The Number: $650,000

That’s the recent sale price of a four-bedroom home on Marion Street near the University of Minnesota Duluth. The buyer couldn’t be reached last week to answer the obvious question here: Why?

Homes on the street have sold for around $150,000 in recent years, and one can find a better deal on a huge historic property around lower 24th Avenue East.

If all we can do is speculate, I’d posit that the best reasons for the high sale price was a crazy bidding war or the knowledge of some buried treasure on Marion Street. And if we can’t know, we might as well assume the best. Ahoy!

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The Word

“Nobody from West Duluth sees the cityscape like this - the bridge is on the right, the city’s on the left,” said Russ Salgy, head of Valley Youth Center. He was referencing Duluth’s official logo and how it’s another example of the west side of town being treated as an afterthought, to the detriment of children there. “All the big players in town don’t live in West Duluth.”

The Lead

Engineering and consulting firm Barr is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Duluth office, where it has grown from one employee on Superior Street to more than 100 at its current digs in Canal Park. That’s a pretty solid rate of growth in an industry that’s been reliably adding jobs in the area, so here’s hoping the company invests in a neon now-hiring sign and keeps it lit for at least another 20 years.

The Happy Hour

Seven Ponds Winery in Bayfield held its grand opening Saturday, giving Northland and visiting oenophiles another spot to tip back a glass or two while marveling at the newly planted vineyard filled with vines meant to withstand the colder half of the year. Keep in mind that wine growing is all about latitude, and Bayfield is just 2 degrees farther north than Bordeaux, France. So don’t shake your head in disbelief: Nod up and down as you drain the next glass.

The Meeting: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits conference

If you’re going to this, you probably already know about it and snagged early registration prices. But since Duluth is hosting the biggest yearly gathering of Minnesota nonprofits, complete with workshops, breakout sessions, events and keynote speeches by Winona LaDuke and Frances Kunreuther, it might be worth the last-minute price tag of $249 for nonprofit council members and $299 for everyone else. (Friday’s networking lunch and awards ceremony costs just $49, however). The 2016 annual conference runs throughout the day Thursday and Friday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Visit for more information.

The Memo is a weekly roundup of things to know, ya know? Send business news of all kinds to and give busy business reporter Brooks Johnson a call every now and then at (218) 723-5329.