Owners of the Fannie Rose Building on the 100 block of East Superior Street want to eventually turn the 6,000 square feet of storefront into four dining and retail options, said building co-owner Steve Sola.
Their first move is converting the former Coin and Stamp location into a new candy store by spring 2010.Fannie Rose Candies will sell homemade candies, carmel corn and other treats, Sola said.
The estimated 102-year-old building is undergoing restorations, including renovations to the former Coin and Stamp that occupied the two middle units. Fannie Rose Candies will take one of the middle units and the purpose of the other has yet to be decided, Sola said. Coney Island The Original and Western Union bookend the building, while the entire second level is vacant.
"Duluth really needs this" candy store, said Steve Sola, who also owns Coney Island The Original. "Duluth used to have that in the old days, and we felt it was necessary to add this."
The building’s owners, brothers Steve and Rand Sola and Buffalo Holdings LLC, bought the building between the Fond-du-Luth Casino and the Tech Village in August 2008.
(Check out more details about the restoration in Construction Zone in Business Monday.)
TV news reporter Kim Johnson is leaving WDIO-TV Channels 10 and 13 to accept an anchor/reporting position in Green Bay, she wrote this afternoon on Facebook.
"I’m sad to say I will be leaving WDIO-TV in a couple weeks," Johnson, a Maple Grove, Minn., native, wrote on the social networking site. "I’ve accepted an anchor/reporter gig in Green Bay. I’m excited for my next chapter, but will miss this community that I have grown to love!!!!"
Johnson has covered city government, served as fill-in anchor and has kept a blog on WDIO’s Web site.
You may have noticed new signs going up on the sides of the Holiday Inn in downtown Duluth. They’re green both literally and figuratively.
Nationwide, Holiday Inn is replacing incandescent- and neon-lit signs with with new ones using more energy efficient LED lights. In all, about 9,300 signs are being replaced, and the hotel chain expects its energy use for the signs to drop 52 percent as a result.
"There’s a bigger cost up front for these signs, but it’s the right thing to do," said Lisa Augustine, general manager of the Duluth Holiday Inn.
Augustine said the hotel has been stepping up efforts to become more earth-friendly. That means looking at ways to trim energy use throughout, composting and increased recycling efforts. For instance, Augustine said the hotel now sends its old matresses to Goodwill, where they’re deconstructed, allowing many of the bedding components to be reclaimed.
As they say: every little bit helps.
Make some time this evening for a stimulating discussion about the structure and role of corporations in society. Okay, it may not sound like the sexiest of topics, but one of the true visionaries in the field is paying a visit to Duluth today as the first guest speaker of the Alworth Center for Peace and Justice Lecture Series at the College of St. Scholastica. This year’s theme? The Future of Capitalism.
At 7:30 tonight, Marjorie Kelly will take the stage at Mitchell Auditorium to speak on "Democracy and the Corporation." Her work has focused on how to develop "a more humane democratic design for the modern corporation," according the St. Scholastica. The school also says Kelly, author of "The Divine Right of Capital," is expected to argue that focusing on making profits for stockholders to the exclusion of everyone else’s interests is a form of discrimination based on property or wealth. Kelly, a senior associate at Tellus Institute, founded the company that publishes Business Ethics, a national magazine that explores corporate social responsibility.
The event is free and open to the public. The lecture series will examine the systemic and moral foundations of our nation’s economic and financial systems. It will bring W. Michael Cox and Robert McKibben to town on Oct. 20 and March 9, respectively.
With more recent information available, the Duluth area is not following the national trend in home prices.
While home prices in the nation’s 20 major cities rose for the third straight month in July, Northeastern Minnesota didn’t follow suit into August.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities rose 1.2 percent from June to July to a reading of 143.05, according numbers released Tuesday. Though home prices are still 13.3 percent below July 2008, the annual declines have slowed in all 20 cities for the sixth straight month.
The Associated Press said it’s "more proof a fragile housing recovery is underway."
For us in Northeastern Minnestoa, our message to AP is: not so fast.
After the median selling price increased here in four straight months, it fell 5 percent from July to August.
The newcomer in the Duluth TV market won two regional Emmy Awards on Saturday night in Minneapolis.
KQDS-TV Channel 21 took home mid-sized market awards for station excellence and evening newscast. The Duluth Fox affiliate’s 9 p.m. newscast has been on the air for about two years.
WDIO-TV Channels 10 and 13 won the mid-sized market daytime newscast award and one for health-science feature.
The Duluth ABC affiliate’s feature was titled Sophia’s Story and was reported by Cassie Limpert and photographed by Dan Bergh.
KBJR-TV Channels 6 and 11 and WDSE-TV Channel 8 were shutout.
The region includes Minnesota, western Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.
Some more encouraging news from U.S. Steel Corp…
For the first time since 2008, the Iron Range’s largest taconite facility returned to full production, when Minntac fired its fifth line back up last week. About 960 people are now back to work at the Mountain Iron facility, according to Mike Woods, president of United Steelworkers Local 1938.
Minntac’s owner, U.S. Steel Corp., recently also announced plans soon to resume production at Keetac, a Keewatin facility that last produced pellets in December. Keetac employs about 400 people when it is up and running full strength. Some of those workers will probably be back on the job this week.
Back in April, we reported that a Duluth auto group, Evergreen LLC, was exploring a possible purchase of a Toyota/Scion dealership belonging to the Denny Hecker group in the Baxter/Brainerd area.
At the time, Brad Skytta of Evergreen confirmed that he’d been looking into a possible acquisition of the business. Evergreen owns and operates seven dealerships, including NorthStar Ford in Duluth, Saturn of Duluth, Kia of Duluth, Benna Ford in Superior, the Sonju Superstore in Two Harbors, Iron Trail Motors in Virginia and Kia of St. Cloud.
But this week, the Walser Automotive Group announced that it plans to close a deal to buy the dealership in October with plans to possibly reopen it as Lake Country Toyota.
A purchase agreement has been inked but still need to be approved by Toyota, according to a report in Twin Cities Business Magazine.
The Baxter/Brainerd business is the last of remnant of what was once a 26-dealership network operating under Hecker’s control. That empire started to crumble when Chhrysler Financial Services cut off its dealings with Hecker and sued his business for unpaid debts.
Hecker has since individually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. His total debt? $700 million, according to Twin Cities Business Magazine.
After being let go by Fox 21News last week, meteorologist Karl Spring has found his next media outlet — the blogosphere.
Spring will write a weather (and other hobbies) journal on Howie Hanson’s blog.
In his first post, Spring wouldn’t shed any new details on the reason he was let go by Fox. He introduced himself, rambled about the situation at Fox and talked about what else he will write about, including the pesky Minnesota Twins.
Fuse Duluth kicked off its College Connection mentoring program Monday. The program connects students and local businesses in a relationship to help the soon-to-be graduates become find careers and guidance in the community.
To learn more, contact Breann Defoe at the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce at 722-5501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.