This week NDDC Board members visited with Justin Stets of Carlson Capital Management. Pictured from left to right are Mark Quinnell Justin Stets, Keith Covey and Julie Bixby. It was a pleasure to tour their beautiful facility and enjoy their scenic view of the Cannon River.
Carlson Capital was formed at the beginning of the ’90s and relocated to Northfield at the beginning of the ’00s. The firm has 22 employees with additional offices in Hastings and Bloomington.
Justin says that downtown Northfield works well for the company. It helps provide a good experience for their clients (80% come down from the Twin Cities) with our variety of restaurant and retail options as well as the other amenities available for visitors. Justin also noted that Northfield’s culture fits with the values of Carlson Capital.
The biggest challenge that Carlson currently faces is finding room for expansion. Justin says that too often things seem to move too slowly for the timelines of the private sector and he hopes that the community can meet the needs of the company in this situation.
Justin acknowledged that additional parking would be a good thing. Many of their employees walk or bike to work but he admits that in the weather that we are currently experiencing, they are using much of parking in nearby lots. We were interested to hear that the firm sometimes resorts to “valet” parking for visiting clients; it’s an example of the creativity and responsiveness that has no doubt contributed to their success.
In addition to his hope for a relatively quick process for their current expansion efforts, Justin offered two additional ideas for downtown Northfield. He suggested a higher-end restaurant to serve some of their clients on certain occasions and that the community work to get more leverage from one of its greatest assets, the river.