Tag Archives: Neuger Communications Group

Aldsworth Building looks ideal as a coworking space. Are there others?

Aldsworth Building Aldsworth Building, interior Aldsworth Building, interior
I’m excited about the possibility of a coworking space in Northfield. See my Dec. 6 blog post, NEC convenes coworking group; photos of CoCo MSP’s new Mpls space show what’s possible.

I toured all three floors of the Aldsworth Building at 19 Bridge Square yesterday, courtesy of Leah Rich at Neuger Communications Group. The Aldsworth is connected to their new space at 25 Bridge Square, formerly the Community Resource Bank.

The Aldsworth seems ideal for a coworking space: smack in the middle of downtown, many small offices, two kitchens, an elevator, and several larger conference-type rooms, two of which overlook Bridge Square (above photos).  Here’s the floor plans PDF:

Aldsworth Building Floor Plan

and a few more photos:

DSC05689 DSC05692 DSC05693 

DSC05706 DSC05708 DSC05703

Are there other spaces in Northfield that would be ideally suited for a coworking space?

NEC convenes coworking group; photos of CoCo MSP’s new Mpls space show what’s possible

Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 Northfield, MN Coworking group meeting, Dec. 5, 2011 
Yesterday afternoon, Megan Allen Tsui, Executive Director of the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC), convened a meeting of possible stakeholders and other people interested in creating a coworking/incubator/accelerator space in Northfield (background blog post here). We met in a conference room at the Neuger Communications Group.

Other attendees: Ross Currier (NDDC), Tami Enfield, Rick Estenson (First National Bank Northfield, NEC, Chamber), Kathy Feldbrugge (Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce), Jody Gunderson (City of Northfield), Beth Kallestad (CRWP), Julie Kildahl, Dave Neuger (Neuger Communications Group, Chamber), Rhonda Pownell (Northfield City Council), Donna Rae Scheffert, Mary Schmelzer (Northfield Enterprise Center),  Justin Volling (St. Olaf student), and Erica Zweifel (Northfield City Council).

Tentative next steps include a community awareness meeting in January, as well as a couple of coworking jellies.

After the meeting, I attended an event at CoCo MSP’s new space in the Grain Exchange Building in downtown Minneapolis.

Here are some photos of what it now looks like, with its:

CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis
large event space;

CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis
open tables;

CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis CoCo MSP Minneapolis
and dedicated desk and ‘campsite’ spaces.

A new type of economic development in Northfield: co-working

I’ve long thought about how economically beneficial (and cool) it would be to have a co-working space in Northfield, ever since Tracy Davis blogged here about the idea back in 2008

I’ve been to the 3rd Place coworking space in St. Anthony Park in St. Paul for meetings. I’ve been to CoCoMSP‘s Lowertown location in downtown St. Paul several times for meetings and conferences. Next week I’ll attend a conference at their new downtown Minneapolis location in the Grain Exchange building. See this Oct. 28 WCCO-TV story (text and video) about coworking there (the ‘brain exchange’ as Mpls Mayor RT Rybak evidently calls it) titled CoCo Reinvents Office Space In Twin Cities:

Aldsworth Building, 19 Bridge Square, NorthfieldMore recently, I’ve been mentioning to people that the old Aldsworth Building on Bridge Square would be perfect for this, now that Neuger Communications Group has taken it over. It’s currently sitting empty.

Megan Allen Tsui and Griff WigleyIt’s now looking like momentum is building for a co-working space in Northfield.

Earlier this week I met with Megan Allen Tsui, the new Executive Director of the Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC). She’s been exploring the coworking idea with the NEC board and has a new blog post about it titled Coworking as Business Accelerator In Northfield? A couple of excerpts:

One of the ideas that is being looked at is something called a Coworking space. They are spaces for innovative thinkers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, mentors, and sometimes non-profits to gather together around the concept that together they can build more successful companies and organizations. They are designed to be the best of many things- cool workspace, coffeehouse, social club, and high-tech conference centers.

NECThere are several business models for Coworking locations…and at this point I believe the NEC is in “listening” mode. What do you think of this idea? Would you rent space to work a few times a week? How about a conference room that has all the latest high-tech bells and whistles yet looks out over the beautiful, historic downtown?

What if you could grab a cup of your favorite coffee and head to a space where you meet really fun, cool, innovative people doing amazing things together? Could a space like this keep recently graduated college students from leaving town?

I think the economics of a co-working facility are looking brighter, as more small organizations decide to locate in them. For example, the Citizens League recently announced that they’re moving their headquarters to CoCoMSP St. Paul in January. What small Northfield organizations could benefit from doing likewise?

What seem to be the pros and cons of a coworking space in Northfield? What questions and concerns do you have?

I’m planning to be an informal champion for it but I’m not business-savvy enough to know whether it would work here.

So let the discussion begin.

Gong! It’s time for an open house at Neuger Communications Group

Leah Rich and Penny Hillemann, Neuger Communications GroupI got an email late last week from Leah Rich at Neuger Communications Group, alerting me to an open house tomorrow, Oct 27, from 4-6 pm at their new HQ on Bridge Square in the heart of downtown Northfield.

They moved into the site of the former downtown location of Community Resource Bank a month ago under a lease-to-own arrangement with the First National Bank of Northfield which had foreclosed on the previous owner of the building, Mendota Homes.

 Neuger Communications Group - exterior Neuger Communications Group - exterior Carol O’Neill
So I talked Leah and VP Penny Hillemann into giving me a tour on Monday, an excuse to take some photos of their new space. Office manager Carol O’Neill greeted me at the door.

 Neuger Communications Group - interior Neuger Communications Group - interior Neuger Communications Group - interior
The open space and windows looking out on Bridge Square and Division are stunning. Even cooler is the extent to which local organizations were involved in the renovation. From the press release:

The list of area people and organizations that played a significant role in the renovation include: Bierman’s Home Furnishings and Flooring, Blesener’s Quality Exteriors, City of Northfield, Custom Glass & Mirror, First National Bank of Northfield, Jennifer Wolcott, Keith Pumper Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Koktavy & Daleiden Painting, LLC, Lamperts Yards, Inc., Lars Stromayer, Nerstrand Custom Cabinets, Northfield Construction Company, Northfield Economic Development Authority, Schulz Electric, Inc., ServiceMaster by Ayotte, SMSQ Architects and Southern Minnesota Woodcraft. Northfield Construction Company served as the general contractor and Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates was the principal architect of the renovation in partnership with roofing findlay oh.

Dave Neuger, gong master
Founder and CEO Dave Neuger was unavailable while I was there.  He was busy installing another gong, this time under the table in the big conference room. Gong?  Yep. Ask him about the gong.

Remodeling begins on the bank building at 25 Bridge Square; anyone need a safe?

remodeling work on the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square remodeling work on the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square old safe at the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square
Northfield Construction Company (NCC) has begun remodeling work on the old Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square , soon to become the world headquarters for the Neuger Communications Group. That item on the right is not heading to the Northfield Historical Society, I think it’s safe to say.

See Ray Cox’s May 11 NCC blog post for details on the remodeling. See my January blog post for details on the purchase.

The school district unveils a new website, built with WordPress

About a year ago, Northfield Public Schools superintendent Chris Richardson accepted my offer to meet with him so I could explain why the District’s website sucked big time.  He took copious notes, and his eyes did not seem to glaze over. But I seriously doubted anything would come of it.

Heather Kuchinka and Matt HillmanImagine my delighted surprise when two District staffers, Administrative Support Assistant Heather Kuchinka and Matt Hillman, Director of Human Resources and Technology, signed up for my online WordPress for Noobs course. They then revealed that they were about to unveil a new District website, based on WordPress, constructed by Daniel Edwins, WordPress guru at Neuger Communications Group.

Last week,  gave Heather and Matt gave me a preview and during the meeting, Chris stopped by to toss around some lingo, something to the effect of "We’ve got a boatload of RSS feeds and our permalinks are the prettiest around." You rock, Chris!

Northfield School District websiteToday, the District portion of the revamped site is up, and according to this news item (note that pretty permalink), "In the coming months, we will be rolling out new individual school sites in an effort to mirror the updates made at the district level."

They’ve set up a feedback page with a form on it, but I hate that.  I can’t learn from the feedback from anyone else, nor can I read their reaction to the feedback. So if you’re a fan of public feedback and conversation-as-a-path-to-public engagement, post your feedback in a comment here and I’ll see if I can twist their arms to join us.

Neuger to buy the Aldsworth and Community Resource Bank buildings on Bridge Square

19 and 25 Bridge Square Neuger Communications Group McGuire Building

I saw a Tweet by Neuger Communications Group staffer Lauren Melcher yesterday, linking to a press release that Neuger is buying the vacant Community Resource Bank building at 25 Bridge Square, as well as the Aldsworth Building at 19 Bridge Square.  The Neuger Communications Group currently occupies the lower level of the McGuire Building next to the Northfield Liquor Store (right photo above).

These two Bridge Square buildings were in the news in late 2009: Proposed historic-looking office building would ‘replace’ the Aldsworth.

This is great news for downtown Northfield.  And it gives me some other ideas.

Feds intervene at First National Bank of Northfield

First National Bank of Northfield First National Bank of Northfield (FNB) is the second area bank this year to have federal regulators intervene. (Last month, it was Community Resource Bank – blog post here.)

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal agency that regulates nationally-chartered banks like FNB, has a statement posted to their website that says in part:

Continue reading Feds intervene at First National Bank of Northfield