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Smith Schafer to move to new Northwest Rochester office complex

North Rock Real Estate submitted plans on Thursday to construct a 23,500-square-foot building as a next-door twin to the office complex at 2519 Commerce Dr. NW, which opened in 2019.

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A local development firm plans to double their Northwest Rochester office space portfolio, and a prominent downtown business is already lined up as a tenant.

North Rock Real Estate submitted plans on Thursday to construct a 23,500-square-foot building as a next-door twin to the office complex at 2519 Commerce Dr. NW, which opened in 2019.

The two-story building will stand at the corner of 26th and West Circle Drive Northwest, next to the first phase complex, which houses Dunkin’ Donuts , Fernbrook Family Center, Meshbesher & Spence and North Rock’s offices.

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“We’ll be breaking ground as soon as weather allows … By the end of this year, we plan to be open,” said North Rock co-owner Jeff Brown Jr. North Rock is owned by a Rochester born and raised team including Brown, Michael Zirbes, and Collin Nash.

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Given the pandemic-driven trend of working from home, building an office complex, even on such a high-traffic corner, might seem a bit risky. Brown explained that they already have tenants lined up.

North Rock Phase Two
North Rock Real Estate submitted plans on Thursday to construct a 23,500-square-foot building as a next-door twin to the office complex at 2519 Commerce Dr NW, which opened in 2019. The two-story building will stand at the corner of 26th and West Circle Drive Drive Northwest, next to the first phase complex, which houses Dunkin’ Donuts, Fernbrook Family Center, Meshbesher & Spence and North Rock’s offices.

“We’re building this with a keystone tenant commitment. Smith Schafer and Associates will occupy the entire second floor,” he said. “ Huber Eye Care will occupy 4,000 square feet on the main level.”

Huber’s clinic will be based in the center spot on the ground floor. That leaves two end cap spaces, a 4,000-square-foot one and a 3,500-square-foot one to be filled. One of the spaces includes a drive-thru window.

For Smith Schafer & Associates, one of the Med City’s most prominent accounting firms, moving into the North Rock building will mean leaving its longtime home in downtown Rochester.

The firm, which has about 45 employees based in Rochester as well as offices in Minneapolis and Red Wing, has been a fixture on the street level of the Hotel Indigo/former Holiday Inn at 220 S. Broadway for 27 years. It was founded in Rochester in 1971.

“The move will accommodate our growth and our client service goals to create a professional and comfortable environment for our clients and teammates,” said Managing Principal Greg Epsom. “Downtown has been great to us. This is just a good opportunity for us to have our own space to make it the way we want it.”

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Huber Eye Care will be making a much shorter move to the North Rock building.

Dr. Ty Huber opened his original Med City office at 2711 Commerce Drive NW in the nearby Sienna Square shopping center in 2007. That location will make the move. Huber also has a downtown office in the Kahler Grand Hotel .

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