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Heard on the Street: C-store shuts off pumps as neighbor looks to future

A northwest Rochester convenience store/gas station recently closed its doors, because it's being sold to a neighboring business.

The CHS/Cenexstation at 545 16th Ave. NW recently closed its doors and shut off the gas pumps. St. Paul-based CHS Inc. issued a statement saying the station is under contract to be purchased by the neighboring business, Joe's Auto and Tire.

Joe Peter, the owner of Joe's Auto, says CHS soon will remove the underground tanks and then the sale can close, hopefully by the start of November.

Since he opened his auto and tire shop on Civic Center, Peter says he has been asking CHS/Cenex about purchasing their property. CHS, which used to be Greenway Cooperativeuntil a 2014 merger, has three other Rochester stations.

"This year, we were to get together and get a deal done," Peter said.


He doesn't have any specific plans for the future of the site yet. In the short-term, it will be used for some much-needed additional customer parking.

"It's a great spot. This gives us more options," he said.

Joe's Auto Care also has another Rochester shop nearby at 923 Sixth St. NW as well as one in Winona. Joe's was founded in 2000.

Biz buzz

After weeks of construction this summer, the new Panera Breadlocation at 825 16th St. SW opened earlier this month.

The stand-alone, 4,100-square-foot Panera features a drive-through window to serve local commuters.

It stands in front of the new Red44luxury apartment complex and next to the103-room Home2 Suites by Hiltonhotel. A new Buffalo Wild Wingsalso is planned for that area.

Panera's new location is part of a development driven by North Rock Real Estate, a tandem effort of Rochester-based Jeff Brown Jr.and Mike Zirbes.

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