In Rice County and across Minnesota, residents hurry to pay taxes before New Year

The directory at the Rice County Government Services Center Shows residents the way to the auditor-treasurer’s office, where some homeowners are paying their taxes before the New Year as a result of the new GOP tax plan. (Daily News file photo)

Across the state, county auditor-treasurers are seeing dozens and dozens hurrying in to pay their property taxes before the calendar flips to 2018.

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EZ Pay digital subscriptions are the best value and are billed automatically each month on the 15th.

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Two condo towers could rise across from Southdale, Galleria in Edina

Two local developers, Arcadia LLC and Ryan Cos., want to build a pair of Art Deco-inspired condo towers across from the Galleria and Southdale shopping centers, the latest and biggest additions in a rapidly evolving transformation of Edina.

The proposal, which emerged publicly Tuesday, comes at a time when availability of for-sale condos is extremely low in the Twin Cities.

The project, called Estelle Edina, includes the two towers, six brownstone-style condos, 12,000 square feet of retail and a signature restaurant at the corner of France Avenue and 69th Street.

“I grew up just a few blocks down on France Avenue and am excited about the vision that so many people have for this district,” said Arcadia President Luigi Bernardi, who grew up in the Cornelia neighborhood and is a lifelong Edina resident. His company recently completed the nearby Aurora on France, a senior living project.

“Our goal is to give the corner of France and 69th a community feel — walkable, accessible and livable,” he said.

Both towers will be slender enough to minimize the visual impact of the buildings and have four units at most per floor.

This rendering depicts an area at street level between the two towers.

The towers will be built with stone and glass and, because of the compact floorplate, every unit will be on its own corner. There will be four units per floor on the lower levels, two units per floor on the upper levels and a penthouse at the top. The tallest tower is expected to have 24 stories with 82 units for sale. The other tower will be 20 stories tall and have 70 units.

An existing Bremer Bank and BMO Harris Bank now on the site will move to new spaces in the project.

While thousands of rental apartments have been built in recent years, only a few hundred for-sale condominiums have been built. Developers cite excessive liability under current Minnesota construction-defect laws, and the issue is being debated in the Legislature. At the end of April, there were 647 condo units for sale in the metro area, 24 percent fewer than a year ago, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

Estelle Edina would be the first suburban high-rise condo project to be built since the 2008 recession, and it’s just a block from the Residences at the Westin Galleria, an 82-unit property above the 225-room Westin Hotel that opened that very year. There are currently about a half-dozen units on the market in that building, ranging from $479,900 to $1.65 million.

The Estelle Edina project, which will be marketed by Lakes Sotheby’s International Realty, has been designed to fill a need for owner-occupied housing, particularly for empty-nesters, sales agent John Wanninger said.

“Simply put, demand is very strong with few options for Edina residents who want to transition to maintenance-free living but who don’t want to leave Edina.” said Wanninger, who also marketed the Westin condos.

The project is part of a re-visioning process for what’s known as the Greater Southdale Area, which began in early 2015 as part of Edina’s long-term planning policy. The effort included the input from 16 Edina residents for the Greater Southdale Work Group, including neighbors and business and civic leaders who helped develop guiding principles for the district.

“There is a lot of neighborhood, business and city support to create a vibrant, forward-looking and accessible district,” he said in a statement. “It allows for a healthy mix of building heights, densities and uses, and creates a public realm that promotes a walkable, healthy and safe environment.”

The proposal, which is at the beginning of the municipal approvals process, is part of a series of development projects that are slated to increase commercial and residential density along the busiest part of France Avenue.

“Our intent is to support the district’s vision. We are passionate about creating best-in-class streetscapes and owner-occupied residences that the citizens of Edina will be proud of,” said Carl Runck, developer with Ryan.

Runck said that the team has submitted conceptual plans to the city for sketch plan review by the its planning commission and City Council. He expects to start construction during the first quarter 2018.

In recent years, Edina has been focused on redeveloping the sprawling surface lots that have served the many retail stores and office buildings in the area. Already, luxury apartments have been built in some of the parking lots at Southdale.

Earlier this year, furniture retailer Restoration Hardware said that it wants to build a four-story showroom and store in the southwest corner of the mall.

Across the street, the $100 million-plus Avenue on France project, formerly known as the Promenade on France, is remaking a 23-acre site that is currently the Southdale Office Centre. It will add a medical office building, retail, condos and a hotel.

About 2 miles north of Southdale, the Edina City Council last month approved a $79 million redevelopment plan for more retail, housing and parking near the 50th and France shopping district.

Janet Dahlquist expected to spend the rest of her life at Autumn Glen in Coon Rapids but is moving out after a steep rent hike.

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Welcome to Minnesota, the Startup Capital of the North

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When NBC Sports announced it would web-stream a competition between startup ventures live from Minneapolis on Saturday, Minnesota companies were conspicuously absent from the line-up.

Organizers behind the National Football League’s “First and Future” competition say the reasons vary — they excluded some companies with ties to the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic, for instance, because the judges include two prominent Mayo doctors.

But make no mistake: Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is home to just as many entrepreneurs and their daring ventures.

Bold North, indeed.

In Minneapolis, Erik Brust and Connor Wray manufacture frozen smoothies on a stick — better known as JonnyPops, a fruity recipe that rolled out of their dormitory basement during their recent undergraduate days at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

From the Maple Grove offices of StemoniX, fellow entrepreneur Ping Yeh plates damaged brain and heart cells for therapeutic testing — a stem-cell breakthrough based on concepts he licensed from a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

JonnyPops and StemoniX may seem like they’re worlds apart, but the Minnesota startups share the same accomplishment — they’ve both won cash and acclaim from the MN Cup, the largest statewide start-up competition in the country.

With the energy and excitement of Super Bowl LII in the air, business advocates held their own startup showcase Tuesday at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis. (So take that, NBC Sports!)

As 3D-printing companies, craft beer makers and experts in sports therapy displayed their wares, posters reminded visitors of the many inventions that the world can thank Minnesotans for: water-skis, minute clinics, post-it notes, roller blades, battery-powered external pacemakers, satellite news television … It’s a long list.

In addition to dozens of exhibits from new Minnesota companies, the heavily-attended “Startup Capital of the North Showcase” drew previous winners of the Carlson School of Management’s MN Cup, which distributes a total of $450,000 in cash awards to the state’s most promising new business ventures, including student businesses.

“We were excited to showcase the many great companies and entrepreneurs in the region that are creating products, services and platforms to solve real problems for consumers,” said Michael Brown, a spokesman for Greater MSP, a Twin Cities economic development partnership and lead event organizer. “(NBC’s) 1st and Future startup competition missed out by not featuring any Minnesota companies.”

The showcase was sponsored by the MN Cup, Greater MSP and the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

The 2018 MN Cup will host a launch party on March 26. Applications will be due April 27, with an awards event Oct. 8.

Here’s a quick look at just a handful of companies that participated in the Startup Capital of the North Showcase:

TEAM GENIUS

When youth teams like the St. Paul Blackhawks, Eagan Wave Youth Soccer, Roseville Area Youth Baseball or the Woodbury Area Hockey Club want to evaluate players or rank tryouts, they turn to the same software — Team Genius ( MyTeamGenius.com ).

The performance software, which is the brainchild of Chris Knutson and former Forest Lake youth soccer (Lakes United FC) coach Todd Larson, is geared toward youth sports but could easily be adjusted for college athletes, physical education classes or even orchestral musicians. The Pittsburgh Flag Football League is one of many clients who have signed on since the company’s official launch in July 2016.

“Paper-driven process is error prone and really requires a lot of data entry,” said Knutson, noting that Team Genius rankings are automatically adjusted in real-time as data comes in. “If you ask anyone who’s ever run a youth sports evaluation, or tryouts, they will cringe when you talk about entering data the old way.”

PREVENT BIOMETRICS

Don’t call it mouth guard. Well, OK, Edina-based Prevent Biometrics produces a mouth guard, but it’s also so much more. The guard masks a flexible, shock-resistant circuit board that sends impact data in real time to your phone app.

Every time your student athlete takes a hit in hockey or meets the ground in lacrosse, the intensity, location, direction and count of each head impact can be sent instantaneously to sideline personnel. The product, which debuted this year, promises to improve the speed and accuracy of concussion assessment, diagnosis and treatment — as well as faster return to play.

Founded in 2015, Prevent Biometrics is working with the Department of Defense and the National Football League on professional applications.

FULTON

Ryan Petz, CEO of Minneapolis-based Fulton Beer, launched his brewery in 2009 while still a student at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. On Tuesday, he poured a sample of one of his 37 creations for former instructor Toby Nord, the director of Carlson Ventures Enterprise, a year-long course in experiential learning for MBA students.

Fulton, which produces everything from sours and saisons to a coffee stout and barrel-aged barleywine, is now marketing an intense India Pale Ale called “300” that the company describes as “pure hop candy.”

SMASHIT

It might look like there’s a dirty word in there somewhere, but Minneapolis-based Smashit promises a clean conclusion after an “exciting opportunity to destroy (recyclable items) inside of our safety-certified mobile cage.”

The Smashit.live website features a “wreckreational destruction” video of a ski and snowboard club taking bats and sledgehammers to old plates, printers, keyboards and other expendable items. After guests at your social gathering or private fundraiser have finished breaking stuff, everything gets neatly carted away to recycling companies by these young entrepreneurs, most of whom are still undergraduates. They launched their company in December.

STRATASYS

OK, this one’s not exactly a startup, but it is proof that Minnesota startups can grow to become significant players in cutting-edge industries. Founded in 1988, Stratasys, now based jointly in Eden Prairie and Rehovot, Israel, has been producing manufacturing aids and replacement parts through 3D printing longer than almost anyone in the field.

Before sending designs off to China for mass production, companies turn to Stratasys to 3D-print a new vehicle part that can be fit-tested and function-tested using real fuel. And that’s just one of many potential applications, which range from the medical to the mundane. The company 3D-printed a trophy for Tuesday’s showcase in about eight hours.

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Trammell Crow is planning a 168-unit apartment project a JC Penney owned parking lot at Minnetonka’s Ridgedale Center – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

A six-story luxury apartment building for people over age 55 would transform the southwest corner of the Ridgedale Center parking lot in Minnetonka.

High Street Residential, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co., has submitted plans for a 168-unit project on a surface parking lot owned by J.C. Penney.

The U-shaped building would be built just south of the Firestone auto shop and the J.C. Penney store. The project does not include the actual store, and J.C. Penney, in announcing eight Minnesota store closures last summer, did not include the Ridgedale location.

The project, designed by Minneapolis-based ESG Architecture & Design, has an amenity deck with a pool and hot tub, as well as underground parking.

In addition to the apartment building, Minnetonka’s project description says Trammell Crow would dedicate some of the land for a future park, which appears on site plans.

Just across the street to the south, developer Rotenberg Cos. has pitched plans to the city for a 93-unit luxury apartment project at the site of the former Redstone Grill, which moved into the mall.

This would’t be the first time J.C. Penney has sold property near a regional mall. Last year the company sold its Southdale Center store in Edina to Life Time Inc., which is demolishing the building and constructing a health club on the site.

The Trammell Crow project is tentatively scheduled for a Feb. 1 Planning Commission hearing.

J.C. Penney declined to discuss its real estate activities. Trammel Crow and the city of Minnetonka couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Candidates for Minnesota governor talk rural issues

GOP gubernatorial candidates Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens (center left) and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (center right) talked before a rural issues forum. DFL candidate Chris Coleman (right), former mayor of St. Paul, talked with Reed Anfinson of the Center for Rural Development.

Candidates for governor from both political parties gathered Friday to address pressing issues in rural Minnesota, including a shortage of workers, housing and health care.

The location: A Bloomington hotel, which seemed to encapsulate the perceived short shrift given rural communities in the state’s political dialogue.

Candidates are hustling to win support at Feb. 6 precinct caucuses, where attendees will have a chance to select their choice for governor in a nonbinding straw poll. Caucusgoers will also begin the process of choosing delegates to their state conventions in June, where the parties will endorse candidates for governor.

With DFL Gov. Mark Dayton not running for re-election, the race is wide open and contested on both sides.

Republican and DFL candidates both pledged solidarity with greater Minnesota, albeit from diametrically opposing viewpoints.

Republicans Jeff Johnson and Keith Downey said the state needs to impose fewer burdens on builders and health insurance companies to free up companies to meet the needs of rural residents.

“You can’t build low cost housing in Minnesota anymore,” said Downey, a former Republican lawmaker from Edina who also previously served as chairman of the state Republican Party. Downey blamed government regulations on developers for driving up the cost of much needed housing in rural communities.

DFL Reps. Paul Thissen, Tina Liebling and Erin Murphy, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and State Auditor Rebecca Otto said the state needs to spend money on housing, child care, health care and other rural needs.

Thissen said when he arrived at the Legislature in 2003, government solved a deficit by reducing aid to local communities and child care subsidies, cuts that have hurt rural communities the most, he said.

Mary Giuliani Stephens, the Republican mayor of Woodbury, promised to tailor solutions to individual communities, like a parent with her children: “I will not do a one-size-fits-all for greater Minnesota. We are one state and one family. But even in my family my children different,” she said.

Coleman advocated for rural broadband internet access: “How are you going to attract families when you have to drive around in your car to get cell coverage so your kid can do his homework?” he asked.

Johnson, the lone Republican on the Hennepin County Board, said greater Minnesota residents should have more health insurance options like low cost catastrophic coverage with high deductibles: “Who am I to say they shouldn’t be able to do that?” he asked.

Walz touted his experience representing one of the nation’s biggest agriculture producing congressional districts: “Not theoretically representing rural Minnesota but actually representing rural Minnesota,” he said.

Otto cited a set of policy plans she’s released, including two years of tuition free college she said would help provide businesses with the workers they need in greater Minnesota.

Reed Anfinson, who owns two rural newspapers and sits on the board of the Center for Rural Policy and Development, which sponsored the forum, was mostly unimpressed with what he called “platitudes” of the candidates.

“With each generation people in the metro get farther away from having a tie to greater Minnesota,” he said.

Anfinson said what rural communities most desperately need are people after decades of population stagnation and loss.

Swift County, where he publishes the Swift County Monitor-News, has lost one-third of its population since its peak in the 1950s, he said.

“We need people creation,” he said.

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Boyfriend linked to death of missing MN woman

EDINA, Minn. – Investigators in Arkansas say an Edina woman listed as missing is dead, and her boyfriend, who she met on the internet, is responsible.

Documents filed by the state police in Little Rock, Arkansas indicate while Joseph Porter is officially charged with possessing a stolen vehicle, he is also implicated in the murder of 27-year-old Minnesota resident Cristina Prodan. Prodan was reported missing from her Edina condominium January 5 by her mother.

CRISTINA PRODAN: Missing from Edina, MN – 5 Jan 2018 – Age 27 https://t.co/13BvDE4GXf pic.twitter.com/VCzk2uUQpk

— CRIMEWATCHERS (@Kimster_CW) January 17, 2018

Documents in Pulaski County Circuit Court detail how the couple met on Facebook, and Porter soon moved to Edina to live with with Prodan to embark on what can only be described as a violent relationship. Edina Police were called to the couple’s residence a number of times on domestic violence reports, including one where Prodan says Porter raped her. She filed an order of protection, which Porter broke, and the two resumed their relationship before Prodan disappeared. Porter’s whereabouts were also unknown.

Investigators contacted Porter’s mother, Arlie Porter, who reportedly told them that in December her son had said he was going to kidnap Cristina, drain her bank accounts and empty her safe deposit box, and take her where no one would ever find her.

The case apparently began to turn when investigators located a residence in Jacksonville, Arkansas owned by Richard Crawford, the legal husband of Joseph Porter. Federal agents went to the trailer January 10, and found Porter suffering from serious burns to his face, hands and body. Both Porter and Crawford were detained for questioning and a warrant was obtained to search their residence. Inside investigators found numerous personal items belonging to Cristina Prodan.

During questioning Crawford reportedly told detectives that Porter confided he and Cristina had gotten into a heated argument and that she was not alive when they left Minnesota. Crawford said Porter had driven to New Orleans, where he doused Cristina’s body with gasoline and set her on fire. It was while doing this that Porter reportedly burned his hands and face.

Investigators subsequently learned that police in New Orleans had recovered a burned body on January 6. The body was found just a quarter mile from where a vehicle that Porter was in possession of was stolen.

Joseph Porter is being held with no bail in Pulaski County, Arkansas, but no official murder charges have yet been filed in Cristina Prodan’s death.

© 2018 KARE-TV

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Searching For Apartments For Rent Edina?

Are you searching for apartments for rent Edina? If so, there are many factors that you need to consider before renting out the best apartment in the area. There are more than 162 active apartments for rent in the area at this moment. Most of these apartments will spend an average of 65 days on the market before being rented out to the right customer. Some of the best neighborhoods to rent out a house in Edina are Linden Hills, Armatage, Fulton, and Lynnhurst. There are many things to consider when choosing the best apartment in the area. Here are important tips that you need to consider when choosing the best apartment in the region.

Your credit score history will play an important part when renting a house in Edina MN. There are many landlords who look for a good credit score of the renter when renting out the apartment. It is true that some landlords will place little emphasis on the credit score history of the renter, but all landlords don’t think along such lines. That is why it is important to take care of your credit score when renting out an apartment in the area.

Your budget plays an important part when renting out a house in Edina. Financial experts recommend that you don’t spend more than 28% of your monthly income on the rental of the apartment. This should include the utility bills too. Hence, you should allocate a budget according to your monthly income and stick to it when shopping for the best apartment in the region. Make sure you evaluate the neighborhood before agreeing to sign the document. It is better that you visit the community during different times of the day to get a feel of the neighborhood before renting out the house. Do you feel safe? Is the neighborhood quiet? You can get a better feel for the neighborhood by visiting the place in the evening or during a weekend. Those are the times where most of the neighbors will be in their homes. These are important things to consider when renting out a house in Edina MN.

Most renters forget to get renter’s insurance when moving into an apartment in the area. They think that the landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings too. But this is not the actual case. In fact, the landlord’s insurance won’t cover your personal belongings during a natural disaster. That is why you need to get a renter’s insurance from a local insurance provider before moving into the apartment in MN. Renter’s insurance is not that expensive as most of you would think. You can easily get renter’s insurance for $25 a month for a $50,000 cover. These are important factors to look for when choosing the best apartment in the area.

In conclusion, searching for a suitable apartment in MN is not an easy task. There are numerous factors to look for when doing so. The above read offers information on what to look for when searching for apartments for rent Edina.

Moving Into Edina Apartments

Before you can move into Edina apartments, you need to do some research on the matter. There are plenty of nice places to live, but there are those that you want to avoid. Don’t waste your time by using the tips here to weed out the bad apartments.

You want an apartment that has favorable reviews. You can use websites that have listings on them to look for reviews, or you can find them on third party sites of some kind. Either way, you want to find reviews that tell you more about the place before you spend your money on it. You don’t want to move in only to find out that you hate it and don’t want to live there. All too often do people barely do their research and they find out too late that they didn’t get what they paid for.

The price of apartments should be something you look into carefully. You want to know that you are getting a fair deal and that you’re not paying too much. One other thing to watch out for are apartments that are super cheap. They may be that way because they have a lot of problems and the complex has trouble getting people to rent from them. If a place is too highly priced, then you may find that it’s because you get more amenities. Either way, find what you can fit into your budget and go with that instead of what you can barely afford.

When you’re moving into a new place you’re going to have to pay a lot of money up front to get into it. There are, however, some places that have a good deal that you can get if you move in with them. For instance, an apartment complex may have a move in special where you don’t have to pay a security deposit. You want to find deals if you can, but don’t get suckered into renting a bad apartment with a bad reputation just because it’s a cheaper price for you to move into than other places.

It’s easy to find a place to live in Edina. If you want to live in Edina apartments, you should use the guide you just went through. Then, it shouldn’t take you that long to get what you need. Anyone can find an affordable place that’s nice if they look hard enough.

Four Edina MN Restaurants Serving Up Great Food And Good Times

It is back to Edina MAN because I have four more restaurants to tell you about. You are going to know where to take the family for a nice meal for sure. This city near Minneapolis is charming, and there are 80+ restaurants there to choose from. Rest assured, the four names I’m giving you are in the top tier when it comes to places to eat. It is time to discover four more restaurants in Edina MN that you and your family will enjoy.

Pizzeria Lola seems to be a very special restaurant in Edina. It is certainly one of the top ranked establishments, but it is something else I noticed that made me say that. On a top travel site that groups restaurants into categories, Pizzeria Lola seems to be on each list for the city of Edina. Also, it’s not just a top ranked restaurant. It is actually #1. Located on Xerxes Avenue South, Pizzeria Lola not only serves up the best pizza in town but short ribs and great dessert options, too.

Red Cow is up next, and it is located on West 50th Street. Can you tell that this is a place to get a good burger? In fact, you have all kinds of great options. Have you ever had a breakfast burger before? This establishment also serves up pulled pork, and that’s always a favorite of mine. However, if I am at a burger joint, I’m going to order up a burger, what about you?

George and the Dragon is the next restaurant, and that is a cool name for a place to eat. Located on West 50th Street, George and the Dragon serves up some unique eats. For example, lumpia and battered green beans are on the menu. The establishment also features pretzel bread, fish and chips, bangers and mash and a lot of other great menu items.

Town Hall Station is on Valley View Road, and it is known for its beer, tacos and much more. Reviews mention that it is a pub but an upscale pub. Whether you pick Town Hall Station or one of the other three restaurants I have mentioned, you will enjoy your meals for sure. Take your time, as Edina MN seems like a very peaceful and relaxing place to be. Each place of interest you visit in Edina MN should be an adventure, and that includes the places you eat.