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.
A diverse economic landscape is paramount to a community’s growth and long-term success. It is also integral to the DMC mission.
Troy Henikoff is the managing director of Techstars Chicago, a global ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs build great businesses. But Troy’s entrepreneurial involvement doesn’t stop there. Henikoff is a force in Chicago’s startup community and widely recognized as an expert in entrepreneurship – both from an academic and an industry perspective.
With Green River Soda and popcorn in hand, Rochester community members got their first look at the Chateau Theatre’s future last week.
The building, which was purchased by the City of Rochester last year, will be transformed into a multi-use performing arts space. Exactly what the building’s interior will look like is still in the planning stages.
But architects from Miller Dunwiddie Architecture, the Minneapolis firm selected by the Chateau Theatre Taskforce to reimagine the building, said that the Chateau will continue to be a focal point of downtown Rochester and the Heart of the City.
A consulting firm’s commitment to public engagement was the difference maker Tuesday as the city of Rochester’s Chateau Theatre Re-Use Task Force decided between the final two firms to lead the restoration and re-use project at the downtown theater.
“Community involvement doesn’t have to be ‘open the doors and see who shows up,'” said John Mecum, a principal at Minneapolis-based Miller Dunwiddie Architecture.
The public engagement process for re-use of the Chateau Theatre could involve public events, performances and focused meetings with performing arts organizations, said Denita Lemmon, an associate principal at Miller Dunwiddie.
As DMC’s momentum continues, words like “urbanism,” “prototyping,” and “placemaking” are becoming increasingly more common in everyday conversations around Rochester, but with May as National Historic Preservation Month, there exists an opportunity to celebrate the special places that have helped shape our history and culture, making Rochester the medical destination it is today.
Community input is and will always be core to the efforts of DMC. This past winter, DMC utilized the vacant Chateau Theatre space for a unique luncheon event during which attendees were invited to share both their memories of the Chateau Theatre and ideas for future use of the space.
They recalled many memories from the Chateau’s days gone by. The theater’s unique décor was the perfect setting to catch up with a friend or enjoy a leisurely cup of joe. Grandparents, parents, and grown children alike read books together in the “castle” and sat on Santa’s lap. Rochester’s own Mayor Ardell Brede took his now-wife of 54 years on their first date to a movie at the theater.
The city of Rochester has closed on the $6 million purchase of the historic Chateau Theatre.
The theater purchase is considered a Destination Medical Center project, which allows the expense to count toward the city’s $128 million contribution for public infrastructure costs. The Mayo Clinic paid $500,000 of the deal.
Rochester City Council President Randy Staver said it’s still unclear what the building’s long-term use and financial model will be.
Rochester City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold said the City shares the Board’s emphasis on early transportation planning as essential to long-term development of Destination Medical Center.
Part of that will mean working to define specific plans and work with the Federal Department of Transportation to secure grants and funding for the projects, something the City intends to undertake in partnership with the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department.
While the transportation piece will be critical to setting the stage for resident and visitor movement into and throughout Rochester, Kvenvold’s updates on the Chateau Theatre will perhaps be of more import to local residents who have championed preservation and re-opening of the historical landmark.
The city’s bid to purchase the Chateau from its current owner is tentatively set to finalize within the next “couple of weeks,” Kvenvold said.
Rebecca Peterson reflects fondly on the one-of-a-kind auditorium inside the Chateau Dodge Theatre, wading into childhood memories of stars twinkling overhead as she and her siblings settled in for a Disney triple feature. That was about 40 years ago, when First Street was still open to downtown traffic and the Chateau Theatre was in the regular business of showing movies.
“I remember just sitting there looking up at the stars,” Peterson said. “I probably didn’t get much out of the movie at all.”