A mixed-used project planned for development just a few blocks away from Mayo Clinic in Rochester is expected to diversify options for downtown living, dining and recreation.
The private developer's preliminary plans call for a 25-story building called Broadway at Center. It will add 150 rental apartments and up to 30,000 square feet of commercial office space in the city's downtown. The building will also feature a four-star hotel and retail space on the ground floor, including a grocery store and several restaurants.
The announcement Friday comes just one week after Mayo Clinic won approval from the state Legislature for funding to help develop the city into a destination medical community.
The project was in the works long before Mayo made its pitch to state lawmakers for money to help Rochester develop, said John Beltz, vice president of Rochester-based Titan Development and Investments.
Beltz declined to say how much the investment is worth or name the prospective tenants, but said the retail partners are Minnesota-based companies with outlets in the Twin Cities.
"We believe that these elements here are going to mirror, specifically, a lot of the vision that the community has for the services and the lifestyle that we want Rochester to reflect as we move forward," Beltz said.
The Broadway at Center mixed-use development will include:
• 25-story building
• 1 high-end grocery store
• 1 Minnesota steak house and other retail shops
• A 150-room, four-star hotel
• 30,000 square feet of commercial office space
• 150-rental unit apartments
• Skyway connection to downtown Rochester business, including the Mayo Clinic
• Underground parking and access to city parking lots
Source: Titan Development and Investments
Rochester and Mayo Clinic leaders estimate the city will grow by about 32,000 residents over the next 20 years as the clinic expands its footprint in the region.
The downtown project will help diversify the dining, housing and recreational options that some say are needed to attract even more residents and visitors, Beltz said.
"It is designed to meet the needs of the incoming Mayo patient. We know that there's demand for downtown living," Beltz said. "We are expecting to get a little bit more information about what that demand might look like which will influence the scope of the residential part of the project."
The project will be a boon for downtown Rochester, where space is tight for both commercial and residential real estate, according to Rochester real estate broker Tom Fitzgerald.
Adding 100 units won't dent the overall demand in Rochester's housing market, Fitzgerald said, but in the downtown area, "I think there's some pent up demand for downtown living... It's certainly a convenience factor."
Convenience and proximity to Mayo Clinic. Fitzgerald says the closer rentals are to the clinic, the higher the rents. He estimates only 10 percent of existing residential rental properties in downtown Rochester are vacant. And commercial rental availability is between 20 and 25 percent.
"It's adding to the downtown core offerings, the walkable locations that would have everything," Fitzgerald said, "whether you want to go to a restaurant for your meals or go to a grocery store to be able to buy the produce that you would use to prepare your own meals.
Construction is slated to begin in 2014. A few blocks away, another mixed-used project featuring luxury apartment rentals and a food co-op is scheduled to open later this year.