As growth and development continue throughout the Rochester area, local leaders are making housing affordability a top priority for 2018.
A new collaborative community initiative was announced on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at a press conference at the Rochester Area Foundation (RAF) where more than 40 community leaders and residents came together to learn more about this important effort.
The Coalition for Rochester Area Housing will bring together public and private sector organizations to acquire, invest, manage, and distribute funds and resources to create and preserve affordable and workforce-priced housing. The group will be led by the Rochester Area Foundation and supported by founding partners from the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and Mayo Clinic. The group will rely on the community to bring forward ideas and proposals and will leverage local expertise to identify and address gaps in today’s housing market and use resources efficiently.
More signs of development in DMC’s Downtown Waterfront sub-district have taken shape. The Lofts at Mayo Park, a 29-unit housing development, will soon offer new housing options – short- and long-term, furnished and unfurnished – to visitors and residents of Rochester.
DMC Corporation board members, DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) staff, and city leaders were given a tour of the site in late October.
As the Destination Medical Center economic development initiative takes off, so has Rochester’s housing market.
Case in point: new mixed-use apartment complexes are under construction in or on the outskirts of the DMC district which include Flats on 4th, Lofts at Mayo Clinic, 501, and 1st Avenue Lofts.
DMC Executive Director Lisa Clarke said these projects demonstrate that investors and developers see promise in Rochester’s future.
“If you want to measure the DMC’s momentum, just look at how many construction trucks and hard hats you see around the city,” said Clarke. “Every groundbreaking represents progress toward our ultimate goal, which is to transform Rochester not only into a health and wellness destination for patients, but a place that attracts talented, diverse workers from all over the world.”
Downtown development received top billing at the most recent meeting of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) Corporation Board of Directors.
Abu Dhabi-based Bloom Properties gave an update on a mixed-use project that will be anchored in the Downtown Waterfront sub-district. The $180-200 million project will include residential, hospitality, and retail space, as well as space for outdoor concerts and ice skating.
Board member and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak called the proposal “a home run,” saying it meets a lot of the DMC’s goals for housing, retail, and community spaces.
Two developers are teaming up to bring some Twin Cities flavor to Rochester’s apartment scene.
Minneapolis-based Alatus LLC is partnering with the Pompeian family, longtime real estate developers in Rochester, on a proposed 13-story apartment tower that would visually change the main entrance from Hwy. 52 into the city’s downtown and Mayo Clinic complex.
The $100-million plan is unique for Rochester in both size and style, introducing a luxury class of apartments that have become common in bigger cities, including the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, in recent years.
A wave of new apartments opened in Rochester last year, and even more are planned this year with both suburban and downtown projects in the development pipeline.
It’s unclear whether the surge is just a normal upturn in the Rochester market’s building cycle or if it’s being spurred by the Mayo Clinic’s effort, with local and state help, for expansion. That development is called Destination Medical Center and has a goal to add 45,000 new jobs over 20 years to the city. Some apartment developers are specifically mentioning the Mayo’s expansion as a reason for investing in the market.
The city’s surge in new multifamily units — while small in numbers compared to the apartment-building binge in the Twin Cities — is impressive for sheer magnitude.