A long-empty Med City restaurant building was purchased for $1.25 million on July 31, which could open the door for something new in Southwest Rochester.

The 30-year-old building at 819 Apache Lane SW that last housed a Bakers Square restaurant was purchased by E&M Investments Inc. for about half of what it sold for in 2015.

The popular eatery known for its family-style dining and pie closed its doors, along with its south side sibling restaurant in December 2018. Since then, the building has stood empty.

A Rochester firm, E & M Investments LLC based at 3929 S. Shore Lane SW, bought the 5,124-square-foot restaurant building from Alice Montgomery of Los Altos, Calif.

While E & M's state incorporation documents don't list any names of owners or managers, the real estate information lists a phone number for E & M that is the same as the one for Rochester's Clark Companies Inc. led by Ed Clark.

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This is E & M’s second commercial purchase in the southwest area near the Apache Mall.

In October 2019, E & M joined with Rochester developer and real estate investor Dan Penzs Perk 18 LLC to buy the nearby former Toys ‘R Us building at 808 Apache Lane SW for $3.9 million.

It’s unknown what plans E & M might have for the former Bakers Square building. It is set up to serve as a restaurant. However, the property does abut the Toys ‘R Us store parking lot and could open up a possibility for re-development of the area.

State real estate documents list the “planned use” for the property as “other/special use / unspecified/other.” The same documents list the prior use as “restaurants/bars/clubs / full service restaurant.”

Olmsted County estimated the total market value of the property at $1.43 million for 2020-2021.

Alice Montgomery purchased it for $2.49 million in August 2015. At that time, Bakers Square still had seven years left on its lease. The Gloria J. Sobhani estate, which had acquired the building in 2004 for $2 million, sold it to Montgomery.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 507-285-7798.