Downtown Northfield

Tidying up downtown

City of Northfield crews were downtown yesterday morning, taking advantage of the March-like weather to trim trees and remove Christmas lights and holiday banners. Click photos to enlarge.

The Parlor is closing

The Parlor Home Decor and More store in the Archer House is closing and is having a sale.

Q-Block and one vs. two-story structures

Last Saturday, my wife Robbie and drove through Hastings and I noticed the new Schoolhouse Square development on Hwy. 61 in the center of town. Click photos to enlarge.

The feasibility of this type of development was a discussion item at last month's EDA forum on the Q-Block development. The consultant expressed doubts that the market would support a two-story structure like this on the Q-Block site. Thus, the PDFs of the short-, mid-, and long-term Preferred Development Alternative sketches for the Q-Block available on the EDA Q-Block Master Plan page show a one-plus story building there ("commercial infill" in red).

Join the ISSUES list to discuss these and other aspects of the Q-Block development.

NDDC downtown forum: Q&A with Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing

The NDDC's Downtown Forum hosts Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing (shown at the Governors Ball; click to enlarge) for a question-and-answer session on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 8 a.m. at the Archer House's lower-level conference room.

See the calendar entry of the event for more.

T-Mobile coming to downtown's west side

T-Mobile has a sign in the window in the space adjacent to the entrance of Froggy Bottoms River Pub on Water Street. Click to enlarge.

Snow emergency declared for tonight

From the City of Northfield's alerts: "Downtown Parking Lot and Downtown Snow Removal: The Northfield Public Works Department has declared a SNOW EMERGENCY for the City of Northfield. the snow emergency will start at 2:00am Saturday December 31, 2005 and will continue until all streets are plowed curb-to-curb. All downtown parking lots..."

Photos above: what downtown snow removal looks like. Click to enlarge and see this Jan. 23, 2005 blog post for more.

Kuyper Group to move; Cocoa Bean to stay; ducks likely to adapt

Bob Kuyper told me yesterday that they will be moving the Kuyper Group real estate office a few doors south on Division to the site of the former Northfield Emporium, next to Las Delicias. The Kuypers have been rehabbing the building (they own it) the past few months. The Cocoa Bean had been rumored to move to that location but according to Norman Butler, they're planning now to stay at their current location in his building for another 18 months. Why the duck family photo?

Caroling on Bridge Square

Sibley Elementary School students sang Christmas carols on Bridge Square tonight, led by Holly Fischer, music teacher and choir director and a member of the String Fever Bluegrass Band. Click photos to enlarge.

"The Market" to become "The Hideaway"

Anastasia Balfany is closing "The Market" antiques and home decor store in downtown Northfield. In its place, Jim and Joan Spaulding, owners of the James Gang Coffeehouse and Eatery, plan to open "The HideAway," a deli, coffee and wine bar. See the press release for more details. Full disclosure: The James Gang Coffeehouse is a client.

Shop, ski Northfield at night

Most Northfield retailers are open evenings every night for the holiday shopping season and many downtown stores have seasonal window displays, including The Art Store and Digs. After I took those photos on Wednesday night, I went cross country skiing in the Arb, under a half moon. The photo on the right of the Carleton campus is from the service road above Lyman Lakes, looking south.

River City Books expands, temporarily

River City Books in downtown Northfield has opened a "bargain book annex" during the month of December in the former Bagel Bros. space next door.

Winter Walk; downtown merchant extended hours

Left: Northfield's 7th annual Winter Walk is tomorrow, Dec. 1, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. See the full schedule of activities on the Chamber's Winter Walk page. Right: The NDDC has created an extended hours poster for downtown merchants to display. Both posters are in windows all over downtown Northfield.

Wait, wait a minute Mr. Postman

I ran into USPS mail-carrier Tom Kotula on his new beat yesterday: downtown Northfield, as of three weeks ago. I seem to take a photo of Tom every December. Center photo: presenting to the city council about Way Park at a meeting in December, 2003. Right photo: being attacked by Sue deMalignon in the produce section at Just Food Co-op's member opening night, December, 2004. Click photos to enlarge.

... or during snow removal

City crews plowed downtown streets last night and several cars that were left parked on Division were tagged, including this one in front of Quality Bakery. Right photo: Bridge Square at 6:30 this morning, under a blanket of fresh snow, a crescent moon and a lightening eastern sky. Click photos to enlarge.

Bridge Square is dressed for the holidays

The City put up Christmas lights on the trees in Bridge Square yesterday and put up the holiday/seasons greetings banners and wreaths on the downtown poles.

NDDC Executive Director Ross Currier told me this morning that this is the last time time those banners will be used, as they're getting tattered. Fundraising for new banners will begin soon. I took this photo (click to enlarge) this morning from the Northfield Historical Society's Scriver Building stairway.

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