Projects would add over 270 apartment units and 200 hotel rooms to DMC district
ROCHESTER, Minn. (Oct. 27, 2016) – The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors today received a preliminary view of two significant mixed-use project proposals aimed at building hotel, retail, and residential housing options in key sub-districts within the DMC District. Board members also received an update regarding transportation planning efforts and approved the DMCC’s funding request for 2017.
Titan Real Estate and Investments and the Opus Group provided initial background on a proposed 156-unit apartment complex that would be built in the Discovery Square district upon a First Ave. surface parking lot. The development would include retail and parking within, as well as a green roof and pedestrian access to downtown. Titan, a local company, was the developer of “Broadway at Center,” one of two DMC-approved projects.
The Hammes Company also provided information about a proposed 200-room hotel and 120-unit apartment complex development at West Center Street and First Ave. NW, within the Heart of the City sub-district. The project would include 14,000 square feet of retail and a structured parking facility built within.
“New and diverse residential options are highly valued additions to our districts, particularly as we anticipate the development of significant life science and mixed-use projects in the coming months and years,” Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA). “We continue to see significant progress within our sub-districts, keeping us on track to achieve our long-term goals.”
The DMCC Board approved a resolution to open a statutory 60-day public comment period regarding a request made by developer Alatus LLC, to accommodate its proposed project within the St. Marys Place development sub-district boundaries. At the end of the comment period, which will include a public hearing, the City of Rochester will consider the request.
The DMC EDA updated the DMCC Board regarding selected sub-districts and key projects. The Heart of the City design team began meeting with the community in September to establish goals and take feedback. The team also participated in the Rochester Prototyping Festival. The group has engaged with the Heart of the City Community Advisory Committee to collaborate on strategies.
The DMCC Board also learned there is a strong case to not only rehabilitate the landmark Chateau Theatre but to potentially expand its use because of the need for destination-quality entertainment experiences downtown. Planners envision a renovated facility that can welcome hundreds for a traditional theater performance or, with additional technologies, be quickly converted for banquets. The growing, diverse, well-educated patient/visitor/resident population will continue to fuel demand for multiple high-quality entertainment venues.
Board members received an update regarding transportation studies taking place in 2016 and 2017. Richard Freese Rochester Public Works Director explained that these coordinated and integrated studies lay the foundation for roadway and transportation improvements and allow the projects to advance to the design phase. These studies will cover transit, parking, and transportation management, street use and operations and the potential for a city loop.
“The studies are needed to assess alternatives for vehicular, transit, pedestrian and bicycle travel, and enable the DMCC and City of Rochester to make needed decisions on capital investments,” said Freese.
2017 DMC EDA Work Plan, Budget
The DMCC Board approved the 2017 work plan and budget request by the DMC EDA. The combined operating budgets for DMC EDA, DMCC, and City of Rochester has been reduced by nearly $1 million, resulting from greater efficiencies and strategic alignment with the objectives of the DMCC Board. The EDA work plans include work to foster partnerships with potential real estate developers, design public space within the Heart of the City sub-district, identify and recruit high priority tenants for Discovery Square and complete transit studies. The DMCC Board also approved its operating budget for 2017.
The next meeting of the DMCC Board of Directors will take place on Dec. 15, 2016.