Ordean Foundation Executive Director Don Ness, among other community leaders, on converting the Ordean Building to workforce housing and retail – "I’m very enthusiastic about the progress being made to convert additional properties from commercial office space into housing. It addresses several concerns – housing shortage, commercial vacancy rates, and vibrancy in the core city. Not every building in downtown is well suited for this sort of conversion, but the Ordean Building is perfectly situated because it is a long, narrow building with southerly and westerly window exposure. It’s a solid building in a great location."
Local developer Sandy Hoff – “Creating additional workforce housing in our community is critical to growing the local economy. With high vacancy rates, repurposing existing office buildings has the opportunity to revitalize the central business district. Successfully transforming our downtown will take a collaborative effort between the city, county and state, as developers are facing significant challenges with the high cost of construction, preservation initiatives and high interest rates."
Duluth mayoral candidate, and former Minnesota state senator and Duluth City Councilor Roger Reinert – "We've talked about housing across all income levels for months now. It's critical for growth of our community, as well as growth of our key businesses. We've also talked about downtown residential as a key component of reviving Downtown Duluth. Rental and for purchase options. Retail, commercial and residential all in the same building. A key component in getting where we need to go is also proactively addressing the continuing cleanliness and public safety issues. We can't just accept that this is our new norm."
Daniel Fanning of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce – "Earlier this week the City of Duluth announced results from the Zimmerman/Volk Associates Downtown Housing Market Study, which showed the potential for as many as 2,500 new housing units within the next five years. Similarly, results from the recent survey released by the Duluth Area Chamber Foundation showed that housing, downtown safetyand taxes were among the top concerns and priorities of Duluth citizens, which are also priorities for the Duluth Area Chamber and Chamber Foundation. That data reaffirms what many of us felt for a while: we’re making progress but there’s more to do for Duluth to meet its full potential. That’s why it was exciting to join Titanium Partners, Mayor Larson and other officials with the City of Duluth, Downtown Duluth and other community partners yesterday to announce that Titanium Partners will be converting part of the Ordean Building to housing, as well as additional commercial opportunities. This will add around 40 additional units of housing, as well as adding to our tax base while increasing positive activity and activation in our downtown.
All of this helps support local businesses and commerce. We see this as a sign of things to come, a positive step in the right direction on the path forward for our community and business community. It will take these kinds of continued efforts and investments from the private sector, in strong partnership and collaboration with the public sector and key partners like the Duluth Area Chamber, to help Duluth reach our full potential. We have been working closely with Brian Forcier and his team at Titanium Partners, and are so grateful for his leadership, commitment to our community and continued investment. We stand ready, willing, and able to work with anyone interested in investing in Duluth and continuing the positive momentum that is building.
Projects like the Ordean Building and other recent housing projects, as well as recent major investments in our downtown by members including Essentia and St. Luke's, and several other economic development projects either under way or being planned right now are all very positive signs and evidence that now is the time to invest in Duluth. We hope these serve as catalysts for additional investment and development, especially additional much needed housing units. This is and will remain among the top priorities for the Duluth Area Chamber and Chamber Foundation, and we will continue to advocate for and work towards community progress, increased economic development and improved business conditions."
Duluth City Councilor Arik Forsman – "Rebuilding our downtown starts with acknowledging it was built for a world that no longer exists post-Covid. Hybrid work is here to stay and we have an excess of office space that needs to go. The 'roofs before retail' model of focusing on building up our population downtown to attract a more vibrant business environment is a proven strategy. Converting some of the vacant office space like the Ordean project that Titanium has proposed needs to be on the table. We also need to make room for new mixed-use construction downtown by removing structures that just can’t be readapted. All hands on deck are needed downtown. The city, developers, and anchor institutions all need to work together if we are going to be successful as a community and restore pride in the heart of Duluth.”
Legendary Grandma's Restaurants President Brian Daugherty – "Converting Downtown Duluth office building to workforce housing – it’s the marketplace at work! When you combine solving the challenge of a surplus of office space, with the challenge of housing shortages, you’re witnessing the marketplace at work. Obviously, the hard part is making this project sustainable and profitable for those folks taking all the risk and doing all the work. From what I understand, workforce housing is housing aimed and priced at the sweet spot of what the median income of that area can afford. There are tighter margins in a Ford than there are in a BMWs, and these will be Fords, aimed at the working person. We are fortunate to have an incredibly capable and vested local company like Titanium involved, and the city seemingly ready and able to do what they can to make this happen. I think that’s what it will take, a cooperative public/private effort to solve these two big challenges we are dealing with."
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Albert L. Ordean
In 1926, Albert Ordean drafted a will calling for “A corporation for the purpose of furnishing relief and charity…without discrimination as to age, sex, color, or religion.” Mr. Ordean died in 1928 at the age of 72 and after the death of his wife Louise, The Ordean Foundation was created on December 19,1933. Mr. Ordean’s vision for Duluth was a bold, yet patient, commitment to long term solutions that address systemic poverty in our community. The Ordean Foundation strives to inspire, encourage, and support effective community efforts to confront poverty and nurture a healthier community for all residents. – Ordean.org
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DECC moves to cashless at Amsoil Arena in October
Amsoil Arena, part of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, will move exclusively to digital payments starting with the upcoming hockey season in October 2023. The DECC is following the lead of similar venues to go cashless. The benefits of digital-only payments include faster lines and cost savings for the facility. Cost savings will come from fewer staff hours spent counting physical money and the ability to expand the use of the DECC’s Volunteer Fundraiser Program to cashier positions. Local organizations provide volunteers who perform work tasks at the DECC, such as concessions work, in exchange for a donation made directly to the organization. People may convert cash to a concession card at the Amsoil box office. Please note that this change is exclusive to Amsoil Arena and will not affect other areas of the DECC facilities.
Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center to implement safety screening
By Anthony Matt
In an effort to ensure the safest environment for our patients, visitors and colleagues, Essentia Health is implementing a new safety screening process at the St. Mary’s Medical Center emergency department, located at 401 E. First St.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 26, anyone who uses the primary ED entrance will be subject to weapons screening. The screening process involves standing on a special mat and turning slowly for 15 seconds. Beforehand, visitors will be asked to place their personal items on a nearby shelf for inspection.
Any prohibited items, such as pepper spray, guns or knives, must be left in a locked vehicle. Essentia is not able to store and return weapons that are handed over during screening – and it's security team will thus dispose of them.
Screening for weapons is a part of safety protocols at hospitals around the country. The process is similar to what you encounter when entering other public venues, such as courthouses, airports or concerts.
Essentia is proactively working to ensure the safety of its patients and staff after shootings in health care facilities around the country in recent years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care workers' risk of injury due to workplace violence is five times greater than that of workers in other industries.
In the event that a patient needs immediate care, Essentia's security team will conduct a screening with a hand-held wand when caregivers say it is medically appropriate.
Urshan Retirement Group, Inc. strives in helping people achieve retirement goals. This is accomplished through education of the financial planning process, analyzing each individual's investment needs, as well as continuously reviewing and monitoring their personalized plan. Jordan Urshan and Dan Urshan work as partners to ensure long-term consistency to your investment portfolio. They look forward to earning your business. Please give them a call to schedule your appointment. Call 218.625.7575 or stop by their office located at 5033 Miller Trunk Hwy, Hermantown, MN 55811.
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