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Published December 07, 2009, 06:00 AM

Prairie People news briefs

Prairie People news briefs

By: Staff Report, Prairie Business Magazine

(1) Mixed-use development planned in Detroit Lakes, MN

Construction will begin this spring or summer on a $10 million lakefront building in downtown Detroit Lakes, MN, that will house 27 luxury condos and approximately 12,000 square feet of commercial space, including restaurants, retail and office space. The mixed-use project is expected to be complete in late 2010 or early 2011. The building, which is designed by the ICON Architectural Group and is being developed by Scottsdale, AZ-based MoDev, will include underground parking, outdoor living space, access to the beach and marina and a shared business center and fitness room.

Bismarck, Fargo, Sioux Falls rank high in best performing cities index

Bismarck, Fargo and Sioux Falls were all listed in the top 15 of 124 small cities ranked in the 2009 Best-Performing Cities index. Bismarck was seventh, Fargo 10th and Sioux Falls 12th in the 2009 rankings. Sioux Falls leaped 11 spots, Bismarck was up eight spots and Fargo moved up seven spots from the 2008 list. Rapid City jumped from 66th in the 2008 small city rankings to 29th this year and Grand Forks, ND, was 42nd, up eight spots from last year’s list. The rankings, which were jointly released by the Milken Institute and Greenstreet Real Estate Partners, primarily focused on job creation, wage gains, concentration of technology firms and technology growth.

(2) Sioux Falls building earns LEED gold green building certification

Courthouse Square has become just the second building in Sioux Falls and the third in South Dakota to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Courthouse Square was completed in 2006 and was designed by Koch Hazard Architects. The building, which houses the U.S. Attorney’s offices, earned LEED’s gold level certification. It was also one of three projects nationally to win the General Services Administration Environmental Award in 2006.

North Dakota becomes nation’s fourth-largest oil producing state

North Dakota recently passed Louisiana and is now the fourth-largest oil producing state in the nation behind Texas, Alaska and California. North Dakota produces roughly 2 percent of the nation’s crude oil. North Dakota passed Oklahoma to become the nation’s fifth-largest oil producing state in late 2008 and has steadily moved up from ninth in the country in oil production in 2006.

(3) California firearms manufacturer relocates to Sturgis, SD

Bar-Sto Precision Machine, which manufactures pistol barrels, held a groundbreaking ceremony last month (3) to kick off construction of a new facility in Sturgis, SD. The Twentynine Palms, CA-based company will relocate to Sturgis in the first half of 2010. The firm is expected to bring 18 jobs to the community in the next three years. Bar-Sto will occupy a new 6,000-square-foot facility in the Sturgis Industrial Park. The family-owned company has been in the firearms industry for more than 40 years. Its customers include major gun manufacturers, private citizens and custom gunsmiths.

Report says immigrants will play a big role in Minnesota’s future

A recent report released by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition found that immigrants will have an increasing role in Minnesota’s economic future. Foreign-born residents constitute 7 percent of Minnesota’s population. Foreign-born workers account for the majority of the state’s labor force growth and businesses owned by immigrants generated $331 million in net income in Minnesota in 2000, according to the report. The report indicated that the contributions of immigrants range from entrepreneurial activity, consumer spending and tax collections to labor force participation and diversity. The report also found that large concentrations of immigrants in a specific area can cause short-term stresses on local services.

(4) Lambrecht named president and CEO of Medcenter One in Bismarck

Chief Operating Officer Craig Lambrecht (4) has been named president and CEO of Bismarck’s Medcenter One. Lambrecht, who has worked for Medcenter One for 18 years, becomes the first physician to serve as president and CEO of an integrated health care system in Bismarck. He will become president and CEO on January 1. Jim Cooper, Medcenter One’s current president and CEO, is retiring after serving eight years at the head of the organization.

South Dakota Small Business Administration office sets lending record

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Dakota district office approved 291 loans totaling a record $71 million in fiscal year 2009, which ended September 30. The state’s SBA office, which was one of just six out of 68 district offices nationwide to reach their fiscal year goals, experienced a 7 percent increase in total loan value from the previous fiscal year. “Since the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we’ve seen a dramatic rebound in SBA-backed loans for South Dakota small businesses and greater access to much-needed capital,” said John Brown, the director of South Dakota’s SBA district office in Sioux Falls. “In fact, loan volume has increased by nearly 70 percent under ARRA.”

(5) Fargo’s Clinical Supplies Management partners with French firm

Fargo-based Clinical Supplies Management Inc., a leading supplier of innovative clinical trial services, recently announced a partnership with CRID PHARMA, the French leader in chemistry, manufacturing, controls development and clinical supplies. The companies will share resources and work together to allow for global distribution, allowing clients to expand their clinical trials. “This is a unique partnership; one that will be transparent to the client,” said Gerald Finken (5), CSM’s CEO. “This allows us to double our service capabilities and ultimately provide on-demand packaging and labeling in Europe.”

MeritCare announces major expansion of Detroit Lakes, MN, clinic

The MeritCare clinic on Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes, MN, will undergo an extensive expansion project that will remodel 28,800 square feet of the existing clinic and add a 33,000-square-foot expansion to the east side of the clinic. The expansion of the clinic is expected to be complete by spring 2011. The expansion project will include adding a surgery center with two operating suites, expanded imagery services, lab services, physical therapy space and will leave room for future clinic growth of up to 36 providers of both primary and specialty care. The 30,000-square-foot MeritCare Detroit Lakes clinic was built in 1987.

(6) House passes bill to expand use of satellite imagery at EROS Data Center

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in October that would authorize the U.S. Geological Survey to enhance the use of geospatial images for research and education. The collected data archived at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center near Sioux Falls would be used to promote science education projects, calculate drought trends, design irrigation protocols and plan flooding responses. The legislation was introduced by South Dakota Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (6). South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

Construction begins on new hospital in Jamestown, ND

A groundbreaking was held last month on the $52 million future Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The new 100,000-square-foot, 25-bed critical access hospital facility on the southwest edge of Jamestown, ND, will replace the current 75-year-old Jamestown Hospital facility in downtown Jamestown. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development arm has approved $46 million in federal loans to help finance the new hospital’s construction. It is the largest project ever funded by USDA Rural Development in North Dakota.

(7) University Center project receives South Dakota AIA honor award

The South Dakota Society of the American Institute of Architects has presented its honor award to the University Center facility and TSP Inc., the Sioux Falls architectural firm that designed it. The honor award is the state AIA chapter’s highest award. The South Dakota Public Universities & Research Center’s University Center campus covers more than 260 acres and includes a 60,000-square-foot classroom building and a 21,000-square-foot Graduate Education and Applied Research Center.

Alerus Financial acquires Prosperan Bank deposits

Grand Forks, ND-based Alerus Financial has acquired the loans and deposits of Oakdale, MN-based Prosperan Bank. Alerus Financial successfully bid for Prosperan, which had been placed under the control of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Alerus Financial will operate Prosperan’s former branches in Oakdale, MN, Maplewood, MN, and Minnetonka, MN. Alerus entered the Minneapolis market in 2003 when it purchased a retirement plan administration company. In 2007 the company opened a business banking branch in Minnetonka. Alerus acquired the Twin Cities area deposits of the failed BankFirst in July. Alerus now employs more than 150 in the Minneapolis area.

(8) Walmart opens its second retail store in Fargo

A new Walmart store opened in late October on 55th Avenue South in Fargo. The new store, Walmart’s second location in Fargo, employs about 300, a mix of full- and part-time workers. The 186,366-square-foot store features a full grocery section, including a bakery and deli, a pharmacy, vision center and photo center.

South Dakota Women’s Business Center to be established in Spearfish, SD

The Black Hills State University Foundation in Spearfish, SD, has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to establish the South Dakota Women’s Business Center. The facility will be part of a network of more than 75 similar facilities nationwide that provide management and technical assistance, comprehensive training and counseling to entrepreneurs.

(9) North Dakota economic development conference held in Grand Forks

The Economic Development Association of North Dakota’s annual conference was held last month in Grand Forks, ND. Presentations at the conference ranged from the state’s economic outlook and best practices in economic development marketing to finance programs, regional collaboration and community beautification.

(10) Digital video company opens location at Sioux Falls business center

Slinger, WI-based VideoPropulsion has set up an office and a laboratory at the South Dakota Technology Business Center in Sioux Falls. VideoPropulsion is an expanding company that creates solutions for manipulating digital video signals primarily for the hospitality industry. Engineer Lee McKenna (10) is in charge of the company’s new Sioux Falls office, which was established to provide enhanced service to clients LodgeNet and Sencore as well as to perform technology research.

Groundbreaking held for clinic addition to Union Hospital in Mayville, ND

Construction began following a groundbreaking ceremony in late October to add a clinic attached to the existing Union Hospital in Mayville, ND. The project, scheduled to be completed in fall 2010, is part of the integration of the MeritCare Mayville clinic and Union Hospital. The merger between the two groups is expected to be complete in January. JLG Architects is designing the project, which will be MeritCare’s first green building. The new addition will have reduced energy consumption, utilize recycled materials and products and use non-toxic, low or no VOC paints.

(11) JLG Architects project receives North Dakota AIA awards

JLG Architects received the honor award for the new Grand Forks Flight Support building (11) at the Grand Forks International Airport at a recent American Institute of Architects North Dakota Awards Gala in Fargo. JLG Architects also received the unbuilt award for the mixed-use MetroPlains Broadway building in downtown Fargo at the awards gala. The Grand Forks Flight Support fixed base operator facility includes a 25,500-square-foot hangar, airplane maintenance areas, and 20,000 square feet of indoor space complete with space for flight planning, a pilot’s lounge, office space, a conference room and an observation deck. MetroPlains Broadway gives U.S. Bank Plaza a more dominant presence in downtown Fargo and also offers more than 14,000 square feet of retail space and 78 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Barr Engineering named one of best firms to work for in the nation

Barr Engineering Company has been ranked as the best environmental services firm to work for in the nation by the Environmental Business Journal and CE News. Barr, which has more than 450 employees in offices in Bismarck, Minneapolis, Duluth, MN, Hibbing, MN, Ann Arbor, MI, and Jefferson City, MO, was also ranked as the 13th best civil engineering firm to work for by CE News and placed second among large civil engineering firms with more than 400 employees.

Sioux Falls again selected as host city for Nike regional cross country event

Nike has committed to hold the Nike Cross Country National Heartland Regional Championships in Sioux Falls in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The annual event has been held in Sioux Falls for the last three years and attracts participants from South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Kansas.

(12) Intelligent InSites honored for tech development and as top employer

Fargo-based Intelligent InSites, a leading provider of real-time enterprise visibility and automation solutions for the health care industry, has been recognized by the IDTechEx analyst group as having the best technology development for real-time location systems and wireless sensor networks. The award was presented to Houston Klassen (right), Intelligent InSites’ vice president of sales and marketing, by Raghu Das (left), IDTechEx’s CEO, last month during a conference in Denver (12). Intelligent InSites was also recently ranked as the top health care employer to work for and the top company in the supplier category in Modern Healthcare’s listing of the ‘Best Places to Work in Healthcare.’

Noridian recognized as nation’s top Medicare customer service provider

Noridian Administrative Services of Fargo has been honored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as delivering the best provider customer service in the nation. Noridian’s Durable Medical Equipment contract was selected as the winner of the 2009 Provider Customer Service Program of the Year at a Medicare conference last month in Baltimore. Customer service programs were judged on proven results, revolutionary approaches and strategic collaboration.

(13) Grindberg elected to Association of University Research Parks board Tony Grindberg, executive director of the North Dakota State University Research & Technology Park in Fargo, has been elected to the board of directors of the Association of University Research Parks. Grindberg has been executive director of NDSU’s research and technology park since 2002 and has helped the tech park grow to seven buildings during his tenure.

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