Local commercial sector in 'recovery mode'

Construction is being done on a new Burger King at the corner of Marion Road and 12 St. S.E. in Rochester.

Developers are seeing opportunities beyond Rochester's downtown as they work to fill in high-traffic spots in other areas with new commercial centers.

"I'd say we're in full recovery mode now," says John Eischen, executive director of the Rochester Area Builders. "And I'd say DMC (the Destination Medical Center initiative) is driving things, too. It's not just about Mayo Clinic and downtown."

For the year so far, 204 commercial building permits have been filed for Rochester projects. There were 200 this time last year and 163 in 2011.

Three in-fill development projects — the Marion Business Center, Assisi Square and the 41st Street — are set to start construction in southeast and northwest Rochester this fall.

Marion Business Center


The Marion Business Center, which is being developed by a local group of investors that includes contractor Bryan Schoeppner, is slated to be built at Marion Road and 12th Street Southeast.

The 9,200-square-foot building will be located between the new under-construction Burger King restaurant and Kwik Trip. Site work by Rochester's Schoeppner construction firm is expected to begin yet this month.

"It's a really good property. We think it'll be a hot corner," says John McGuine, Schoeppner's project manager.

The center be able to accommodate up to six tenants, though none have been finalized yet. The center is designed to have a small restaurant on each end.

Assisi Square

Premier Bank of Rochester and Reco Real Estate of Maplewood, Minn. are also working on a new fill-in project to be called Assisi Square that'll include a new Holiday gas station.

The three-acre Assisi Square is planned for an open corner where U.S. 52, Elton Hills Northwest and Assisi Drive Northwest come together. It's south of Elton Hills and north of the Hillcrest Shopping Center.

Site development plans show the property divided into three lots with the Holiday to be built on one. The other two lots can each accommodate a building, though the specific details of the Assisi Square plan have not been released yet.


The Holiday building permit lists the value of the station as $1.3 million. A separate permit for a pump canopy says it would be worth $50,000.

This location puts it near the spot where the Phillips 66 at Hillcrest once stood.

41st Street re-development

InSite Real Estate, based in suburban Chicago, in planning to build a 7,500-square-foot commercial building on U.S. 52 Frontage Road at 41st Street Northwest.

Permits for the building list a value of more than $900,000.

The first step is to demolish the long-empty former Burger King restaurant at 4107 U.S. 52 N.

InSite bought that property from Dallas, Texas-based Z's American Properties for $655,000 in May. Z's American Properties originally bought the site in 1996 for more than $1 million. The firm also owned a Burger King building on South Broadway. It sold to the the University of Minnesota Rochester and demolished to clear the way for a future campus.

InSite's marketing materials about its new Rochester project show that 5,000 square feet of the building is already locked in by a future tenant, Mattress Firm. Mattress Firm previously had a store in south Rochester.


That leaves 2,400 square feet available for a second tenant.

What To Read Next
Get Local