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West meets east at Roberts business parks

Two new business parks in Roberts would make ideal locations for business expansion, says Jim Zeller, one of the principals in the privately owned parks.

The area is easily accessible by several modes of transportation, offers an excellent workforce and is in the center of two growing markets, said Zeller.

The two locations are just off I-94, the area's major east-west corridor, with access from Hwy. 65, the major north-south route. A railroad track runs along the southern edge of one of the parks and the area is the hub for two fiber optic lines, one owned by AT&T and the other by Baldwin Telecom.

Other advantages are two regional air parks and easy access to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Roberts Business and Rail Park encompasses 116 acres. Roberts Interstate Business Park is 150 acres large. The Business and Rail Park is adjacent to the 65-acre Roberts Business Park, which is now full.

"Ideally we're looking for large users as anchors," said Zeller, speaking of the plans held by the two new park owners, DSZ Development LLC.

"Six, seven years ago, we saw what Roberts might look like if it was planned," said Zeller. He and his associates knew that because of its location, change would come to Roberts, and having a plan would position the community to prepare for and direct the change.

Roberts is located between two large developed areas: Minneapolis and St. Paul on the west and Eau Claire on the east.

Those two markets are both emerging and merging, said Zeller. "East is coming west, and west is coming east."

He summarized, "We have two emerging markets that weren't merging before."

While some look to the west to entice businesses from Minnesota to move to Wisconsin. Zeller thinks the greater potential is in the east where Wisconsin businesses might see the advantage of moving or expanding on the western edge of the state.

"I believe that our greatest resources are east not west, even though (businesses from the west) are welcome," said Zeller.

"The workforce is already here, but the jobs aren't here," he said.

Zeller suggests that many of the thousands of commuters who head west from Wisconsin to Minnesota each day would be happier stopping short of the St. Croix.

"When you drive out here, it's way more calming than it is to cross that river," said Zeller.

Located, as it is, centrally among the four largest communities in the immediate area and the only four with hospitals (New Richmond, River Falls, Hudson and Baldwin), Roberts is at the center of the local workforce, local medical facilities and the area's educational facilities, said Zeller.

Those four cities are each a quick commute from Roberts, said Zeller. "In six minutes I can be in any one of them."

The markets DSZ Development has targeted for its business parks are companies involved in energy, economic development, health care, education and transportation.

DSZ Development LLC is an association of the Derrick, Senrick and Zeller families.

For information about the DSZ parks, contact Zeller at (651) 351-5350 or Steve Senrick at (651) 775-2001.