Fastenal announces new downtown Winona development
As an immediate home to 400 employees– with room for another 200 down the road– the new Fastenal building in downtown Winona will help anchor the company in the city upon completion in 2021.
WINONA — As an immediate home to 400 employees – with room for another 200 down the road – the new Fastenal building in downtown Winona will help anchor the company in the city upon completion in 2021.
President and CEO Dan Florness announced the project, which will break ground in the spring of 2020 with an 18-month timetable for completion, during a news conference at Winona's City Hall Thursday morning.
"I think the river is a gorgeous place," Florness said. "We’re excited to bring some employees downtown. We think it’ll encourage others to do the same."
Fastenal, the city's largest employer, will retain its other buildings in Winona, including its distribution center on Theurer Boulevard, Florness said. The new office building will sit on a block of West Second Street between Washington Street and the refurbished Winona Bridge. Company officials declined to reveal the estimated cost for the new building.
Winona Mayor Mark Peterson said the new Fastenal office building is part of a larger revitalization effort that has seen a push toward new construction and renovation of historic buildings in downtown Winona for the past several years.
"I’ve worked downtown for three decades, and when I started I heard there’s nothing going on downtown Winona," Peterson said. "I don’t hear that anymore."
Fastenal, which was founded in Winona by Bob Kierlin in 1967, has more than 21,000 employees in 25 countries at 3,100 locations, Florness said. The company employs between 1,700 and 1,800 workers in Winona.
The new downtown building will be home to several departments, including information technology and product development, Florness said. Planning for the new office building began in 2015 as the company's growth both inside and outside Winona dictated a need for a new office location.
"Today, we’re a $5 billion company," he said. "I look out and see a $10 billion to $12 billion company. We need space for more people and this was a great opportunity with all the other things going on downtown."
Those other things, Peterson said, include the new Main Square development by Fastenal's founder, Kierlin; the 60 Main project across from the redeveloped Levee Park, and the remodeling of several historic buildings around downtown Winona within the past few years.
"The economy has been good," Peterson said, citing the reasons behind the rapid redevelopment of the downtown and riverfront area of the city. "That doesn't hurt."
The big catalyst, though, Peterson said, has been the city's commitment to redevelopment, working through the Port Authority and with the chamber of commerce and business community to help in the development of projects.
"Once the city made a commitment to invest in the downtown, I think that that sent a signal to other people the city is interested and willing to do something."
Amy Marks, owner of Blooming Grounds Coffee House, located a block from where the new Fastenal office building will go, said seeing this kind of addition to downtown Winona will help all businesses in the area.
"To add hundreds of hundreds of more (employees) to the mix is huge to us," Marks said. "This creates opportunities for others to open more businesses. It also means I can keep my team of employees employed."