Heard on the Street: Binkley buys industrial complex

Kevin Binkleyis looking to the future with his recent investment in the former Gopher Aviationcomplex at the southwest edge of Rochester.

Under the corporate name of the Binkley Group, he bought the 43,000-square-foot facility on 15 acres at 2907 County Road 16 S.W. on May 15. It's near the Rochester International Airportand Minnesota Pipe & Equipment .

The primary reason for the purchase is to set up better base of operation for his KATS Co. KATS, which offers an array of excavation and related services, currently is spread out at three sites. Its locations include one in Byron, one on Rochester's 19th Street Northwest and another on West River Road.

While it never was purposefully set up as such, the 5008 West River Road N.W. space evolved into an administrative office that eventually outgrew the site's industrial zoning. Work is underway to adapt the Ex-Gopher Aviation site to KATS' needs. The company will keep the other two sites to use for storage.

"We should be able to move there in a couple months," said Binkley.


However, that wasn't the only reason that he bought the industrial complex.

There are a number of business tenants leasing space there, including GarbageMan of Rochesterand 1760 Millwork Manufacturing Co.

"I like that environment. Hopefully, the Binkley Group can help those businesses to continue to be a success," he said.

The new site also gives him some additional room for other projects.

"The secondary reason for buying the building is that I tend to be entrepreneurial by nature. It give me more space for possible future businesses," Binkley said.

Darci Fenske of Paramark Real Estatebrokered the real estate deal. Olmsted County property records show that Binkley paid $865,000 to buy the 53-year-old building from Rochester's J&J Enterprises. — Jeff Kiger

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