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First Friday Art Night March 1

If the calendar says “March” can spring be far behind? On March 1 you have your choice of seeing live theater, live opera, or dancing the night away to a Viennese Orchestra and a Swingin’ Big Band. Did we mention a bunch of live music in local hot spots as well?

NDDC Executive Director resigns

Executive Director Jenni Roney has submitted a letter of resignation to the NDDC board of directors. Her resignation will be effective January 24, 2019.

Jenni had a number of accomplishments during her time with the NDDC. In 2017, she redesigned a favorite summer community event formerly called “Taste of Northfield.” Renamed “Downtown Taste Tour”, the event now has a format that has proven to be much more effective for both attendees and participating food establishments. That same year she orchestrated a project to upgrade the holiday tree lighting in Bridge Square.

In early 2018, Jenni guided the NDDC through a successful application process resulting in Northfield being named a Designated Minnesota Main Street community by the state chapter of Main Street America, a national program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There are less than a dozen communities in Minnesota that have achieved this designation.

Also in 2018, Jenni helped launch a new event program called “First Friday Art Night”. Using a combination of indoor and outdoor events, the program has highlighted the artistic talents of the community and attracted residents and visitors alike to the vibrant Friday night scene downtown. Most recently, Jenni wrote a successful application that awarded Northfield a two-year $30,000 Artists on Main Street Grant. This program will provide small stipends for 10-15 artists each year to be used to produce public art in the downtown district.

“Jenni Roney has been the NDDC Executive Director since 2016 and during that time she has had a significant impact on the life of the organization,” commented Dan Bergeson, NDDC board president. “We will miss her energy and her many talents, but we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

A search for the next NDDC Executive Director will begin immediately.

Give to the Max Day Nov. 15!

Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) is participating in Give to the Max Day (GTMD18) as part of the NDDC fall fund drive. GTMD18 will take place November 15 from 12am-11:59:59pm. One of the benefits for donors who make gifts during GTMD18 is the chance to be winners in drawings for prizes. If you are selected, you can name the organization that will receive your prize. Prizes range from $500 to $10,000! We hope that you would choose  the  NDDC as the beneficiary of your good fortune!

Here is a list of the prize drawings on GTMD18:

  • $500 Golden Tickets every 10 minutes
  • $10,000 Power Hours at 10am and 10 pm
  • $1,000 Hourly Golden Tickets
  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets (1 each day between November 1-15
  • $10,000 Super-sized Golden Ticket (drawn from all early giving donations)

How to donate to the NDDC during GTMD18:

  1. Go to givemn.org
  2. Click on the green “Donate Now” button
  3. Do a search for “Northfield Downtown Development Corporation”
  4. Click on the green “Donate” button
  5. Choose your giving level (or click custom for the amount you’d like to give)
  6. Enter your credit card information
  7. Accept our thanks!

The goal for the NDDC fall fund drive (through December 31, 2018) is $5,000. Give to the Max Day would be an excellent time for our friends to help us make significant progress toward reaching our goal.

You can donate anytime between today and 11:59:59pm on November 15, 2018. Please the hashtag #GTMD18 when you share any news about the NDDC on social media.

Quarterback Club celebrates a half-century!

On Monday, September 10, members of the NDDC Board paid a visit to the Quarterback Club in Northfield to congratulate owner Dale Finger on the 50th anniversary year of the restaurant. We had a fine time listening to stories of the restaurant’s history and taking pictures for posterity.

Kris Layman, Jenni Roney, Krin Finger, Dale Finger, Dan Bergeson, Angela Humann

The Quarterback Club was originally part of a 20-store franchise organization that was founded by a group of Minnesota investors including some of the early Minnesota Vikings football players. The Northfield store was opened in the spring of 1968. Dale started working there as a high school student ten years later and eventually bought the restaurant in the early 80s. He’s had a successful 40-year run with no end in sight. He told us that many folks predicted his demise with the explosion of fast food restaurants in Northfield during the 80s and 90s.

First, they said that Kentucky Fried Chicken would do him in. Didn’t happen. Then they said that McDonald’s would sink him. Nope! Next, Hardee’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. He survived them all. Kentucky Fried Chicken even opened a second time in Northfield just a couple of years ago. That didn’t work out so well either. They closed less than 12 months into their run.

Krin Finger, Dale Finger

Dale told us that his secret to success can be found in the following four words: “Good food. Good service.” Perhaps another reason is the dedicated service of his employees. We learned that Steve and Lorie Estrem have worked at the restaurant for more than 45 years! They started at the Quarterback Club before Dale did and they stayed with him after he became their employer. That’s an amazing commitment!

Back: Dale Finger, Steve Estrem Front-June Edwardsen, Lorie Estrem

NDDC Becomes Newest Program of Minnesota Main Street

Northfield is the newest Designated Main Street community in Minnesota. The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC) applied for designation with the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota in March and has been accepted into the program at the Big City Affiliate community level. The public is invited to attend a special announcement in Downtown Northfield on June 1, 2018 at 5pm on Bridge Square.

The NDDC collaborates with the City of Northfield, the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Northfield Convention & Visitors Bureau , Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC), the Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA), and local businesses in the community. Downtown Northfield is the heart of the city and includes a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The downtown area contains nearly 200 businesses including a diverse mixture of retail, restaurants and service establishments. There is also a vibrant residential community from rentals to condominium properties to retirement living facilities.

Main Street Programs in Minnesota, such as the NDDC, are local, volunteer-driven downtown revitalization programs coordinated by a local staff person. Each program follows the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Four Point Approach® of historic preservation based community development.  The Four Points are Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization which help volunteers to improve the district physically, economically, in its marketing, and to bring enough resources to the effort.

To assist local programs with their work, Minnesota Main Street provides approximately $7,000 in technical assistance funds annually, complimentary training registrations, networking with other communities, and consultation from state program staff. Northfield joins nine other Minnesota Main Street communities: Red Wing, Winona, Faribault, Mankato, New Ulm, Owatonna, Shakopee, Willmar and Wabasha.

Minnesota Main Street is recognized by the National Trust Main Street Center as the official statewide coordinating program in Minnesota and has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. Every year, the Minnesota Main Street program collects reinvestment numbers from each local Main Street community. In 2017, for every $1 spent to run a local Main Street program in Minnesota, $23.77 was reinvested back in to the community. From 2010 to 2017, local Minnesota Main Street communities recorded $61.4 million in public and private financial reinvestment, 147 net new businesses, 772 net new jobs, and 549 property improvements.

“We are looking forward to partnering with the Minnesota Main Street organization and the other nine communities in our state,” said Jenni Roney, NDDC Executive Director. “The networking and resources they provide will be very valuable to us as we work to sustain a vibrant Downtown Northfield.”

For more information about Minnesota Main Street, visit archive.mnpreservation.org.