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61 posts categorized "Rochester 2.0"

September 08, 2015

Clements to build 2nd dealership for Subaru

Clements Chevrolet Cadillac Subaru is looking south to build an $8 million dealership just for Subaru, its fastest growing brand.

The 87-year-old, locally owned dealership has purchased a 9.5-acre site covered in grass and clover at the corner of 48th Street Southeast and St. Bridget Road Southeast. That's just east of Mills Fleet Farm.

Clements Managing Partner John Wade expects construction to begin next year and hopefully wrap up in the fourth quarter of 2016. Wade owns Clements with partners Jack Remick, Dave Remick and Dan Penz. 

09-04 Subaru enWade described the planned dealership as an "eco-friendly, state-of-the-art sales and service campus" that will face the 48th Street intersection at a northwest angle.

The owners say the explosive growth of its Subaru brand, with its sales doubling in the past year, is driving this plan to spin a second dealership site off the main dealership at the entrance of Rochester's Apache Mall.

"This expansion is what we need to keep up with the service and sales demands of our customers," explained Wade.

Nationally, Subaru sales are exploding in the United States. Subaru reported 45 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in August, when it sold 52,679 vehicles for the month. It was the 25th consecutive month where Subaru sold more than 10,000 Foresters and the 18th consecutive month where it sold more than 10,000 Outbacks

In 2011, Clements built a 4,200-square-foot showroom adjacent to its main dealership to spotlight Subaru, but the demand has outgrown its capacity to display 40 vehicles. Todd Penz, who will serve as the general sales manager of the Clements Subaru dealership, says the new lot will be able to house more than 370 vehicles.

Clements, which now has 115 employees, expects to add 20 new positions to staff the new site. Wade estimates that equals an additional of more than $1 million in payroll for Rochester.

He also expects the addition of the second site will bring Clements' annual property tax contribution to more than $500,000.

"This multimillion dollar commitment is a major investment as well as an expression of confidence in the Rochester area marketplace, which in the end expands the local tax and employment base," said Gary Smith, the president of Rochester Area Economic Development Inc.

The new dealership will join Rochester Toyota and Mercedes-Benz of Rochester in the growing Shoppes on Maine area off US 63, which is booming along with the rest of the city. A 360-unit apartment complex called Maine Heights has been proposed right behind the Clements Subaru property. A $35 million housing project called The Boulders, which will include 144 apartments and 80 townhouses, also is planned.

"There's great growth in the area with a strong economic base," said Wade. "We're a regional dealership with customers throughout southeastern Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. This is a good crossroads for us to build this new dealership."

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. 

July 09, 2015

Development exploding in Rochester's Shoppes on Maine area

Downtown Rochester is not the only area being eyed by developers. 

It appears that Shoppes on Maine in south Rochester is exploding with development these days.

I wrote about a 211 apartment complex proposed for the area on Wednesday plus there's already a massive housing project called The Boulders already under construction, which will have 144 apartments and eight buildings with 10 townhouses in each.

FireShot Capture - Google Maps -,-92.4647416,15zMeanwhile, yet another group of developers met with residents of the Maine Avenue neighborhood on Tuesday to discuss their plans for a 359 unit apartment complex slated the empty land across from Mills Fleet Farm store.

I don't know much about the Fleet Farm apartment complex yet, but should have more on it soon.

Beside more than 700 apartments, the buzz in the Shoppes on Maine is that a new car dealership could be revving up for the land around 48th Street and St. Bridget's Road. 

There is a lot of interest in real estate in that area right now, so it's possible that a new name might be on the road to join Rochester Toyota Scion and Mercedes Benz of Rochester in Shoppes on Maine.

July 08, 2015

More apartments proposed by Rochester's Shoppes on Maine

Preparing to build an apartment complex, developers have purchased more than eight acres of land in south Rochester for  $1.8 million.

Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors bought open, grass-covered land next to the Shoppes on Maine commercial area in preparation to build a proposed 211-apartment complex, according to Harbor Bay co-founder Tom Lund. HarborbayaptsHarbor Bay is based in Minneapolis and Chicago.

The land was purchased by Bascom Capital LLC, a firm set up by Harbor Bay. The acquisition was done in two transactions of $590,000 on June 26 and $1.22 million on July 1. The apartment complex is slated to be located by Maine Avenue Southeast near the two hotels.

While some design details still are being worked out, Lund described the unnamed complex as featuring Class A, high-end apartments.

"It (the complex) will be a higher end product," he said. "We'll have a clubhouse and lots of amenities."

A Site Development Plan for the project was filed the Rochester Building Safety Department on Monday. He hopes to have the plan before the Rochester City Council for approval this month.

Lund said the goal is to start construction in September and hopefully have it completed by late next summer.

Harbor Bay has projects in Minneapolis and Duluth, but this will be its first here.

"Rochester is an amazing community that's growing. The demographics for apartments are very strong and the supply right now is relatively limited," he said.

The location near Shoppes on Maine was attractive because of the easy access to shopping as well as one of Rochester's Park and Ride mass transit lots.

In fact, another developer agrees that area is prime for more housing. Big Rock, Ill.-based Executive Affiliates has its own $35 million housing project called The Boulders already under construction near Harbor Bay's site. The Boulders will include a three-story building with 144 apartments and eight buildings with 10 townhouses in each.

"I think we'll complement each other," said Lund of The Boulders.

April 03, 2014

Does Mayo Clinic have plans for Shoppes on Maine?

Mayo Clinic seems to be looking to south Rochester for a future project, even though there's no official word yet.

Tom Hexum, of Maine Street Development Co. of Rochester, filed a Land Development Application on March 11 for a 22,000-square-foot "commercial building with parking" at the corner of Canal Place Southeast and Maine Avenue Southeast. That puts the building near Fat Willy's Bar and Grill and across Maine Avenue from the commercial center anchored by Lowe's.

Mayo buildingThe proposed building would be situated on two acres and have 109 parking spaces. Plans call for a half circle drive in front for loading and unloading at the building's entrance, which would be covered with an 880-square-foot canopy.

Hexum and Maine Street have been the local driving force behind development in the Shoppes on Maine area from its start. Most of their previous projects had future tenants identified before any construction began. But this new development application doesn't name any tenant.

However, Mayo Clinic enters the picture when the application was studied by city staff. The Department of Planning and Zoning and the Department of Public Works describe the building as the "proposed Mayo Clinic facility" in letters on May 14 and May 24. Those letters denied the application until a variety of site-related issues are addressed.

Despite being named by city officials, Mayo Clinic would neither confirm nor deny any specific plans in the Shoppes on Maine area.

"We are exploring options to improve our ability to improve access to community care for our employees and those who depend on us for these services," said Rebecca Eisenman, of Mayo Clinic's Communications Dept. "Future options may include expansion of facilities and services in southeast Minnesota, but no specific details are available at this time."

While the first application for this building was denied, it seems likely that Rochester design firm Yaggy Colby will be able to address the issues and get the development approved.

We'll just need to watch how it plays out and listen to what Mayo Clinic has to say about it.

March 18, 2014

New La Quinta Inn to open on March 24

Rochester's latest hotel is slated to open its doors on March 24.

The  $4 million La Quinta Inn & Suites has been under construction in the Shoppes on Maine area, since early 2013.

03162014newlaquintaThe new 83-room, 50,212-square-foot hotel is a project of Fargo, N.D.-based PLC Inc. PLC is also on the early stages of working on an 86-room Microtel Inn & Suites in the same area.

The four-story La Quinta is located at at 4353 Canal Place S.E., near the Rochester Toyota car dealership. Andy Thilges, a well-known and active member in the Rochester business community, is the general manager of the new hotel.

LaquintaatshoppesonmaineThe hotel's amenities include a salt water pool with a slide as well as a kiddie pool and hot tub. It also features a fitness center plus all of the rooms come with microwaves, refrigerators and coffee makers.

Chuck Hayes, the president of Fargo, N.D.-based PLC Inc., talked about the La Quinta and Microtel hotels in January.
"I like the economics of Rochester. I like what's going on there," he said to explain why he decided to add 169 hotel rooms to the Med City's offerings. "I like the uniqueness of the (Shoppes on Maine) development. It's well managed. Everything's new and fresh. Its access to downtown and Mayo Clinic is convenient."

Hayes' Microtel and La Quinta are just two of many new hotels expected to check into Rochester soon.

A 108-room Homewood Suites on Second Street Southwest is currently wrapping up construction. A 91-room Fairfield Inn & Suites is mapped up to be built near the Miracle Mile Shopping Center. Two other hotels – a 77-room Comfort Inn and Suites and a 109-room Staybridge Suites – are slated to be built in early 2014 along West Circle Drive in front of Costco. Those four projects alone  will add 385 rooms to the city.

February 28, 2014

Furniture seller to move into Roch.'s empty Best Buy store

A well-known Minnesota furniture retailer has plans to open to new store in Rochester.

Schneiderman’s Furniture has signed a lease to take over the empty 30,991-square-foot store at 4540 Maine Ave. S.E., says Larry Schneiderman, who leads the firm's board. His company is leasing the space from Best Buy, which closed its south Rochester store there in 2012.

BestbuyDarci Fenske of Paramark Real Estate brokered the lease deal to bring furniture business to Rochester's Shoppes on Maine commercial development.

Schneiderman’s is a third generation, family-owned business with four stores in the Twin Cities and one in Duluth. It was founded by Larry Schneiderman's parents, and now his son, Jason Schneiderman, is the president of the business.

This will be the company's first foray into southern Minnesota.

The elder Schneiderman explains that he and his son Jason started researching options for expansion last year. Specifically, they were looking for a strong market within range of their distribution center in Woodbury, Minn. It didn't take long for Rochester to rise to the top of the list.

"It's a solid market, but also a solid city. We're really looking forward to opening in Rochester," says Larry Schneiderman. "Of course, there's the exciting things in the works for Rochester that we've all been reading about. But we think it's a good decision to be there, whether that all happens or not."

While the plans still are in the early stages, he hopes to open the new store early this summer. An estimated 16 to 20 employees are expected to staff it.

"We would like to, obviously, move as quickly as we can," Scheiderman says.

The first step will be to remove the building's distinctive Best Buy yellow and blue price tag facade. Then the interior will be completely overhauled "from the floor up to the lights," he said.

As real estate sales and home construction start to climb as the economy improves and the Destination Medical Center initiative begins to attract developers, competition is beginning to heat up in the furniture market.

Jim Sather and Mark Byer, who own Rochester's Furniture Superstore Factory Outlet and America's Mattress stores, have finalized plans to combine both of their stores into the soon-to-be-empty Menards facility at 5150 U.S. 52 North. The plan is open the mega-store this summer.
Not far from the site of Schneiderman's new location, two Rochester couples are working to open the independent Deutsch Furniture Haus in a 7,000-square-foot space at 3551 Commercial Drive Northwest in early April. It will specialize in local Amish-made furniture.

September 25, 2013

Spooky store gears up for the scary season

Travis Mueller wanted to know about this store, so I jumped up and checked it out for him. If it matters to Travis, it matters to me. Heh. Anyway, here's what I found out:

09252013spirithalloweenSpirit Halloween is opening its doors this evening in the former Best Buy South store in the Shoppes on Maine area.

The store was just putting the final touches on its front decoration at about 4:30 p.m. today. I was told that they'd be open by 5 p.m.

This seasonal retailer will sell masks, costumes, fake blood and everything other ghoulish thing needed to celebrate All Hallow's Eve through Oct. 31 (AKA Halloween).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Med City, Halloween Express, is has moved into the former Amish Furniture store on Bandel Road.

September 08, 2013

New med spa to open soon in S.E. Roch.

Looks like Fat Willy's has a new neighbor - Posh Facial Esthetics and Med Spa.

IMG_20130907_180106_468I guess I haven't been paying close enough attention to that area for a while. It looks like Posh is very close to opening. In fact, Posh's website says they hope to open by Thursday, Sept. 12.

Stephanie Kriener, who's an ICU nurse, is the owner of this new venture.

Posh will offer a variety of facials, Botox treatments, waxing and tinting.

Now that center is completely full with the expanded Fat Willy's and the Hexum Cos. office sandwiched in between them.

May 30, 2013

Dirt moving for new hotel in south Rochester

LaquintaatshoppesonmaineDirt is starting to move in the Shoppes on Maine area for the construction of the new La Quinta Inn and Suites hotel

PLC Inc., a hotel development firm out of Fargo, N.D., is building it, just east of the Rochester Toyota car dealership.

The new $4 million, 50,212-square-foot hotel will have 83 rooms.