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End is near for old Mickey D's building

Answer Man, I have coffee quite often at the McDonald's by Apache Mall. They're going to construct a new building in the near future, but the question is when, and are they going to tear down the old one first? We have heard a lot of rumors. What's the scoop? — TRM, Rochester

Fortunately for me, TRM then went on to do more reporting himself and updated his note to say, "The latest rumor on the start date is Aug. 22."

The rumor proves SOMEWHAT correct, like many rumors. Wendy Lommen, a top exec for Courtesy Corp., the Wisconsin-based owner of just about every McDonald's restaurant in Post-Bulletin land, says construction hopefully will start on Aug. 29. The current restaurant, just east of the mall at 1306 Apache Drive S.W., will close a few weeks later, possibly on Sept. 11. Then the general contractor, Alvin E. Benike Inc. of Rochester, will knock down the existing building and my friend TRM will have to find a new Mickey D's for his morning coffee until mid-November.

Wendy says the plan is to have the new, bigger, more eco-friendly and stylish restaurant ready to go by Thanksgiving. In the meantime, "all of the 80 employees will be transferred to other stores," she says.

The new restaurant will resemble the new-style McDonald's at U.S. 63 and 48th Street Southwest, with an expanded Play Place, all-but-LEED certified "green" construction, displays and information on the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, and more parking. Wendy didn't have the square footage or the number of new parking spaces at her fingertips, but both will be bigger, which if you've ever had a Big Mac at the current store you'll know is badly needed.


The company has acquired some additional real estate adjacent to the current site, to allow room for a double-drive through and more parking, she says.

Courtesy Corp. is based in Onalaska, Wis., and owns and operates 43 McDonald's restaurants in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. No. 44 is soon to open in Amery, Wis. — maybe an option for TRM's coffee?

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