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Northfield Economic Development News SPRING 2011

Downtown Remodels Economic Development Authority 801 Washington Street Northfield, MN 55057 507-645-3018 www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business eda@ci.northfield.mn.us

Home to two premier colleges, close to the Twin Cities and centered on a thriving riverfront and vibrant downtown, Northfield, Minnesota is a great place to live and work.

Northfield is widely recognized for the historic charm of its downtown. Over the years, the community has proudly supported a constantly evolving roster of businesses that have kept Northfield lively. Local business owners and investors have a long tradition of investing is commercial and civic improvements. Construction season is once again underway in the heart of the community. Several projects will bring more than two dozen jobs to Division Street. ■

With a wide range of businesses from large food manufacturing and distribution firms, to small high-tech start-ups, Northfield enjoys the strength of a diversified local economy.

The City of Northfield and the Northfield Economic Development Authority are committed to helping current and prospective businesses obtain the resources necessary for success.

Photo curtesy of Griff Wigley

Neuger Communications Group (neuger.com) is remodeling the former Community Resource Bank building on Bridge Square, in anticipation of relocating its staff of a dozen communications professionals to new office space. Coldwell Banker South Metro (cbsouthmetro.com) – a local realtor with a staff of 13 – will be relocating to a downtown storefront at 419 Division Street in July. The Northfield Historical Society (northfieldhistory.org) is in the middle of a major remodeling project to improve accessibility to its galleries and exhibits. Bodysmith of Northfield, a personal training studio is remodeling the former Tiny’s space at 321 Division Street, where it will soon be joined by Fit to be TRI’d (fittobetrid.com), a multisport equipment supplier. Just two blocks east of downtown, Carleton College is nearing completion of a $40 million development of the Weitz Center for Creativity. The project is a complete remodel of the former Northfield Middle School and 30,000 square feet of new construction to house a wide of arts, film and academic programs, and will serve as an anchor to the actively developing Northfield Arts Corridor. The Weitz Center is expected to open in 2012.


Business Park Plan and Land Development Code Move Forward

New Businesses Open The Measuring Cup, a charming new kitchenware store at 320 Division Street, opened in April. It is a second venture for the Osterkamp family, owners of Monarch (monarchgiftshop.com), a gift store at 405 Division Street. A new restaurant is set to open in the former Ole Store Café at 1011 St. Olaf Avenue. Chuck Pryor, owner of the Grand Entertainment Center (thegrandevent.com) and the Tavern of Northfield (tavernofnorthfield.com) in the Archer House River Inn expects to be up and running in June. eco gardens, 600 South Division Street, has reopened for the season in a newly refreshed building. The stylish renovation of an abandoned tire store compliments the organic plants and gardening supplies. It's a welcome addition to Northfield's main commercial district.

Two year-long processes of keen interest to businesses are moving toward final action by the Northfield City Council. The city’s Land Development Code (LDC) – the first major overhaul of local development regulations in more than two decades – is receiving its final revision by the Planning Commission. The LDC provides a detailed guide to the standards and requirements for all new building and development projects in the city, while the Business Park Master Plan presents a conceptual vision to guide development of a 530-acre parcel of land annexed into the city in 2009. “This is the first major update of the land development code in 30 years," said Tracy Davis, chair of the Northfield Planning Commission. "The new regulations reflect the city's Comprehensive Plan and current best practices in land use and development, and is clearer about the characteristics of the built environment Northfield is looking for. We want to take some of the guesswork and unpredictability out of the development process.” The Business Park Master Plan process has been led by Jeff McMenimen, of Hoisington Koegler, Inc., and a steering committee comprised of local business leaders and elected officials. The plan presents a mixed-use business park for an area in the northwest corner of the city, straddling Dakota and Rice Counties. Interstate highway 35 is approximately five miles to the west. “For many years, Northfield has had little or no industrial expansion land,” notes Jody Gunderson, the city’s community and economic development director. “We couldn’t accommodate any significant expansion by our current employers, much less attract new businesses wanting to take advantage of the local workforce, or locate in a community with Northfield’s assets.” To see the most recent draft of the Land Development Code, visit the Planning Commission page on the City of Northfield website. For the latest Business Park plans, visit northfield-businesspark.com. Both plans are expected to go before the city council for final action in early summer.

City Receives Flood Relief Grant The City of Northfield has been awarded $257,000 in flood recovery assistance funds from the Business and Community Photo curtesy of Griff Wigley Development Division of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The grant comes from the Minnesota Investment Fund, and will finance revolving loans to help downtown businesses cope with the economic effects of the severe flooding that inundated the city in late 2010. “City staff pursued several opportunities to attract funds to help local businesses repair and rebuild after the floods last fall,” said Jody Gunderson, the city’s community and economic development director. “ We are fortunate to have a good working relationship with DEED, and they understood how important this support will be to our downtown businesses.” The grant will restore the Economic Development Authority’s revolving loan fund, which was used to help nearly a dozen businesses make immediate investments to reopen after the flood.


Perkins Continues to Innovative Northfield’s Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting (heavyhaul.com) has once again pushed the technical boundaries of over-the-road transportation. To serve its nation-wide customer base, the company recently deployed its new Quantum™ hydraulic transporter, a flat-bed rig capable of handling cargos up to 136’ long at weights up to 160,000 lbs to 240,000 lbs, depending on allowable axle loadings on the route. The first Quantum move involved a single 115’ long piece of industrial equipment from Minnesota to Tennessee. “The Quantum transporter is designed as a ‘load-and-roll’ system, providing a single, highly maneuverable platform that protects the cargo from the transfer of tortional forces,” says company president, Neil Perkins. “It is a revolutionary new way to move oversize shipments.” The company’s next innovation is the “Road Train by Perkins,” a 192-tire rig custom built to move a 400-ton shipment from California to Utah. It is an extraordinary piece of engineering designed to solve a customer’s unique challenges, and it represents Perkins Specialized at the top of its game. The Road Train utilizes one tractor pulling and four pushing, bringing the total tire count up to 242 and the overall length when connected to 399'6". “We have a tremendous team with world-class design and manufacturing skills. Our expertise is in solving extremely complex engineering challenges,” says Perkins. “By the time our trucks accept the cargo and hit the road, we’ve had some very smart people in our Northfield plant find technical and logistical solutions that ensure our customers’ cargoes arrive safely and on time, every time.”

Photo curtesy of Griff Wigley

Development Opportunities Three prime gateway sites at the northwest entrance to downtown are available. For more detailed information on these and other available properties, visit the Economic Development page on the City of Northfield website.

THE CROSSING Approximately 2.5 acres of undeveloped commercial land immediately adjacent to downtown. Full utility services, direct access to TH 3.

THE “Q” BLOCK Approximately 2 acres with highvisibility frontage along TH 3. Perfect for high-traffic commercial uses.

Malt-O-Meal Company Wins Environmental Award Malt-O-Meal Company (malt-o-meal.com) has won the Industrial Environmental Achievement (IEA) Award in recognition of its outstanding contributions in waste minimization, pollution prevention, environmental compliance, and environmental stewardship. Awarded by the Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA), the IEA Award companies taking steps to increase environmental awareness, and reduce pollution and wastewater emissions from manufacturing operations. Malt-O-Meal was chosen for this award due to its efforts to reduce the amount of food waste generated at its manufacturing facility located in Northfield. The company developed a unique system to collect unusable liquid food materials and use this material as animal feed or soil additives. With these practices, Malt-O-Meal is able to find additional uses for its food waste, eliminating the need for expensive treatment of wastewater. Over past decades, the company has made extensive investments in a variety of environmental programs that reduce energy and water consumption at the Northfield plant. Its packaging innovations – including its elimination of an exterior box — have significantly reduced consumer packaging and disposable waste. “Malt-O-Meal is Northfield's leading employer, and a great corporate citizen in all of its communities,” said Northfield mayor, Mary Rossing. “This award clearly demonstrates the company’s leadership and continued commitment to investing in creative solutions to help solve environmental problems. They are a shining example of the kind of company we want to call Northfield its home.”

WATER AND SECOND STREETS Approximately .65 acres zoned for retail, office or residential development. A high-visibility corner at the gateway to downtown Northfield. Full utility services, highway access. THE CROSSING - COMMERCIAL Commercial condominiums ready for immediate occupancy. Perfect for retail or office, with high visibility and direct highway access.


Economic Development Authority 801 Washington Street Northfield, MN 55057 507-645-3018 www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business eda@ci.northfield.mn.us

Get to Know Northfield “Get to Know Northfield,” a series of web videos, offers an inside look at some of the people who make Northfield a unique community. The nine segments highlight the city’s rich history and traditions, it’s arts and cultural activities, its high quality education and healthcare systems, and a number of businesses that have chosen to locate here. Each webisode also features some of the quirky personalities that make Northfield an entertaining place to live, work, and play. The video project was sponsored by the Economic Development Authority, Northfield’s two colleges – Carleton College and St. Olaf College, Northfield Hospitals and Clinics, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, and three local businesses. You can find a link to the videos at ci.northfield.mn.us/assets/e/ EDA/northfield_videos.html

Summer Events in Northfield Taste of Northfield June 16 and 17 JuneBug Music Festival June 22–24 Crazy Daze July 28 Bridge Square Chamber Music Festival August 18, 23, 25 Thursdays on the Square Thursday evenings Riverwalk Market Fair Every Saturday June – October (food, farmers market, arts, crafts and street performers) Defeat of Jesse James Days September 8-11


SPRING 2010

Northfield Economic Development News PHOTO: GRIFF WIGLEY

Northfield Business Park Master Planning 801 Washington Street Northfield, MN 55057 507-645-3018 www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business eda@ci.northfield.mn.us

With 530 acres recently annexed in the northwest corner of the city and an annexation request covering another 450 acres under review, Northfield is moving from land-locked to land-rich. “Over the past ten or twenty years, the city has really grown,” says Jody Gunderson, Northfield’s economic development director. “We reached a point where we had virtually no developable parcels larger than a few acres. Businesses requiring land of any significant amount simply couldn’t consider locating in Northfield.” In September 2009, the EDA hired Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc., to lead a master planning process for the recently annexed “north” business park site, which sits just inside the border of Dakota County. That land, almost entirely working farmland, is ideally suited to logistics and light industrial uses, with relatively flat topography and easy transportation access. In January, HKG extended its study to include the “south” parcel of approximately 450 acres in Bridgewater Township. The property owners have initiated an annexation request with the city. “These are two very different parcels of land,” said Jeff McMenimen, director of design at HKG. “The south parcel has a number of interesting environmental and topographical features that make it a very desirable development site for the right kinds of uses. Northfield is in an enviable position to have two such varied resources to offer developers.” The master planning process will be completed over the next few months. A separate initiative to revise the city’s comprehensive plan and Land Development Code (LDC) will be concluded on a similar timeline. According to Gunderson, the timing is right. “With the LDC and the master plans, we’ll have a lot more clarity about the direction development in Northfield will go. As the economy comes back to life, we’re ready to attract new businesses that want to put down roots in a great community.”

Home to two premier colleges, close to the Twin Cities and centered on a thriving riverfront and downtown, Northfield, Minnesota is a great place to live and work. Home to a wide range of businesses from large food manufacturing and distribution firms, to small high-tech start-ups, Northfield enjoys the strength of a diversified local economy. The City of Northfield and the Northfield Economic Development Authority are committed to helping current and prospective businesses obtain the resources necessary for success.

Perkins Nearing Completion on Expansion Perkins Specialized Transportation Contracting, Inc., is nearing completion of an 11,250 sq. ft. plant expansion to its 65,000 sq. ft. facility in the Riverview Industrial Park. The SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTING firm is one of the nation’s top providers of specialized transportation of oversized, “heavy haul” loads. “We’ve got a pretty good backlog of business booked, and I don’t see that changing,” company president Neil Perkins said. “We’ll be moving into our new space in the early summer, and we’re still planning another major expansion a year or two down the road.” Perkins relocated the firm to Northfield in 2007. Steady growth through the economic recession has created the need for additional manufacturing space.


GRANTS HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES EXPAND PRODUCT LINES

Grants from the EDA’s Clement F. Shearer Micro Grant Fund have helped several local businesses buy new production equipment or relocate in downtown Northfield. Digs received funds to purchase new equipment to increase production of its line of children’s clothing. The additional production capacity will expand the store’s wholesale business. The clothing is popular in high-end boutiques in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Glass Garden Beads received a grant to purchase new equipment to increase production of its unique line of bottle cap beads. NEW DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES

Fit to be Tri’d opened at 306 Division Street, selling running shoes, clothing and equipment for triathletes and fitness enthusiasts. Fused, a nutrition and wellness club features a smoothie bar and a variety of nutrition supplements, opened at 200 Division Street. Sisters Ugly, a clothing store offering a distinctive assortment of women’s clothing relocated from Bridge Square to 220 Division Street. Anytime Fitness is opening in a new location in the Phoenix Building, 618 Division Street. Community Resource Bank will open a local branch in the same building. THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLBOX

The Economic Development Toolbox is a useful, one-stop resource for online access to a wide range of information and tools. From city codes, EDA grant and loan programs, and links to our economic development partners, the Toolbox is a great place to learn more about how Northfield can help you grow your business. Check out the Toolbox at www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business/ economicdevelopmenttoolbox

Northfield’s Aurora Pharmaceutical, LLC is Another JOBZ Success Aurora Pharmaceutical, LLC, honored by the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce as the 2009 Northfield Business of the Year, has completed its new 62,500-square-foot veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The company believes the plant is the first new veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturing facility built in the United States in the last twenty-five years. Financial support from Minnesota’s JOBZ program, obtained through Northfield’s economic development department, was a key element in making the facility a reality. JOBZ provides tax incentives to non-retail businesses to encourage investment in facilities and equipment that will enable the business to increase employment. Aurora estimates that its new facility will generate as many as 100 new jobs over the next several years. Construction of the new facility, which is adjacent to a sister company, Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic, along South Highway 3, was also assisted by the City of Northfield’s action to vacate a small strip of land necessary to create a large enough parcel to accommodate the building. In an interview with the Northfield News, Aurora CEO Dr. Mike Strobel (right) reflected on the results of 30 years as a local business: “Northfield has been a good community to be in, and we’re happy to have been honored [as Business of the Year].”

Which Businesses? U of M Extension Study Helps Identify Most Economically Valuable Target Businesses According to a recent report, Rice County: Economic Futures Workshop Final Report, produced by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, cereal and veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturing generated the most significant effects on the local economy. The combined effects of direct employment, indirect employment attributable to companies’ local suppliers, and the additional local spending by direct and indirect employees resulted in an employment boost of 1.25 additional jobs for every direct employee hired by these firms. “This type of survey is immensely important in identifying which industries to try to attract, and how to create incentives that produce the biggest bang for the buck,” said Northfield economic development director Jody Gunderson. “If we can attract more companies in industries with higher multiplier effects, we will build a much more stable employment base and a stronger local economy.” A PDF of the study is available on the EDA website, www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NORTHFIELD NEWS

Business Briefs


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Northfield Economic Development News PHOTO: GRIFF WIGLEY

Mayo Breaks Ground in Northfield 801 Washington Street Northfield, MN 55057

With a public ceremony on September 15, Mayo Clinic broke ground for a new radiation oncology treatment center in Northfield.

Home to two premier colleges, close to the Twin Cities and centered on a thriving riverfront and downtown, Northfield, Minnesota is a great place to live and work. Home to a wide range of businesses from large food manufacturing and distribution firms, to small high-tech start-ups, Northfield enjoys the strength of a diversified local economy. The City of Northfield and the Northfield Economic Development Authority are committed to helping current and prospective businesses obtain the resources necessary for success.

P H O T O C O U R T E S Y O F S T. O L A F C O L L E G E

507-645-3018 www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business eda@ci.northfield.mn.us

The clinic, located on land leased from St. Olaf College immediately across North Avenue from Northfield Hospital and Family Medical Clinics, will serve patients from the southern tier of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, as well as Northfield and surrounding communities. The clinic is expected to open in the spring of 2011, employing approximately a dozen people. In a Northfield News article published when Mayo announced its plans to build the $10 million facility, Northfield Hospital administrator, Mark Henke, noted that “there’s a lot of patient and family benefit built into having this kind of center close to home. Patients from our market have typically gone outside our service area to receive radiation treatments. [T]he idea that Mayo is going to put a new oncology facility here in Northfield is really good news.” Northfield’s Economic Development Director, Jody Gunderson, described the new radiation oncology treatment center as a positive step in the long-term development of a health care and wellness campus in the northwest corner of the city. “We have nearly completed the master planning of an large area recently annexed west of the hospital, and this new treatment center is another positive step building momentum for the long-term development of the area. It’s great for patients who will no longer have to travel out of the area for services, and it’s also a step forward for the city.”

Business Park Master Planning Update Led by a steering committee of citizen volunteers, planning consultants, Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc., continued to refine the master plans for two areas northwest and southwest of the city. The northwest area, 530 acres, was recently annexed into the city limits. The southwest area is in Bridgewater Township. The revised plans are nearing the final stage for presentation to the Northfield City Council, which will also soon be considering a long-anticipated revision of the city’s land development code. The master plan presents 20-40 year plan for phased, mixed use development, while the land development code specifies the requirements and standards for development within the city limits. The City Council is schedule to consider the master planning document in November.


Northfield Honored for Programs for Youth

Business Briefs NEW DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES

PanPan Cafe, a pan-Asian restaurant has opened at 303 Division Street, serving an eclectic menu of omelets, salads, and Asian-themed favorites. PanPan Café is part of 1001 Solutions, whose other Northfield restaurants include the Contented Cow, Chapati, and Butler’s Steak & Ale.

America’s Promise Alliance named Northfield one of the Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People. The city’s 2010 recognition marks the second consecutive win for Northfield in the competition; Northfield won in the 2008, the last time the competition was held. The 100 Best designation recognizes those communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school and prepare them for college and the 21st century workforce.

BUSINESS UPDATES

Riverwalk Market Fair suffered a brief disruption during the late September flood, but has come back to life with a flourish. Fall farmer’s market produce, baked goods, street performances, and a wide variety of artisan crafts and fine arts can be found downtown every Saturday morning through October.

“Through its innovative and far-reaching programs, Northfield is taking bold and effective steps to help their young people graduate and lead healthy, productive lives,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Northfield serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children, and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life.” Among the Northfield programs and initiatives cited in the award were TORCH, a program to raise the high school graduation and postsecondary attendance rates of the community’s Latino and low-income students; the Mentoring Coalition, which pairs adults and local college students with nearly 200 young people; the Northfield Union of Youth, which brings together adults and youth at the nation’s longest-running youth-led youth center; and the PRIMEtime out-of-school collaborative, providing academic support, mentoring, workshops, field trips, and community building. According to Healthy Community Initiative Executive Director, Zach Pruitt, “At a time when youth are under tremendous pressures, this award recognizes just how much Northfield does to help its youth succeed. It is truly a community-wide effort.”

THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLBOX

The Economic Development Toolbox is a useful, one-stop resource for online access to a wide range of information and tools. From city codes, EDA grant and loan programs, and links to our economic development partners, the Toolbox is a great place to learn more about how Northfield can help you grow your business. Check out the Toolbox at www.ci.northfield.mn.us/business/ economicdevelopmenttoolbox

EDA Authorizes Emergency Loans The city of Northfield was hit hard by flooding in late September, with downtown businesses along the Cannon River suffering substantial damage to buildings and equipment, and significant loss of income. In a special meeting on October 1, the Economic Development Authority approved a temporary change to the downtown development revolving loan fund to provide affected business with access to $200,000 in loans funds. “This was an extraordinary event,” said Economic Development Authority president, Jenelle Teppen. “We need to use the financial tools at our disposal to help our downtown businesses weather this storm.” P H O T O S T H I S PA G E C O U R T E S Y O F G R I F F W I G L E Y


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