St. Olaf and Carleton at the NDDC

Its time for our October Monthly Meeting. On Tuesday, October 5 we will host St. Olaf President Chris Thomforde and Carleton President Rob Oden at 8 a.m. in the lower-level conference room of the Archer House. The presidents will discuss the colleges’ outreach to the Northfield community, their contributions to the community and how the “town-gown” relationship could be improved or further developed.



The timing of this pairing of speakers is deliberate. Saturday, October 9 is the occasion of the second annual Cereal Bowl featuring the St. Olaf and Carleton football teams. The Cereal Bowl is sponsored by Malt-O-Meal. Our preview event will showcase Malt-O-Meal cereal and a choice of beverages. Bring an appetite as well as your questions for our guests.

Carleton, St. Olaf, and Malt-O-Meal: what a way to start your day!

Call 663-0319 with questions.

The future may be closer than we thought

Recently we posted comments about the intersection of HWY 3 and 2nd Street (see below). It appears that plans surrounding this key gateway to downtown may be gelling faster than we thought.

“Purchase agreements have been signed for the Kump Lumber site and Glen Lubbers property, both located along Highway 3, according to John Mathern of Roseville-based Mendota Homes.” See the rest of the story in Saturday’s Northfield News.

Thanks to the intrepid Carol Roecklein for this and all of her stories about downtown Northfield over the past couple of years. We wish all the best to Carol wherever she lands next.

Making garbage respectable

Many downtown folks have been following the discussion of a certain garbage site on the west side of the Cannon River with interest over the past several weeks. Our own ER Team has been discussing the finer points of garbage all summer. Their goal can be summed up with three words:

COMBINE (receptacles wherever possible)
CONTAIN (put the receptacles behind suitable screening)
COORDINATE (pickup schedules)

They’ve done an extensive inventory of both private and public garbage sites throughout the downtown district and are working on a plan to bring a level of consistency to these sites in the near future.

Joe Grundhoefer of J. Grundy’s Reub’n’Stein has recently illustrated the ER Team’s concepts with his own garbage area on the 5th St. side of his property.

Take a look at the following before and after photos:

grundys old thumb.jpg

Not the most attractive situation. Now check this out.

grundys new thumb.jpg

It’s not quite done, but what a difference. Thanks to Joe for the initiative and thanks to Jens Johannesen for the design.

Seeing into the Future (it requires some effort)

In a blogpost last month, Ross Currier asked Have you taken a close look at the four corners of that intersection lately? Hes referring to Hwy 3 and 2nd Street on the westside of the Cannon River in downtown Northfield. All four corners need plans for redevelopment and no one has a clear plan for any of them yet. The City Council has recently identified the Northeast Corner as their highest priority for redevelopment in the City and is in the process of writing a plan for the site. The other three corners are planless.

In the interest of clarity, we thought it might be useful to document and describe the four intersections. It helps in discussions to have mental image of the subject. Here goes.

NE Corner big thumb.jpg

NE Corner: Often referred to as the Kump Site and known officially as “Riverfront Redevelopment Site,” there is a empty lot on the corner surrounded by buildings vacated for the HWY 3 reconstruction project that is currently scheduled to begin this fall. It has been discussed as a potential development site for over a decade. It a large and challenging property on the Cannon River.

NW Corner big thumb.jpg

NW Corner: The Community National Banks landscaping is currently the brightest thing on this intersection; it disappears when the work on HWY 3 begins. The auto bank will be rendered unusable. This corner has long been the primary pedestrian crossing point from west to east.

SW corner big thumb.jpg

SW Corner: Quiznos is surrounded by parking lots and vacant land. The Quarterback Club also shares this sizeable piece of underutilized land. It could be a key development in connecting the west side and east side and create a visual gateway to Northfield.

SE corner big thumb.jpg

SE Corner: The now vacant building has been home to many entrepreneurial efforts over the years. The structure will be torn down as part of the HWY 3 project. The eastern edge of the property touches the Riverwalk.

The NDDC welcomes Superintendent Richardson

Its time for our next General Membership meeting. On Tuesday, September 7, we will be hosting Dr. Chris Richardson, the new Superintendent of the Northfield Public Schools. The event begins at 8 AM and will be held at our usual meeting place, the lower level conference room of the Archer House, 212 Division Street.

Dr. Richardson has been an educator for 34 years and comes to Northfield most recently from the Osseo, Minnesota public school system. He will speak to us about his “Northfield learning curve” in the very short time that he’s been in his new job. He’ll also comment on the growing diversity among public school children in Northfield and the recent move of the Northfield Middle School from the center of the city to the southern edge of town. There will be time for questions from the audience.

As always, this meeting is open to the public as well as the downtown business community. Well have the coffee pot on.