The owner of Turtle’s Bar & Grill in Shakopee won’t have a ringside seat for the coming arrival of a new and very large factory outside the downtown core, but Bryan Turtle says there’s little doubt his business will feel the impact.
“Anytime you bring in new jobs you see increased spending in the community,” said Turtle, whose family-run bar, restaurant and banquet center has operated in Shakopee’s old downtown district since 1990.
Turtle said he’s fired up by the recent news that a division of St. Louis-based multinational Emerson Electric will bring 500 jobs to an empty 500,000-square-foot building kitty-corner from Valleyfair.
Turtle’s enthusiasm is shared by the city, whose effort to lure Emerson Process Management Rosemount began about six months ago. The business already has about 1,500 employees in Chanhassen and began scouting the Twin Cities area for another site late last year.
The project, which involves taking over a partly completed building once planned as a complex for ADC Telecommunications, will take about five years to complete and will benefit from more that $6 million in state and local subsidies.
When fully staffed, Emerson will rank among the largest employers in Shakopee. Scott County and Canterbury Park’s seasonal workforce currently are at the top of the list, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The average annual salary for the Emerson jobs is expected to by around $65,000. Samantha DiMaggio, Shakopee’s economic development coordinator, said the addition of Emerson, combined with the existing workforce at Seagate Technology, will result in a significant pool of highly paid engineering jobs in the city.
In addition to Emerson employees, the company’s move to Shakopee is expected to generate more than 800 spinoff jobs for firms that will do business with Emerson, according to Greater MSP, a regional development partnership.
“You bring 500 more people into a community and there’s going to be 500 more lunches that get served,” said Mayor Brad Tabke. “There’s the added business for firms that clean buildings, do landscaping and supply food service within that building. There are benefits for businesses as diverse as gas stations, dry cleaners, takeout food shops.”
Turtle said the arrival of another large employer, SanMar Corp., already has given him a preview of the bump in business he could get from Emerson. He said he has noticed an increase in lunch and catering business since early this year after SanMar, a clothing manufacturer, opened a distribution facility with about 150 employees.
Greater MSP also has calculated that the Emerson project will generate more than 300 construction and construction-related jobs.
Shakopee Chamber of Commerce President Angie Whitcomb says the feedback from members largely centers on relief that the long-vacant ADC site will finally be occupied. “Here’s a beautiful building that’s been sitting empty for about 10 years now, and to have somebody come in and take it over is fantastic,” she said.
Dave Menke, a senior vice president of Opus Development Corp. of Minnetonka, said Emerson’s move to the property removes uncertainty over its future, a factor than could draw other development to the area near Hwy. 169 and County Road 101. He said Opus expects to close on its purchase of the entire 110-acre site in July and will sell about half of it — including the partly completed building — to Emerson.
Opus already has announced preliminary plans for a 200,000-square-foot industrial building it will construct on the other portion of the site, which will be adjacent to the Emerson building. It will be a speculative project. Menke said his company believes there is significant demand for industrial space in the Shakopee area, especially for large blocks of space.
Opus’ long-term plans include constructing several other industrial buildings and possibly some office buildings.
Menke said it’s difficult to measure the specific impact of Emerson’s presence on development prospects for Opus’ site but said, “A company like Emerson committing to the property only bodes well for the future development that we have planned.”
Tabke said development of the former ADC site also will help the city move ahead with plans to transform a nearby former rock quarry into Quarry Lake Park. The 105-acre site currently lacks the public access road that had been expected to come with the ADC development.
“Now there will be a road going in there,” Tabke said. He said the city’s preliminary plans call for trails, picnic areas, fishing docks and bleachers around the quarry lake for water-ski shows.