Cover Story

Can Retail be Restored?

Though it has lost a lot of stores, downtown Minneapolis may have what it needs—except for a retail advocate.

Featured Stories

Andy Redleaf’s Many Happy Returns

The hedge fund industry is back—sort of—and Redleaf, the contrarian mind behind Whitebox Advisors, has been trouncing industry benchmarks.

Columns

The Little Things

In its new ad campaign, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics pulls back the gauziness.

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Trophy Rooms

Award-winning local homes with details that are both delightful and practical.

ATK Loses Out on NASA Space Vehicle Money

NASA reportedly favored spacecraft designers over rocket builders like ATK when determining which firms would receive a portion of almost $270 million in federal funds supporting the development of commercial space vehicles.

St. Jude Awarded $2.3B in Trade Secrets Case

A Los Angeles jury awarded the Little Canada-based medical device manufacturer $2.3 billion in conjunction with a lawsuit it filed against a former employee and the rival company that he founded.

TCF May Revamp Its Overdraft Fee Policy

TCF is testing a new overdraft policy in Michigan, and CEO Bill Cooper said that the company may roll out the program-which ditches multiple fees in favor of a single daily charge-nationally by the end

Wells Fargo Tries New Cost-Saving Initiative

The bank, which employs about 20,000 in Minnesota, has launched a cost-saving initiative called Project Compass in which employees reportedly come up with ideas to save the company money.

3M Ups Outlook on Record Q1 Sales

Despite posting a 3 cents-per-share drop in earnings due to the disasters in Japan, 3M reported increased earnings and record sales of $7.3 billion in the first quarter-prompting the manufacturing giant to raise its outlook.

Laid Off Lockheed Workers Get State Aid

The state has awarded roughly $1.1 million in grants to aid Minnesota workers who were laid off; $800,000 will go to about 200 former Lockheed Martin employees, and $280,000 will benefit about 70 former Express

MN Man Selected As New Voice of Aflac Duck

Dan McKeague-a sales manager for local radio stations KQRS and Love 105-was chosen from thousands of applicants and has already made his vocal debut on a new Aflac commercial.

Polaris Buys Electric Vehicle Co. from Chrysler

Less than a week after Polaris announced that it had purchased Indian Motorcycle from two British private equity firms, the company has agreed to buy a manufacturer of electric vehicles from Chrysler.

Comcast to Hire 450 at New MN Call Center

Comcast is immediately seeking experienced and "technologically savvy" workers for its new Minnetonka facility. The company said that it chose Minnesota for the center due to its attractive work force demographics.

Hutchinson Tech. Cuts to Save $50M-$55M Annually

For the quarter that ended in March, the company reported a net loss of about $20.5 million on net sales of $63.3 million; its president says that a planned restructuring will help it return to

Jury Rules on Mayo Scientist Trade Secrets Case

A federal jury reportedly found that Peter Elkin misappropriated Mayo Clinic's trade secrets, but Mayo was also ordered to pay the doctor royalties for software he created while employed there.

Report: 33 South Sixth Building to Hit Market by June

Brookfield Properties will reportedly put the downtown building-which includes the City Center retail complex-back on the market after it unsuccessfully attempted to sell its local properties during the recession.

3M Sues Online Retailer Over Post-it Trademark

The Maplewood-based company claims that it has asked Shoplet.com to change the way its Web site search engine uses the Post-it trademark, but the site continues to list competitors' products prior to 3M's when the

Local Residential Construction Still Struggling

This month was the slowest April for local residential construction in at least the last five years, but a local builders association hopes to see a rebound in single-family home construction.

“Diapers to Daisies”

Two former real estate professionals pleaded guilty on Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with their roles in defrauding mortgage lenders out of $4.2 million, according to the

Just Add Water

Treat your guests to a day on the lake or an afternoon on the river.

Knock’s Opportunity

Product and packaging design? Branding? In-store design? Knock says yes to them all.

Making a Contribution

Change demands more than enthusiasm and a good cause. Business education is providing social entrepreneurs with the skills they need.

Over the Hump

We interviewed these local small-business owners during tough times. Now, they’re cautiously optimistic.

Playing the Game

W3i takes its free download model to the mobile gaming world.

Selling It- Minnesota Twins-May 2011

Two former real estate professionals pleaded guilty on Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with their roles in defrauding mortgage lenders out of $4.2 million, according to the

Where They’re Biting

Two former real estate professionals pleaded guilty on Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with their roles in defrauding mortgage lenders out of $4.2 million, according to the

4 Cos. Pledge $13M Investment in Mpls. Schools

Target, Cargill, General Mills, and Medtronic will collectively provide $13 million to Minneapolis Public Schools over the next three years-money that will help the district cope with an expected state funding shortage of up to

Brave New Workshop Pays $725K for Downtown Bldg.

The theater company plans to keep its longstanding and current home at 2605 Hennepin Avenue in Uptown; its classes will continue to be offered from that location while the comedy revues and custom business offerings

MN Student Wins Nat’l Scholarship for Phone Apps

Rohit Agrawal is one of five high school students who received a scholarship from the 2011 NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award program, which is designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students.

MN Unemployment Ins. Fund: Record $772M Deficit

Although the state's unemployment insurance fund hit a record $772 million deficit last month, it will be reduced in the next few days by about $440 million that will be collected from employers.

Thrivent Sues Lenders Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Thrivent claims that Countrywide Financial-which merged with Bank of America-and GMAC Mortgage perpetuated a "massive fraud"; meanwhile, Bank of America says Thrivent is "looking to blame someone for investment losses incurred during a period of

Cima Labs Parent Company Bought for $6.8B

A representative for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is buying Cima Labs' parent company Cephalon for $6.8 billion, said it is too early to comment on future plans for the combined organization.

LarsonAllen Buys 64-Person Florida CPA Firm

A principal of the Minneapolis-based accounting firm said that the acquisition will expand its industry specialization within the southern state-and that the two firms together will make up one of Florida's largest government audit practices.

Target Fights Canadian Retailer for Trademark Rights

Target wants a preliminary injunction against a Canadian company that owns 15 Target Apparel stores in Canada; meanwhile, the Canadian company alleges trademark infringement and wants exclusive rights to the Target name.

Curtis Carlson Nelson Files for Bankruptcy

Curtis Carlson Nelson-grandson of Carlson Companies founder Curtis Carlson-listed $41.25 million in liabilities and $4.24 million in assets in his bankruptcy petition, which was filed Monday.

New Supervalu Store Brand to Save Money, Up Sales

The new brand, called Essential Everyday, will roll out in phases starting this summer; it's expected to save on packaging costs and increase store-brand sales by 1 percent over each of the next three years.

State Charges 3 Title Insurers, Mortgage Originators

Albert Lea Abstract Company, sister companies Meredian Financial Corporation and Fortis Title Solutions Corporation, and New Millennium Title Group are accused of various scams and swindles that misled consumers and violated state law.

Techne Buys Tocris for $124M; Q3 Profits Down 4%

Techne said that the acquisition of chemical supplier Tocris will expand its product portfolio; meanwhile, Techne's third-quarter earnings dropped 4 percent but still topped analysts' expectations.

Best Buy Reports Another E-mail Breach

The electronics retailer said that it informed customers about the security breach and is pursuing legal action related to the incident, which involved a former business partner.

City to Rehear Proposal by Developer Bradley Hoyt

A Minnesota Court of Appeals panel ordered the Minneapolis City Council to rehear Bradley Hoyt's request for a permit for a proposed development project in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Fed. Gov’t Selling 74 MN Properties to Save Money

The federal government said that "billions" of taxpayer dollars are wasted each year on properties that are no longer needed-so President Obama wants to sell more than 12,000 across the country, including 74 in Minnesota.

32 Allina Employees Fired Over Privacy Violations

A hospital system spokesman said that 28 Unity Hospital employees and four Mercy Hospital employees looked at the electronic medical records of patients who were treated following a mass overdose incident-which violates a policy that

51% of Recent Local Home Sales Were Foreclosures

The Twin Cities-and the rest of the Midwest-outpaced the nation in the percentage of total sales that came from foreclosures, but the region hasn't yet experienced the "double dip" seen throughout the rest of the

DNR: Fishing Creates 43K MN Jobs, $2.8B in Spending

A DNR official says that angling contributes to billions of dollars in spending each year and hundreds of millions in tax revenue-and a boost in the price of fishing licenses could further benefit the state.

Report: Vikings Close to Arden Hills Stadium Deal

A Ramsey County commissioner told the Pioneer Press that the Minnesota Vikings are "very, very close" to reaching an agreement with the county to build a stadium at the abandoned Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant

Xcel, EnXco Trade Lawsuits over ND Wind Farm

EnXco is seeking at least $245 million in damages for Xcel's decision to terminate an agreement involving a 150-megawatt wind farm in North Dakota. Meanwhile, Xcel is asking that the court declare that the termination

Amid Proposed Cuts, How Lean is MN’s Work Force?

Republican legislators are looking to cut the state's work force in an effort to help ease a huge budget deficit-but a report by Minnesota Public Radio suggests that the state's work force is already lean.

G&K Services Must Pay $361K to Fired Employee

A jury found that G&K's decision to terminate James Dubiel-who sued the company in February 2010-was motivated by a Workers' Compensation claim he filed following an incident in a company-owned vehicle he was driving.

MN Cup Boosts Total Prize Money to $185K

The pot of prize money for Minnesota's entrepreneurial competition has grown, due primarily to a new sponsorship from General Mills-and a runner-up in each division will now receive a $5,000 cash prize.

Report: Block E Casino Could Face Many Obstacles

Skeptics of the plan to place a casino at the downtown Minneapolis development say that attracting people could be difficult-and the casino would likely face a tough fight from the state's Native American tribes.

Are On-Site Clinics Rebounding?

According to the Pioneer Press, on-site health clinics like the one HealthPartners is opening in the Anoka County Courthouse might be regaining some steam as the economy improves.

Report: Medtronic Cuts Hit Diabetes Unit

According to Mass Device, an online medical device journal, a diabetes industry analyst claims that Medtronic cut hundreds of employees in its diabetes unit.

Vikings, Ramsey County Reveal $1B Stadium Deal

The team has decided to pursue a new 65,000-seat retractable-roof stadium in Arden Hills, and it will work with Ramsey County officials to garner support from the state, which would have to cover $300 million

Bixby Leaders Resign Amid Legal Battles

Founder and CEO Bob Walker, along with other leaders of Bixby Energy Systems, have resigned-a move that settled two civil lawsuits; however, the company reportedly is still subject to investigation from the U.S. Securities and

MN Commerce Dept. Fines Loan Officer, Debt Collector

In two separate cases, the state's Commerce Department issued a $100,000 fine to debt collection agency First Financial Services and its owner, as well as a $70,000 fine to Marlon Pratt, a former loan officer.

Mpls: Pension Fund Bill Would Benefit Taxpayers

The City of Minneapolis claims that a bill that would merge closed Minneapolis police and fire fighter pension funds with a statewide fund would protect taxpayers from rising property taxes. But it appears some details

U.K. Firm: 3M Botched Clinical Trial

The Porton Group, a private equity firm based in the United Kingdom, claims that 3M Company "botched" the clinical trial of a product that 3M acquired through the purchase of a company in 2007. The

Surly Bill Passes House and Senate

The "Surly bill," which would create a taproom license that would allow Minnesota breweries to sell pints of their beer on-site, passed in both the Senate and the House this week and is now poised

Gander Mountain Gun Academy Coming to Lakeville

This summer, the company plans to open its first Gander Mountain Academy in Minnesota-which will feature both live and virtual firing ranges, simulations in which students respond to "real-world" scenarios, and a long list of

Polar Corp. Hires Hundreds, Keeps Growing

The company, which manufactures and repairs tank trailers, said that a boost in demand from the oil industry has helped it hire more than 600 employees in the past nine months-and it has plans to

Local CEOs Join the Vikings Stadium Debate

A group of eight to 10 top executives from local companies reportedly have banded together and hired a lobbyist to help shape the outcome of the stadium debate-although they don't yet appear to be backing

MSP Gets 13 New Eateries from Local Food Celebs.

In addition to a long list of new full-service eateries-many of which are backed by local food stars like Andrew Zimmern and Doug Flicker-the airport will add a "virtual newsstand" where travelers can rent an

Shavlik Technologies Acquired by CA Company

A Shavlik Technologies spokeswoman said that the company's headquarters office in New Brighton will remain open, and it is expected that "a majority" of employees will be retained.

A Revival of the Minneapolis Stadium Plan?

A key lawmaker involved in the Vikings stadium plans is reportedly considering introducing two bills-one for the Vikings-backed Arden Hills plan and one for the downtown Minneapolis proposal.

SPS Commerce Pays $10.9M for CA Firm

The acquisition is the company's first since it went public in April 2010-and it will boost clients, support, and research and development efforts.

Artis REIT Continues Purchase Spree in MN

Artis Real Estate Investment Trust is purchasing an office building-605 Waterford Park-in Plymouth and a portfolio of five shopping centers in the Twin Cities for a combined $53.3 million.

Health Plans Must Justify Double-Digit Rate Hikes

A new rule, which stems from the 2010 health-care overhaul, states that any rate hikes of 10 percent or more must be reviewed by regulators. An association representing health plans says that focusing on premiums

Is There Some Flex in the Arden Hills Plan?

The Vikings are reportedly open to changes in their deal with Ramsey County, specifically regarding how the stadium would be operated. An unrelated media report examines the necessary cleanup-and its price tag-of the contaminated Arden

Opus Corp. Quietly Settles Suit Filed by Subsidiary

The Star Tribune, citing "two people familiar with the case," said that the two parties settled last month for $45 million; Opus West had accused its parent company of siphoning tens of millions of dollars