A new Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels shop is slated to be built along North Broadway this year.

Coffee-and-bagels-logo-620x291Dr. Ajay Nehra submitted plans Monday for a 2,500-square-foot building to be constructed in the parking lot of the River Center Plaza shopping center. That's the mall formerly known as Northbrook, located across Broadway from the Silver Lake Shopping Center.
The proposed plans place the new coffee and bagels place it near the Broadway entrance to River Center and near the Fiesta Café & Bar end the shopping center. The
new shop is slated to have a drive-through window to attract morning commuters looking for a caffeine and bagel fix on the way to work.

These plans are very early in the permitting process, so there is no timeline yet for the project.

When this River Center location starts serving up lattes and frappes, it will be Rochester's 10th Caribou Coffee shop.

This Caribou/Einstein Bros. location will mirror a 2,500-square-foot one built last year in the Costco development area off of 19th Street Northwest. That shop was built by TJL Development, of St. Paul.

March 01, 2016

NW Rochester retail center sells for $5.2 million

A high-profile northwest Rochester commercial center sold for $5.2 million last week.

The 16-year-old retail center at 2870 41st St. NW was purchased by San Diego, Calif.-based HW Rochester LLC on Feb. 23. That center houses Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Scrubs & Beyond, Sushi Nishiki and other businesses at the entrance to the Rochester Marketplace area.

MarketplacebuildingThe sale shows how Rochester's commercial real estate market is heating up. Olmsted County estimated the building's market value at $3.48 million for 2016.

Sara Investment Real Estate of Madison, Wis. under the corporate name of Rochester Marketplace Property Group LLC sold the 17,920-square-foot center. The Wisconsin group purchased it in 2013 for $4.5 million.

That commercial strip at 2870 41st St. N.W. was built in 2000 as part of the overall Rochester Marketplace development by the Twin Cities developer Ryan Cos. US Inc. The building stands in front of Rochester's SuperTarget North and the nearby Home Depot store.

Bishop Management Co., of Rochester, bought that piece of the development from Ryan Cos. for $4 million in February 2003. 2B Rochester Market Place, LLC, which is a Bishop company, made the sale to Sara Investment, according to Olmsted County property records.

Ryan sold the rest of its property in Rochester Marketplace in September 2003 to The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, of Oakbrook, Ill.

February 25, 2016

Grocery still could be on way for Miracle Mile, but not Whole Foods

A national grocery chain could be on the way for Rochester's Miracle Mile mall.

5553522a8afe9.imageHowever, it won't be Whole Foods as previously predicted.

Word that the popular organic grocery chain was talking to the owners of the mall at 115 16th Ave. NW popped up last year, soon after Miracle Mile sold for $10.4 million. In the end, that deal was not done. 

Another brand now has stepped in and has taken negotiations with the owner of Rochester's oldest mall farther down the road than Whole Foods did.

"We're working with a national grocery chain. They have submitted a letter of intent, and we have responded," said Rochester Realtor Merl Groteboer of Re/Max Results. "Whole Foods is out of the picture at this point."

Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svgHe represents the mall owners, Miracle Mile LLC. There are no public details about the unidentified owners, but Groteboer previously has described them as a Twin Cities couple.

Miracle Mile LLC purchased the mall along U.S. Highway 52 and Second Street Southwest in March 2015 from Jordan Realty Corp. of Dallas. Jordan had owned it since 1988.

While the deal is progressing forward, there is no guarantee it will happen in the end. That's why Groteboer is keeping quiet about the name of the grocery store. He does say it is a national chain that is not in Rochester now, but does have a presence in Minnesota.

In December, two high-profile tenants — The Mouse Gift & Home store and the Bread Baker bakery — closed. That seemed to fit with the possible development plan to demolish the south end of the mall to make space for a new stand-alone grocery store. The tenants on that end, such as Arrow Ace Hardware and Plaza Morena, could be moved into open spaces in the north end of the mall.

"Any tenants displaced would be offered another space in the center," Groteboer said last year.

February 19, 2016

A second scoop of Flapdoodles is on the way

A double scoop of Flapdoodles Ice Cream is on the way for Rochester.

Flapdoodles-homemadeMatt Tierney, who launched his original hand-made ice cream shop in 2011, has decided to open a second location at 1710 South Broadway. That's the former Wheeler's Autobody Supply building.

While this will be another full restaurant site, Tierney said this is not just about reaching more customers.

Flapdoodles.1jpg1"What really drove the whole decision was a lack of production space (at the current 3525 22nd Ave. NW)," he said. "We've been growing every year and we just don't have enough room."

That means the back of the South Broadway store will be devoted to making ice cream for both stores. During the busy days of summer, Flapdoodles makes about 400 gallons of ice cream per week.

Tierney hopes to have the new store ready to open by early to mid-summer. He has about 20 employees on staff at the 22nd Avenue location and expects to have a similar crew at the new store.

"We really like the feel of South Broadway with a lot of hotels and Graham Arena nearby. And we're close enough to downtown, that you can see Mayo Clinic from the windows," he said.

He purchased the 38-year-old building from Wernimont Properties on Feb. 12 for $500,000. Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate represented Tierne Wheeler's Autobody Supply y in the deal, and Jay Christenson of Braasch Commercial Real Estate represented Wernimont. Wernimont Properties bought the 1710 South Broadway building in April 2015 from $389,900/

In the few years since it opened the former Subway sandwich shop, Flapdoodles has attracted a growing crowd of fans.

"Our customers are nice combination of local people, visitors to Mayo and people here for sports tournaments," said Tierney. "I'm really happy with how things have gone." 


February 17, 2016

North Broadway parcel cleared of buildings

02172016MLTbuildingdemoWhere a 140-year-old brick building once stood on North Broadway is now a hole in the ground.

Real estate investor Les Nelsonof Clear Lake, Iowa cleared away the former MLT Group building at 411 North Broadway this week.

In October, Nelson bought the building for $600,000 from Mike and Dawn Pruett. He also demolished two nearby empty buildings at 401 Broadway 08102015MLT2 and 407 Broadway last summer to make the area more attractive for developers. There's no word yet on what might happen there.

The Pruetts and partner Ted St. Mane have moved their businesses, MLT Group and MLT Video, to a 11,090-square-foot business condo in the Plaza 14 West center at 4481 North Frontage Road.




February 15, 2016

Change in downtown Rochester … in 2007 and 2008

The general feeling in Rochester today is that a lot of change is imminent, particularly in downtown.

11-29 Galleria food  ct olA quick look back at February in my blog archives shows that there has already been plenty of change in recent years.

In late February in 2007, the downtown was wracked with spasms as the long-time and much-loved Food Court on the third floor of the Galleria Mall closed to make way for the new University of Minnesota-Rochester to move into the top floors of the retail mall.

The mall is now officially named University Square, though everyone still calls it the Galleria.

In 2007, Sandy Keith, the then-executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance, said the Galleria’s transformation is a “key ingredient” along with the proposed Biobusiness Center to  reviving downtown. “The Galleria has not been a very functional building for a long time. It will be a very, very substantial improvement.”

As a foreshadowing of the Mayo Civic Center (Hockey) arena debate, Brad Jones, the executive director for the Rochester Area Visitors and Convention Bureau, proposed building a new lacrosse field to bring more business to the city.

“Right now if you build it, they (teams and tournaments) will come. But you don’t want to be on the back end of that,” he said. “We grow the club and get facilities. What’s the downside?”

6a00d83451cc8269e200e5505fd23b8834-800wiA year later, on Feb. 15, 2008, I posted a pic of the first walls of the future Minnesota BioBusiness Center beginning to rise. At that time, the only signed lease for the center was Mayo Clinic Health Solutions, which included Mayo Medical Ventures and MMSI.

A Belgium company called Cardio3 Biosceinces was rumored to be looking at leasing space, which eventually did happen in 2015. However, Cardio3/ now known as Celyad has since decided to pass on building out space in the center.

Also in February 2008, construction work was heating up on a new restaurant on the street level of the Galleria. While people were a little cautious about a place being opened by folks out of the Twin Cities, Chester's Kitchen and Bar seems to have caught on.

Construction was also underway to transform the Broadstreet Cafe into 300 First, though the Redwood Room remained untouched.

6a00d83451cc8269e200e550758a8a8833-800wiAt the start of February 2008, Jan Daly bought the former Labor Temple building at 405 1⁄2 S. Broadway for $437,500 

Her plan then was to create the Rosie Belle Performing Arts center on that site.

Street design and bike racks weren't big issues in 2008. The biggest threat to downtown then was the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, which described as potentially "deadly."

Altura State Bank to merge with Plainview bank

Altura State Bank has signed a deal to merge with the People State Bank of Plainview.

"We are pleased to announce the combination of these two quality banks," said Dick Zabel, board chairman of Peoples State Bank. "Our banks are both family owned and share a similar culture and approach for customers and employees."

LogoThe merger is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.

Altura has one branch at 411 Main Street NW in Altura. The bank was founded by the Kramer family in 1910. It now has more than $50 million in assets. That branch will operate under the name of Peoples State Bank.

"The merger will provide our customers with more products and services, while maintaining the small community banking experience they have come to expect," said President and CEO Peter Kramer of Altura State Bank.

0logoPeoples State Bank of Plainview has approximately $200 million in assets and five branches, in Plainview, Elgin and Millville in Minnesota, as well as Boyceville and Menomonie in Wisconsin.

The combined bank, operating as Peoples State Bank of Plainview, expects to have assets of more than $250 million

"We welcome Altura State Bank employees and look forward to working with them as partners in serving the Altura customers," Plainview CEO and President Gary Timm.

Timm took over as president of the bank in January 2014. He took over from Zabel, who became the chairman or the board.


February 11, 2016

TaDa! - it's a new Rochester consignment store

A local couple have launched a new addition to Rochester's line-up of consignment stores.

TaDa!+(bird+only)Cindy Rolfing and Joe Crest opened TaDa! Consign at 1814 Second St. SW last week. They buy and sell furniture, home decor and household items ranging from new and trendy to antique and retro. The shop is open four days a week from Wednesday to Saturday.

The idea is to give local amateur and professional interior decorators a selection of stylish couches, end tables, lamps, mirrors and more to chose from as they look for just right piece.

Tada-consign-furniture"It couldn't be going better," said Rolfing of their first week in business.

TaDa! operates in the 2,500-square-foot space last occupied by Antiquity and Real Deals before that.

Rolfing is well-known as a Rochester educator and her husband previously worked in air travel. The pair say they are excited to try this new endeavor.

"It's (opening a store) been in the back of my mind for 30 years. I always liked to decorate," she said.

TaDa! is just a block or so away from the brightly-colored Karma Consignment

"I like being close to Karma. They are so well-know and have a huge selection. I think it is good for us," said Rolfing. "There are a lot of great consignment stores in Rochester, each with their own style. " think there's more than enough market for all of us plus room for even more."