Downtown Rochester Experience: Profile on Pasquale Presa

After celebrating two years in business, Pasquale’s has embodied the neighborhood pizzeria feel in downtown Rochester, ranking as the number one best restaurant on TripAdvisor and the number one best pizza on TripAdvisor and Yelp.

As a food entrepreneur located in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) Discovery Square subdistrict, restaurant owner Pasquale Presa aims to maintain a position at the forefront of the local culture.

Presa was trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and came to Rochester in 2011. Community has always been of high value to him. The number one aim of his New York-style pizzeria is to provide great service and delivering a quality product. But the experience people have in the restaurant, that feeling of home is of equal importance to Presa.

“We have a tradition. We exemplify how we were brought up and how we are a part of family and part of a community,” says Presa. “To me, it’s very important to be so involved, to embrace change and step out of our comfort zone.”

With new developments, including a mix of luxury apartment homes, commercial space, and direct access to recreational trails, Pasquale’s exemplifies the “live, work, and play” environment of Discovery Square.

Presa said he’s honored and thankful to be located in Discovery Square. He continues to do his part to stay educated and involved in DMC developments.  He and his investment partners hope to grow with the neighborhood. His restaurant is across the street from the new apartments Urban on First, expected to open this summer, and one block south from the One Discovery Square Life Science Center, with a planned spring opening.

“This is a good place to be,” adds Presa.

City of Rochester Opens RFP for First-of-Its-Kind Mixed Income Housing

The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency are inviting developers to submit proposals for a potential affordable or mixed-income housing development to be constructed in the air rights above a new city parking ramp.  This development project is the first of its kind for the City of Rochester.

The City is seeking an affordable or mixed-income housing development that provides for 50 percent or more of the units to be at rents affordable to persons at 60 percent of the area median income.

“The City of Rochester is especially proud of this parking ramp project given the opportunity to work with the development community to create more affordable housing in the downtown, says Terry Spaeth, Rochester Assistant City Administrator.  “We look forward to the creative ways in which a developer may approach this project.  We know that providing affordable housing is vitally important to the City’s success.”

A successful development project will promote the ideals of smart growth to create the following:

  • Provide affordable housing opportunities for persons at 60 percent area median income desiring to live close to employment, shopping, entertainment, without the necessity of relying on an automobile

  • Encourage the most efficient use of the downtown location

  • Establish a quality of sustainable design that will set a standard for future development in the area and integrates well with the current facility

  • Create a project that contributes to the goal of a walkable downtown

  • Implement innovative solutions/alternatives to address and reduce parking demand

“Workforce housing is a critical component of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) strategy as we continue to create a viable urban core for Rochester,” adds Lisa Clarke, executive director, Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency. “This parking ramp is a DMC-funded ramp and the potential to develop a mixed-use project is an excellent opportunity to meet multiple needs – parking and housing – in downtown Rochester.”

The deadline to submit proposals is June 14, 2019.

RFPs sought for operation and management of Rochester’s Historic Chateau Theatre

An iconic downtown landmark is promised new life as the City of Rochester announces call for requests for proposals (RFP) for the operation and management of the historic Chateau Theatre.

The Chateau Theatre is located in the Peace Plaza in Heart of the City which sees nearly 1.4 million visitors a year and within walking distance of over 2,200 hotel rooms.

“The Chateau Theatre is a community treasure and has always been at the core of our DMC Heart of the City planning,” says Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency. 

Going for Gold: Rochester named Minnesota’s first LEED Gold City

Energy and Sustainability Director Kevin Bright

Rochester, Minnesota was recently recognized as the state’s first LEED Gold city by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The honor came as a result of the City’s effort to achieve significant municipal sustainability and resiliency goals.

LEED – or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – certification was created by the USGBC and is a globally-recognized green building rating system. It provides a framework to create healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.

Five questions with Jerome Ferson, president and CEO of the United Way of Olmsted County

Jerome Ferson

The United Way is a community change organization that unites people in need with the resources they need to reach their full potential.

Jerome Ferson has been leading that change at the United Way for just more than four years. DMC sat down with Ferson to learn more about his goal of achieving education, health, and financial stability for every person, especially those most in need.

Reinventing Downtown alleys

Examples of hanging art installations

Activating and beautifying underutilized public spaces like alleys integrates exciting and healthy public spaces into our existing urban environments. It also tends to increase the perception of safety and reduce unwanted behaviors in those areas.

Over the past few months, the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) has been working on a new project that aims to repurpose the Third Street Alley (behind Café Steam, Kathy’s Pub, and 318 Commons) in Downtown Rochester by integrating art and design installations into the space.

Prototyping with an eye to the future

Prototyping is not a new concept for designers. They regularly create early representations of an idea with intentions of testing a theory or response, then adapting the design into a bigger and better version of the original.

The same can be said when introducing prototyping into the public realm.

Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) recently invited local innovators to help activate the Peace Plaza in Heart of the City by installing their own prototypes in the space.

Talent lured to Walleye Tank 2018

Business pitch competitions are essential to grow and foster innovation and fuel entrepreneurial growth, an important part of the strategy for Destination Medical Center (DMC) Discovery Square in downtown Rochester, Minnesota.

Twenty-five biomedical companies will compete in the sixth annual Walleye Tank pitch competition on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Rochester at the Mayo Clinic Medical Science Building in Mann Hall. Ranging from concepts in the idea stage to established companies raising seed financing, these life science businesses are all pushing the boundaries of innovation by tackling unmet medical needs.

Five Questions with Kathleen Harrington, Executive Director of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

Kathleen Harrington
Kathleen Harrington

The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is widely recognized for its networking, public advocacy, and the educational opportunities it provides to members across the region. Hear from Executive Director Kathleen Harrington about what’s to come for the organization in 2019 and why Rochester’s size is such an asset to the community.