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177 posts categorized "Ribbon cuttings"

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. 


October 07, 2015

The 5 top Rochester real estate sales in 2015 so far

• $15 million - Maplewood Square sold on Sept. 29.

Sold_sign• $10 millionMiracle Mile shopping center sold on May 15.

• $7.2 million - The Hampton Inn at 1755 S. Broadway sold on Feb. 6.

• $5.4 million - Former Menards store at 5150 U.S. 52 North sold on March 17.

• $4.5 million - Prosthetic Laboratories center at 121 23 Ave. S.W. sold on Jan. 30. 

October 13, 2014

New biotech office launches in Rochester

This one seems to have a lot of local momentum behind it.


The health care technology arm of a Sri Lanka-based company is officially launching its Rochester office on Tuesday morning.

Brandix i310132014brandixoffice is hosting a grand opening in the morning of its 2,000-square-foot office on the skyway level of Minnesota BioBusiness Center at 221 First Ave. S.W.

The software development firm has been working out of a spot in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, since early summer. The business accelerator is located on the same floor of the Biobusiness Center as Brandix's new office.

Aaron Epps, Brandix's associate vice president of health care, said earlier this year that office would launch with six employees, though he expects it to grow to 12 by the end of the year

"We want to be part of the Destination Medical Center project," he said. "We're looking to expand quickly. We're a start-up, but we're a start-up with the backing of a large 10132014brandixskywaysigncompany."

Brandix's focus is to work with its local partner, Rochester-based Ambient Clinical Analytics. Ambient makes "real-time decision support tools" for doctors and nurses working in the ICU, operating room or emergency departments.

Mayo Clinic launched Ambient in 2013, and it named Al Berning as CEO. Berning is known in Rochester as a former IBMer, a co-founder of Pemstar and former CEO of Hardcore Computers/LiquidCool Solutions. Ambient's management team includes other local business leaders, like former long-time IBM executives Drew Flaada and Deb Sutherland.

Brandix has a three-year lease with the City of Rochester. It pays $20 per rentable foot
is In addition to the leasing the 2,000-square-feet, Brandix's lease promises "first right of refusal" for the other 2,000 square feet of adjacent vacant space to the west.

The city gave Brandix "a one-time fit-up allowance" of $10 per square foot, or $20,000, to build out its offices.

October 06, 2014

Mayo labs chief leaves to take top job at dianostics firm

A long-time Mayo Clinic executive has joined a New Jersey-based medical diagnostics firm.

Dr. Franklin R. Cockerill III, who recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Mayo Medical Labs, started work as vice president and chief laboratory officer for Quest Diagnostics Inc. on Oct. 1.

53f375aa6b834.imageQuest offers clinical testing services, such as routine testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology services, and drugs-of-abuse testing, as well as related services. It also develops and makes diagnostic products, including Simplexa for testing infectious diseases,

Cockerill is replacing Dr. Stephen C. Suffin, who is retiring. Cockerill will oversee Quest's network of laboratories and "will play a major role in advancing Quest's medical affairs," according to the multi-billion dollar company. Quest has an office at 3100 40th St. N.W. in Rochester.

"At Mayo Medical Laboratories and Mayo Clinic, he led strategies that spurred remarkable accomplishments in diagnostic innovation, service and quality, generating meaningful benefits for patients as well as business growth," stated Quest CEO Steve H. Rusckowski in the announcement of Cockerill's hiring. "We will benefit greatly from his tremendous talents as we pursue our goals to build value, create an inspiring workplace and make this a healthier world."

Cockerill was a high-profile leader at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for many years. He was the chief of Mayo Medical Labs as well as the chairman of Mayo's Laboratory Medicine and Pathology department, since 2006.

He managed more than 3,200 employees in that role, according to Quest. Mayo Medical Labs performs about 20 million tests for more than 4,000 hospitals annually.

Mayo Clinic paid him a total of $591,413 in 2012, according to the clinic's 990 form filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

In August, Cockerill officiated the ceremonial ground-breaking of an an almost 70,000-square-foot expansion of its Superior Drive Support Center, where Mayo Medical Labs is based. The expansion will mean 150 to 170 Mayo employees will move out of downtown to join the more than 1,000 people already working at 3050 Superior Drive N.W.

May 09, 2014

Kahler ready to freshen up downtown Rochester

Kahler Inn & Suites is ready to freshen up downtown Rochester this weekend.

Freshëns, a NewPicture41 national fast casual restaurant chain, is ready to open its doors in the hotel complex on the corner of Third Avenue and First Street Northwest.

While the official grand opening and ribbon cutting is slated for Wednesday, Dick Sursely says he expects to launch with a "soft opening" before that, possibly as soon as Saturday.

The Atlanta, Ga.-based company's menu features an array of “better for you” healthy options like rice bowls, smoothies, flatbread salads, crêpes and Freshëns' signature frozen yogurt.

The eatery has seating for 16 inside and more outside. However, Sursely expects the bulk of their business to be "take-and-go" customers during the downtown lunch rush.

This first Freshëns has 14 employees on staff. The Kahler Hospitality Group has a second downtown location already cooking in the subway of the Marriott subway. Construction is underway in the subway space last occupied by Cinta Molloy's Crate.

"They expect to have that one ready to open in a couple of months, possibly in August or July," said Sursely.

He said the plan is to hire about the same size team to run that one as the Kahler Suites' Freshëns. Sursely anticipates having about 30 employees, once both locations are up and running.

The Kahler Hospitality Group also is working on the first Dunkin' Donuts seen in Minnesota for many years. The prodigal Dunkin is being built out by Rochester's Schoeppner construction along First Avenue in the Kahler Hotel complex. Kahler officials have said they expect to open the new doughnut shop this summer.

Unconfirmed bakery buzz about plans for a second Rochester Dunkin Donuts is rolling around, rumored to be outside of downtown, possibly in southeast Rochester.

April 02, 2014

New Roch. Menards to open April 8

Rochester's new northside Menards store will open its doors at 6:30 a.m. April 8.

The newly completed $12 million store near the intersection of U.S. 52 and 65th Street Northwest will replace its old store at 5150 U.S. 52 North. That store is prepared to shift to close-out mode and will remain open for a while after the 65th Street store opens.

Menards also has a south Rochester store at 3000 S. Broadway.

The new 90,000-square-foot store is on 35 acres, with an additional 40 acres available for development by other businesses. Planned for years, the project wMenards-Logoas delayed while waiting for a proposed U.S. 52 interchange at 65th Street Northwest to be built. The interchange recently was constructed with funding from a portion of the local-option sales tax revenue.

“We appreciate all the loyal customers who continued to shop at Menards through the years and
look forward to opening this new store," store manager Eric Ritter said in a company announcement. "Everyone has been working really hard for weeks in preparation of opening the doors to better serve the community with all the latest, greatest home improvement products.”

The new store includes a full-service lumber yard, a garden center, appliances, pet supplies and convenience grocery items. An official grand opening for the new store will be scheduled for a later date.

Eau Claire, Wis.-based Menards operates 286 home improvement stores in 14 Midwestern states.

Once the existing Menards facility at 5150 U.S. 52 North closes, two Rochester retailers plan to upgrade the building and move their businesses into it. Jim Sather and Mark Byer, who own the Furniture Superstore Factory Outlet and America's Mattress stores, hope to move forward with that project as soon as possible.

February 27, 2013

A window on Mayo Clinic's business accelerator plans

It is getting close to the big reveal of the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator in the City of Rochester's Minnesota BioBusiness Center.

02272013mayoaccelerator1The plan, as I understand it, is to announce the new tenants - possibly eight - in the 2,500-square-foot center at RAEDI's annual meeting on Thursday. Remember this new twist on a business incubator is designed to house early biotech start-ups as well as venture capitalists. The tenant names have been kept hidden from anyone outside of Mayo Clinic and the usual insider crowd of public figures.

And yet this morning, a couple of venture capitalist firms' names are as clear as glass as being part of this private/public project.

Sanderling Ventures and Versant Ventures are up on the window, along with Mayo Clinic Ventures, the City of Rochester and RAEDI.

The California-based firm has a lot of experience working with Mayo Clinic and Mayo-related companies, like Torax and Naviscan.

02272013mayoaccelerator2I don't know as much as about Versant Ventures, but it is also based in California. However, it also has an office in Minneapolis.

Here's some background on the accelerator:

Mayo Clinic is giving $100,000 to turn the unused space, which is owned by the city, into offices. RAEDI will handle the management and leasing of the space.

HGA, which was the architect firm for the building, handled designs for this space. Lots of glass walls, I hear. Rents are expected to range from $13 to $15 per square foot.

October 03, 2012

Roch schools buy Market Square building

Here's some from an article by Matthew Stolle about the school district buying the almost empty Rochester Market Square building for $2.1 million.

I guess the buzz about the schools looking at buying a commercial building that I reported back in June panned out. Toot. That was me tooting my own horn. Heh.

I remember back when Tom and Joe Haley along with Darren Groteboer broke ground for the home building mall in 2005.

The district seems to have gotten a good price. The property was listed at $3.5 million on last month.

ServeAttachmentThe Rochester School Board on Tuesday approved the purchase of the Rochester Market Square building in southeastern Rochester for the purpose of relocating the district's area learning center programs, housed at Golden Hill Education Center.

The board agreed to buy the 56,000 square-foot, L-shaped structure for $2.1 million, nearly two months after it began negotiations with the owner, SA Group Properties.

Officials estimate that remodeling the building into a school — work that is set to begin in January so that the new school will be ready for the start of the 2013-2014 school year — will cost an additional $6.6 million, bringing the total cost of the project to $8.7 million.

"It's going to be a good deal," said Rochester Superintendent Michael Munoz after the meeting. "They are going to get a better facility to be educated. And we're going to be able to possibly expand the services that we offer them."

There is one unique twist to the arrangement. The market square building is empty but for a single tenant, a Sherwin-Williams paint business that is halfway through its 10-year lease. It so far has expressed no interest in quitting the space it occupies, which is at the top end of the L-shaped building, away from the main part of the building, officials say.

By agreeing to buy the building, the district also purchased the lease held by the previous owner, a detail that will affect the project's financing and make the district a rent collector.
Even with the tenant there, officials say, the market square structure will be a roomier place for staff, students and programs, allowing the consolidation of some ALC programs that are scattered at different sites. Golden Hill is a building of 36,000 square feet, while market square has 56,000 square feet. Sherwin-Williams occupies about 6,000 square feet of that space, still leaving 50,000 square feet for the school and enough space to accommodate an elementary school-sized gym.

A large garden that students and community groups have been working on at Golden Hill will also be transferred to the new site, officials say.

August 30, 2012

Yogurt to start flowing on Second Street

CherryBerry is slated to open for business at 11 a.m. Friday, says Joel Granberg, who owns Rochester's new self-serve yogurt spot.

08302012cherryberryCherryBerry, a national self-serve frozen chain, adds some sweetness to the new Shoppes on Second by the new Holiday Inn Express and the Miracle Mile Shopping Center along Second Street Southwest.

The concept is that customers choose one or a combo of 12 flavors of yogurt and then hit the topping bar for 40-some choices ranging from fruit and granola to Gummi worms and chocolate syrup to create their own customized treats. The cost is based on what the final creation weighs.

If you are working a long day Friday due to extra work caused by the long holiday weekend, you have until 11 p.m. to make it in to try some yogurt.

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.