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57 posts categorized "Rochester 2.0"

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.
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"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.

March 26, 2013

New salon concept ready to launch in south Rochester

A new twist on hair salons is ready to roll into south Rochester.
Austin and Kari Lucas are setting up a Sola Salon Studios franchise in 5,200 square feet of space in Shoppes on Maine. Sola Salon is taking most of the strip of empty spots along the north side of the complex that houses MGM Liquors and the former Best Buy store.

1The concept is more like a mall than a traditional beauty salon. It will be a collection of 26 private studios that will be available for lease by licensed stylists and professionals in related fields. Three sizes of models will be available.

"We're not in the salon business," explained Austin Lucas. "We're in the business of putting people into business."

Each studio is its own independent operation with its own name, retail products, prices and hours.

"They keep all of the money. They can start their own salon without any of the usual headaches of starting a business," he said. "This is several steps further than stylists renting a chair, like you see in many salons."

If everything goes as planned, construction should begin soon. The hope is to have the studios ready for tenants by early to mid-summer.

Besides a space, Sola Salon provides the hydraulic chairs, sinks and whatever other basic equipment that is needed.

Access to the studios is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That allows the tenants to be open when they want to work.

Three Sola Salon Studios are open in the Twin Cities, and two others are under construction. This will be the first one outside of the metro area.

March 18, 2013

Flurry of activity at forlorn, orphan lot

So a sharp-eyed reader recently spotted a crew quickly putting up a security fence around the forlorn and often forgotten parking lot without a development, Willow Creek Market at south 48th Street, across U.S. 63 from Shoppes on Maine.

WillcreeklotAfter about six or seven years without any activity, a new fence definitely caught my attention.

When checking it out, i.e. snooping, I spotted some new cars parked in a corner of the lot. When I realized that all of the vehicles were made by Mercedes, the light bulb finally clicked on over my head and this thought bubble soon joined it.

"Hhhmmm... the new Mercedes of Rochester dealership that is getting close to opening across the highway still has its lot Willow full of construction machines. But they would need to be bringing in inventory to prepare for the opening…"

It seems a safe bet that Mercedes is staging its cars on the lonesome orphan lot, while construction wraps up.

Temporary or not, the activity seems positive for the site. Rochester's Hamilton Real Estate is the listing the property these days.

February 25, 2013

Shoppes on Maine poised for growth as Mercedes readies for opening

While downtown and the northwest quadrant of the city have been seeing a lot of action in recent months, one shouldn't forget southwest Rochester.
The sprawling Shoppes on Maine commercial development on Rochester's South Broadway may not be exploding with growth, but it seems to be bubbling along.

It was car dealership Rochester Toyota that first put what was an empty field on the map in 2006. And now another dealership, Mercedes-Benz of Rochester, is gearing up to hit the gas again for the area that I once labeled as "Rochester 2.0." Yeah, I know… Sometimes I'm a little over dramatic. Heh.

02242013mercedesofrochAnyway, look for the lights to go on inside the shiny glass walls, and the doors of the dealership to open in late March.

That should bring in more traffic to that area and, in turn, attract the interest of more businesses.

Look for Cherry Berry frozen yogurt to sweeten the deal as a new franchise should start serving in the strip center in front of Lowe's. It will be next to Portrait Innovations, which is a photo studio that is going strong since opening in 2008. I recently messed up and misreported that it wasn't open. It is very open and seems pretty busy, too. I'm sorry about that.

Miracle Ear is also very active in the Minnesota Lakes Dental building. It recently moved out of the Sears store in Apache Mall to join the Shoppes on Maine mix.

Of course, there have been some places, such as the more than 30,000-square-foot Best Buy store and the nearby Mattress Firm store, that have emptied recently.

However, one of my sharp-eyed spies let me know last week that the "For Lease" sign has been taken off of the ex-Best Buy, and lights were on inside.

Does that mean a deal is starting to surge to plug in a new business there? I'm not sure, but I'll keep an eye on it.

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.