Announcement of Downtown Rochester Task Force

Rochester, Minn. – In response to the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on downtown Rochester, a task force is being assembled to identify priority issues to be addressed.

The Downtown Rochester Task Force includes members from the City of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, Diversity Council, Experience Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Area Economic Development Agency, Inc., Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, and Rochester Downtown Alliance.

“The pandemic was a disrupter to many aspects of our national, state, and local economies. How and where people work, shop, and participate in activities has changed,” states Kim Norton, mayor of the City of Rochester. “While downtown Rochester has and will change, there are several opportunities in how we can strengthen and become a more resilient downtown. And we must do this work together.”

The Downtown Rochester Task Force invites the community and downtown businesses to participate in upcoming work sessions to share specific challenges they are experiencing related to downtown. Together, attendees will identify both priority concerns and solutions. Once key priorities are identified, an action plan will be created to address each concern.

Four work sessions—three in-person and one virtual—are planned.

  • Monday, February 27 from 6-7 p.m., Fagan Studio and Studio 324, 324 South Broadway Avenue
  • Friday, March 3 from 9-10 a.m., Chateau Theatre, 15 1st Street SW
  • Monday, March 6 from 2-3 p.m., Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria, 130 5th Street SW
  • Tuesday, March 14 from 10-11 a.m. (virtual)

Patrick Seeb, executive director of Destination Medical Center, shares, “Everyone has a stake in a healthy downtown. Now is the time to be intentional about the steps we take to help accelerate recovery. We will build on existing strengths while focusing on the future.”

The Downtown Rochester Task Force will use an accelerated model in creating an action plan, which will allow participants to identify concerns and work on solutions quickly. The goal is to present an action plan by May 2023 to guide the Downtown Rochester Task Force moving forward. Register for the work sessions here.