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1369 posts categorized "Speculation"

June 27, 2016

Mayo Clinic announces Transplant Genomics deal

It looks like Mayo Clinic is joining forces with a Pleasanton, Calif.-based (previously of Massachusetts) firm to bolster its genetic testing to predict the success of organ transplants.

Logo-2-ret1Here's the vague description of the deal announced in a general press release this morning:

 

Transplant Genomics Inc. is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine to develop, validate and commercialize diagnostic tests enabling personalized immunosuppression for solid organ transplant recipients. This multiyear collaboration includes an assessment of TGI's TruGraf test for renal transplant monitoring, a Mayo Clinic investment in TGI, and the co-development of new tests and technologies for additional targets, including exploratory studies in heart and liver transplantation.

This seems like this could be an interesting project. I wonder how long Mayo Clinic has been working with Transplant Genomics. 

It also would be fascinating to know how much Mayo Clinic is investing in TGI as well as how long this "multiyear" deal is slated to last.

 

 

 

June 10, 2016

More Dunkin' Donuts coming southern Minnesota

Two years after making a flashy return to Minnesota with a Rochester shop, Dunkin' Donuts has signed a franchise agreement to bring three more locations to the region.

The Massachusetts doughnut maker announced Thursday that it has signed a deal with new franchisees Oliver Schugel and David Schooff to open three new restaurants in Mankato. The first one is slated to open in 2017.

06232014dunkindonutsMankato is leaping ahead of Rochester, which was expected to have about five locations by now. 

Rochester Retail Services, a division of the Kahler Hospitality Group, opened a shop here in June 2014 at 15 First Ave. SW in its Kahler Grand Hotel complex in the heart of downtown. It was the first one in Minnesota since 2005. Dunkin' said then that Rochester Retail Services would be opening five more shops in the next few years.

That changed last fall, according to Dunkin' Donuts Senior Director of Franchising Patrick Cunningham.

"Rochester Retail Services, the franchisee of record, will continue to own and operate the existing restaurant in the Kahler. However, they will not develop more Dunkin' stores as we previously reported," he said in October.

When announcing the coming Mankato shops, Dunkin' said franchise opportunities remain available in Rochester. Plus, "to help fuel additional growth in the market, special development incentives are available."

In Mankato, the new franchisees have more than 45 years of combined experience in business and real estate development.

“We have a passion and loyalty for the Dunkin' Donuts brand and look forward to opening our restaurants in the years to come," stated Schooff. 

June 07, 2016

Broadway at Center development still awaiting financing

A long-anticipated downtown Rochester development, the first Destination Medical Center project, is still waiting for financing before can can begin.

Broadwayatcenter3City officials were notified recently by Hinshaw & Culbertson, a Minneapolis law firm, that a $102.5 million loan to finance the bulk of developer Gus Chafoulias' 23-story Broadway at Center tower was scheduled to close on May 31. A $2.3 million tax-increment financing loan was expected to close at the same time.

However, that didn't happen.

When asked Tuesday about the status of the financing and the timeline for the Broadway at Center project, Titan Development Marketing and Communications Manager Sheila Thoma made a statement via email. Titan is a Chafoulias family company.

"It has not closed. As soon as it does, I will let you know," she wrote

The loans are being made by Minneapolis-based Dougherty Financial Group, which includes seven financial companies that manage more than $42 billion in assets. The firm's founder and board chair, Michael E. Dougherty, is very familiar with Rochester and Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative.
Dougherty joined the the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees in 2012. He then became a DMC Corp. board member in April.

While the loans and $6.5 million in assistance from the city of Rochester will finance the majority of the $140 million project, people close to the project say an additional $35 million is coming from Middle Eastern investors.

Chafoulias, with limited assistance from his son Andy Chafoulias and Titan, has been working on different versions of this project since 2007.

Broadway at Center will house a 264-room Hilton Hotel, 33 apartment units and space for office, retail and restaurant use. More than $14 million — including the city's $6.5 million assistance to the developer and the remainder of infrastructure costs — is planned to be reported as DMC local contributions and credited toward the city's $128 million commitment.

There has been a lot of interest about when demolition of the empty CJ's Midtown Lounge and other buildings on that corner would begin. Once the financing for the project is locked in, that should clear the way for work to start.

For $300,000 upfront fee, Mayo Clinic licences cancer vaccine technology

May 25, 2016

Hold the applause - New Buckeye name is not set yet

I was a bit premature Tuesday when I wrote that South Dakota developer Stencil Homes had re-named its Buckeye Apartments project in downtown Rochester.

F89c28e7467b81cdb720c0c067eca5d3_f252I spotted the project on Stencil's website labeled as Ovation on Monday. I wasn't able to reach CEO Nate Stencil for confirmation, so I reported that it appeared that the new name for the project will be Ovation.

On Tuesday, Stencil sent me a note that said I was partially right.

"On 'The Buckeye' name change, we are still not 100 percent set on the new name but I can tell you we will be changing it. We are currently polling different names and will soon have one nailed down," he wrote.

The name of a 92-unit apartment complex being built on the corner of Fourth Street and Third Avenue Southeast in downtown Rochester has been a sensitive issue for some of the neighbors. Stencil originally tagged it as Buckeye as a nod to the Buckeye Liquor store landmark that was demolished to make way for the project. Some in the neighborhood didn't think that was an appropriate name.

 

May 24, 2016

Bye Buckeye, hello Ovation?

The name of a 92-unit apartment complex being built on the corner of Fourth Street and Third Avenue Southeast in downtown Rochester has been a sensitive issue for some of the neighbors. 
F89c28e7467b81cdb720c0c067eca5d3_f252
South Dakota developer Stencil Homes labeled it Buckeye Apartments as a nod to the Buckeye Liquor store that was demolished to make way for the project. Some in the neighborhood didn't think that was an appropriate name. Now it looks like the developer has decided to try something different.

Stencil Homes' website shows a 92-unit apartment building as a Rochester project, but it's not called Buckeye anymore. The new name under the old rendering of the complex is Ovation.

This must have been a recent change. The Answer Man wrote about this on April 27 and Buckeye still was the moniker at that point. CEO Nate Stencil was not available Monday to answer questions about the Ovation name, but it looks like concerned neighbors should give themselves a round applause for the spurring a name change.

 

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.

February 10, 2016

North Menards to grow a little bigger

After being open less than two years, Menards is planning a small expansion at its north Rochester store.

The 90,000-square-foot store opened in April 2014 near the intersection of U.S. 52 and 65th Street Northwest. Menards also has another Rochester store at 3000 S. Broadway.

5342bd12e28c4.imageNow, the Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer has filed permits for a small 12,914-square-foot garden center with a mezzanine area. The permit estimates the value of the project at $193,000.

The store already includes a garden center as well as a full-service lumber yard and an extensive array of tools and appliances.

A Menards representative didn't have a lot to say about this project, other than to describe it as "a few changes."

Presumably, the work on the expansion will start soon, to be ready for the spring garden season.

Menards built the store on 35 acres in 2014 to replace its previous north store at 5150 U.S. 52 North, which is smaller. Jim Sather and Mark Byer bought that building and moved their Furniture Superstore and America's Mattress stores into that building.

 

January 28, 2016

Semiconductor maker to open new Rochester office

GlofoAfter its $1.3 billion acquisition of IBM's computer chip operations in 2015, an international semiconductor company is setting up a new office in Rochester.


GlobalFoundaries, which is owned by an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, bought IBM's Microelectronics Division in July 2015. That deal gave the California-based company a footprint in Rochester.


"As part of this transaction, we acquired a team of about 30 engineers based in Rochester. These engineers are part of the global design team for our application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) business unit," said Jason Gorss, senior manager of corporate and technology communications.


GlobalFoundaries' deal also included major IBM facilities in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt. 3555-9th-St-building-front-690x410

That team has continued to work at IBM's Rochester campus since the acquisition. Now the company is renovating an off-campus space in north Rochester. GlobalFoundaries is revamping a spot at 3555 Ninth St. NW. That's in the commercial center off of West Circle Drive, behind Kwik Trip.

Semiconductor maker PMC-Sierra operated there from 2010 to 2012. PMC-Sierra was collaborating with IBM at that time on "a multicore, multithreaded RAID solution." The resulting maxRAID device was used in IBM's System x EXA servers. That office closed when PMC-Sierra abruptly pulled out of Rochester.

Since PMC-Sierra left, the about 8,000-square-foot space has been briefly used by other tenants, such as the Minnesota Department of National Resourcesand outdoors retailer Scheels as a hiring office for its large Rochester store.

Gorss expects GlobalFoundaries to be in up and running in the spot in the near future.

"Beginning some time in Q2 2016, we plan to move this (Rochester) team into the independent office," he said in an email.