First business breaks ground at new Cloquet Business Park
Last Friday was the best day Tom Wallin and Bob Goewey have had in a long time. "I feel more settled today than any day in the past five months," Wallin said. "It's a new beginning," added Goewey. The two co-own Cloquet Home Center, which burned ...
Last Friday was the best day Tom Wallin and Bob Goewey have had in a long time.
"I feel more settled today than any day in the past five months," Wallin said. "It's a new beginning," added Goewey.
The two co-own Cloquet Home Center, which burned in a fire on March 30. Last Friday, they officially broke ground on their new facility at Cloquet Business Park, on the corner of Highway 33 and Stark Road, approximately 1.5 miles north of the St. Louis River.
The new Cloquet Home Center will consist of a nearly 8,000-square-foot lumber yard/storage building and a 6,000-square-foot showroom on two lots at the park. The project is estimated to cost approximately $500,000, Wallin said in an earlier interview.
"It'll be a Home Center and a half," said one of the groundbreaking ceremony attendees.
Wallin and Goewey have been working with Brian Fritsinger, Cloquet city administrator, regarding its development options since the fire. The Cloquet Economic Development Authority recommended approving the home center's proposal at the business park earlier this summer.
Each parcel of land cost the home center approximately $55,000, according to Pat Oman, Carlton County economic director.
In the meantime, Cloquet Home Center continues to do business, with a temporary office and supplies in large trailers on their property along Avenue B in Cloquet.
"Our customers have been very understanding," Wallin said.
Wallin and Goewey are hoping the new location will provide better visibility and easier access. They tentatively plan to be open in the new facility in late November.
"We can't promise, but we'll do our best to get those doors open as soon as possible," Wallin said. DSGW Architects designed the buildings and Andy Sessler is the general contractor for the showroom while Highmark Construction will build the lumber facility, according to Wallin.
"We just want to thank everyone for their support and thank everyone for being here," Wallin said on Friday.
According to Jim Prusak, the city's director of public works, the Cloquet Business Park is ready for other businesses to move in.
"If any other businesses wanted to start building tomorrow, we would be ready," he said.
The Cloquet Business Park is 120 acres with 12 remaining commercial sites for retail and office businesses and 37 light industrial sites for manufacturing and offices as well, according to Fritsinger. The park also features a mile-long asphalt walking trail around the edge of the park near trees and wetlands.
Construction on the $4 million park began about a year ago. Estimates show that with full development, the site could provide up to 325 new jobs with a total annual payroll approaching $8,000,000. The total property tax value of these businesses could reach $25,000,000, according to Fritsinger. In addition to the city, Carlton County, Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce, Cloquet Development and Industrial Corporation, the State of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Commerce helped to make this park a reality.
One business, Daqota Systems based in California, is currently involved in purchasing land at the business park in the light industrial section, according to Oman. According to their Web site, Daqota Systems provides control and automation systems and has staff that includes electrical engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and computer engineers.