CENTERVILLE — Now in its 33rd year of existence, Midwest Best Water (MBW) is in need of more space.
MBW signed a purchase agreement in March for the 2.3-acre city-owned parcel at 2061 Commerce Drive in the Clearwater Business Park. The $405,000 sale officially closed June 13.
To celebrate the deal, MBW held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, June 19, and construction of its $2 million building was slated to begin June 24.
“Centerville is excited to have a great family business moving into our town,” City Administrator Mark Statz said. “Their new building will be a great addition to our business park and we are eager to welcome some smaller tenants to fill out their space as well. Our business community continues to grow as people realize what a great place Centerville is to do business.”
Mayor Jeff Paar added, “We are grateful to have another business in Centerville. We are super excited to get this spot sold and have something here. Hopefully this will bring out more businesses.”
MBW has been around since 1986. Owner Patrick McKasy grew up in St. Paul and now resides in North Oaks.
“Bulk water through vending was a big deal out on the west coast. At the time, I was with Marigold Foods Kemps Ice Cream, but I had always wanted to be in my own business,” McKasy explained. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce it to the grocery stores I knew.”
In the early days of the business, MBW's main focus was super markets in St. Paul and Minneapolis, but McKasy quickly realized the company needed to be much bigger than that.
The company has now installed water machines in 2,200 super markets in 14 states from which consumers can fill their own containers. The business, which ran out of space in its former Lino Lakes headquarters located off of I-35W and Apollo Drive, sought to own its own facility for assembly and interior storage of its products for wholesale distribution.
McKasy said they were originally looking for an existing building, but quickly realized building would be the best option. “We couldn't really find anything that fit us,” he said.
In terms of fit, Paar said the company fits in with what is already in the Clearwater Business Park. “They have been in business a long time and they wanted a place with good exposure to the freeway,” he said.
Paar added the whole process of working with MBW for the past year or so has gone smoothly and credited city staff including Statz, City Attorney Kurt Glaser, Realtor Mike Brass and other city staff, as well as the City Council. “I think we are pretty easy to work with. We want things done right, but we are flexible to try to accommodate schedules .... The council always has something to do with stuff like this, but really the hard lifting falls on city staff.”
Crawford Merz President Todd Hayes confirmed the new 25,000 square-foot building will be ready for occupancy by Oct. 31.
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org