Heard on the Street: New McDonald's in northwest to open next week

Courtesy Corp., which owns the six McDonald'srestaurants in Rochester, plans to open its new northwest location on Aug. 14.

The still under-construction McDonald's stands in front of the Costco warehouse store, facing West Circle Drive Northwest.

It will replace Courtesy Corp.'s longstanding McDonald's on the U.S. 52 north frontage road near 19th Street Northwest. That location closed earlier this week in preparation for the opening of the new restaurant.

When plans for the new restaurant were announced last year, Courtesy Corp. President Rick Lommensaid the old McDonald's had about 65 employees on staff. He anticipated that number could grow to 80 or 90, when the new one opens.

The company spent $1.32 million to buy the land in the 108-acre commercial development, which is owned by the real estate development arm of the Kwik Tripconvenience store chain.


McDonald's thought the restaurant would do much better in the rapidly growing area at the corner of West Circle Drive and 19th Street Northwest, Lommen said.

"I just believe that longterm, that is going to be an outstanding development, and it will show significant growth for years to come," he said.

Conversely, the longstanding McDonald'son the U.S. 52 north frontage road lost much of its visibility and customer traffic when the highway was updated a few years ago.

Courtesy Corp. is not the only company that's banking on the growth expected in Kwik Trip's northwest development.

A 77-room Comfort Inn and Suitesand a 109-room Staybridge Suitesare both under construction near the new McDonald's. Discount grocer Aldialso recently announced its own plans to build a second Rochester store in the same area.

A St. Paul-based developer, TJL Development, is working on plans for a 2,500-square-foot building to be occupied by a co-branded coffee and food business, as well as a 4,000-square-foot store for a national retailer.

— Jeff Kiger

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