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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.

Northfield EDA Awards Micro-Grants

The Northfield Economic Development Authority has approved three Clem Shearer Micro-grants since the beginning of 2018. Congratulations to these fine Downtown Northfield businesses for attaining these awards!!

A $5,000 grant was provided to Hot Spot Music, LLC for building re-model and business expansion efforts. Hot Spot Music is at the corner of Division and 8th Streets.

Hot Spot Music

A $5,000 grant was provided to Northfield Physical Therapy for business expansion efforts. Norhfield Physical Therapy is in the Phoenix Building on the corner of Division Street and 7th Street.

Northfield Physical Therapy

A $4,995 grant was provided to Northfield Yarn for remodel and business expansion efforts. Northfield Yarn is at 314 Division Street.

Northfield Yarn
Clem Shearer Micro-Grant Program

The Micro-grant Program is part of the EDA’s progressive business support program. It is designed to strengthen emerging businesses and position them for future growth by helping them take a significant step in developing their technical, management, or marketing capabilities. The maximum micro-grant award is $5,000.

Micro-grant funds can be used for a wide variety of purposes including, but not limited to:

  • Leasehold improvements
  • Gap financing
  • Working capital

The Northfield Enterprise Center (NEC) continues to provide coaching opportunities for new business and coordinates initial discussions on micro-grant opportunities. For more information, reach out to Chris Whillock at 507-339-0336 or at the Northfield Business & Tourism Center at 19 Bridge Square.

Division Street Closed from 6th to 8th Beginning April 30

7th and Division–before

The City of Northfield will begin the reconstruction of Division Street between 6th St and 8th St on Monday, April 30. Washington St. will be the marked detour route. Read on for more details about the this summer’s entire downtown streets project. Bookmark the following link on the City’s website for complete information and updates .

Stage 1- Division Street from Sixth Street to Eight Street
Crews expect to begin work on Stage 1 on Monday April 30, 2018. Work expected next week include the closure of Division Street to thru traffic from Sixth Street to Eighth Street first thing Monday morning. A detour will be posted around the closure utilizing Washington Street. Additional work included next week will be bituminous and concrete street removals, curb and gutter removals, and driveway removals. Crews expect to begin utility installations the week of May 7.

Stage 2 – Seventh Street from Water Street to Washington Street
Staff also held individual meetings with the affected property owners on Stage 2 late this week to discuss the proposed schedule submitted by the contractor, and the affect to each individual property. The contractor expects to begin work on Stage 2 sometime mid-July, when Stage 1 is complete.

Stage 3 – Washington Street Mill and Overlay and Parking Lot Construction
No work is scheduled on Stage 3 until late July. Staff will send letters requesting property owner meetings on Stage 3 once construction is closer to beginning.

Nate Becker, City of Northfield, will be the project representative. Nate can be reached by phone at (507) 291-6490 or via email at Nate.Becker@ci.northfield.mn.us

7th and Divison-after

2018 Downtown Streets Projects Hearing Nov. 14

Street Improvement Hearing Nov 14

The Northfield City Council will hold a a street improvement hearing on November 14th and there will be an opportunity for public input. The Council has approved the design concepts for 2018 projects at 7th and Division and on Washington Street from Woodley to 2nd Street. The proposed plan is designed to calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety, but it also reduces downtown parking spaces. Now is the time to make your voice heard. Learn more about the projects here and give feedback at the hearing November 14th. The City Council meeting begins at 6 pm at City Hall.

Give to the Max Day is November 16

Thursday, November 16, is Give to the Max Day in Minnesota. A donation to the NDDC on or before Nov. 16 has the chance of securing additional funds through daily and hourly drawings and matching funds.

Schedule your gift

Every day from November 1 -15 one organization will win $500 because one or more supporters scheduled their gift in advance. That could be the NDDC!

Each hour on Give to the Max Day, a drawing will determine the winner of a $1,000 Golden Turkey award. The winner can choose which cause will receive the $1,000.

Donor Advised Fund

Donations from donor advised funds or other appreciated assets may now count toward Give to the Max Day. Help your favorite causes rise up the Leaderboards and have the chance to win a Golden Ticket by making a gift from your donor advised fund or financial portfolio.