Historic Preservation District Initiative

We are excited to announce up to $5 million has been recommended for designation by the DMCC and Rochester City Council for qualifying public infrastructure improvements, sourced from the DMC General State Infrastructure Aid fund.

Enhancing Our Historic Downtown

Owning a historic property in downtown Rochester means being a part of the city’s rich architectural legacy. However, maintaining and enhancing these properties can be costly and complex. The Historic Preservation Initiative offers a unique opportunity for building owners to invest in their properties, ensuring they remain vibrant and integral parts of the community while benefiting from substantial financial support. By participating in this initiative, owners can preserve the character of their buildings, increase their property value, and contribute to the overall revitalization of the downtown area.

Program Outline

  • Can cover up to $500K in improvements to any contributing property of the current historic district (DMC funds must be 50% matched by other, non-DMC funds).
  • Will continue until 12/31/2029 or until all funds are allocated.
  • Requires that all projects be approved by the DMCC board and Rochester City Council.
  • Can only support investments that are intended to be permanent physical improvements to the building and meet the DMC definition of “public infrastructure project.”
  • Additional information in the Common Questions section below.

Qualifying Locations

Projects being considered are within the historic district in Downtown Rochester, MN.

Contributing Properties
Non-contributing properties

4 Key Investment Categories

Adaptive Reuse

Conversion of property use, such as office to retail or restaurant, or renovating vacant second-story space for housing, etc.

Building System Upgrades

HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc.

Building Safety and Preservation

Exterior envelope sealing, accessibility improvements, etc…

Code Modernization

Improvements made to legacied properties in relation to ADA or other regulatory compliance, preparation of reuse, future reinvestment, sale, etc…

Funding Request Schedule

July 1, 2024
Funding request application open date.

August 1, 2024
Funding request application closing date.

August 2, 2024
Next funding request window opens.

September 26, 2024
DMCC board meeting & proposed project consideration.

October 7, 2024
City Council meeting & proposed project consideration.

Common Questions

What qualifies for DMC funding?

  • A proposed project must result in a capital improvement that is intended to be a permanent asset of the downtown historic district. Temporary or non-fixed assets would not be eligible for DMC funding.
  • A proposed project must occur at a contributing property of the current downtown commercial historic district
  • Projects must be proposed and presented in four categories of investment
    • Adaptive reuse: Conversion of property use, such as office to retail or restaurant, or renovating vacant second-story space for housing, etc…
    • Building system upgrades: HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc…
    • Building safety and preservation: Exterior envelope sealing, accessibility improvements, etc…
    • Code modernization: Improvements made to legacied properties in relation to ADA or other regulatory compliance, preparation of reuse, future reinvestment, sale, etc…

How much funding will be available for a proposed project?

  • DMC funding covers fifty percent of any eligible expenditure.
  • DMC funding be limited to a maximum of $500,000 per property, as determined by the parcel identification number (PIN) of the eligible properties in the current City of Rochester Downtown Commercial Historic District.
  • To allow property owners and tenants maximum opportunity to prioritize capital investments, funding may be applied for and received more than once, subject to the $500,000 maximum described above.
  • To align historic district construction activity with other major downtown improvements, including Link BRT and Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester., program funding will remain
  • Available for request through December 31, 2029 or until rescinded by action of the DMCC and Rochester City Council.

What legal requirements and policy standards need to be considered?

  • The DMC law requires that all projects financed with DMC funds must pay prevailing wage to project contracting teams and, if applicable, utilize American-made structural steel. These legal requirements must apply to any project approved under a historic district support program.
  • The DMCC and Rochester City Council have adopted local policies related to sustainable building standards and women- and minority-owner construction contracting and workforce requirements. Unless waived or modified by the DMCC and City Council, these policies would be applied to any project approved under a historic district support program.

How much DMC funding will be designated for the program?

  • It has been recommended that the DMCC and Rochester City Council designate up to $5 million for qualifying public infrastructure improvements.
  • The funding will be sources from DMC General State Infrastructure Aid fund.