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Riverfront Re-Imagined Project

The City of Rochester has released a Statement of Interest (SOI) for the Riverfront Re-imagined project and is seeking submissions by January 30, 2020. An innovative development partner is being sought to revitalize and transform one of Rochester’s best remaining land assets. The 2.5-acre parcel is on the riverfront in the heart of the downtown and the Destination Medical Center (DMC) distric

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Project Information

About the project


Lead Organization: City of Rochester and DMC EDA

Contact: Josh Johnson ; Email: TBD ; Phone: TBD

Known/Likely Collaborators: City of Rochester, MN ; DMC EDA

Potential Collaborators:

Project Phase (Pre-concept, Concept, Plan, Develop, Available, Archive) 

Concept Phase

Project Type

  Building, Planning; No  


PlanScape Impacts :

Level 1: Housing, Recreation & Open Space

Level 2: Waterfront

DMC Impacts:


Community Health Impacts:

Related Projects

Bloom Rochester River Front Project ; Education, Health and Recreation Space (DMC UMR/Rec sub-district) ; Riverfront Re-Imagined Project ; Rochester Public Library Expansion (Two Floor Addition)



Detailed Description


Statement of Interest



PB Reporting


The next steps following a failed proposal to build a pair of towers along the Zumbro River could be taken Monday.

The Rochester City Council is expected to start the process of asking developers and others for potential uses and partnerships for 2.5 acres of city-owned land that sits along the west side of the Zumbro River opposite the city-county Government Center, between Second and Fourth streets.

The bulk of the land was slated to be developed by Bloom International Realty until the company backed out of approved plans late last year.

“At that time, we took it as an opportunity to maybe utilize that space for what the community and city deem as priorities,” said Josh Johnsen, the city’s project manager for the Riverfront Re-Imagined effort.

Bloom had held City Council-approved exclusive negotiating rights for most of the property since 2015.

The city plans to start actively soliciting submissions detailing concepts, partnerships and development options for the site Tuesday, if the City Council supports the plan during its 3:30 p.m. work session Monday.

Ideas will be gathered through Jan. 30, with plans to use the information to develop a proposal early next year. A final plan for the project could be in place by the end of 2020.

Where the Bloom project called for a mix of senior housing, hotel rooms and condos, amid parking and retail space, Johnson and Assistant City Administrator Aaron Parrish recently told the Rochester Public Library Board that nothing is ruled out at this point.

That could mean relocating the library, which has been a target for potential expansion in recent years.

In the city’s document seeking development concepts, the library is seen as a potential asset for a future business partner, noting approximately 500,000 community members and visitors visit the site, and its bookmobile, each year.

It also notes the current site could become part of a bigger package.

“The City Council and Library Board would consider leveraging the existing library site to facilitate a (public-private partnership) development framework, or using the site as equity for potential integration within the Riverfront Re-Imagined development,” it states.

Johnsen estimates the land currently occupied by the library would be valued at approximately $4.4 million.

“It’s just another asset we could potentially bring to the table,” he said.

Other benefits developers could potentially tap into by working with the city as partners for developing the riverfront site include eligibility for tax-increment financing and cost sharing with the city or other entities.

The city also indicates potential partnerships with University of Minnesota Rochester and the Rochester YMCA could be part of a plan.

While the city is outlining its potential priorities for developers, Johnsen said a key part of the process calls for giving developers enough room to produce creative proposals without needing to pander to specific city requests.

“We want to actually get their feedback on how they see the development,” he said, noting the goal is to develop a project that meets public needs of the city, as well as private interests of a potential developer.

Parrish said a potential development agreement could unfold in various ways, which might include selling a portion or all of the city land.

“We’re open to all different options for partnership,” he said.





Key Status Reports

Key reports on: Riverfront Re-Imagined Project

September 26, 2021 : Riverfront Re-Imagined Project

Gambol Associates, a Massachusetts firm, selected for the project to come up with a concrete proposal. 

Key reports on: Riverfront Re-Imagined Project

September 26, 2021 : Riverfront Re-Imagined Project

Gambol Associates, a Massachusetts firm, selected for the project to come up with a concrete proposal. 

Key Beam Reports on:

Housing, Recreation & Open Space  
September 10, 2021: Age-Friendly Olmsted County (AFOC) Meetings Log

9/10/2021 message from Dave Beal, August 2021 kickoff and inventory meeting

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September 09, 2021: Racism and the Economy -- Federal Reserve Series

Understanding the implications of structural racism in America's economy. 

Read more ...
June 27, 2021: AARP Age Friendly Community

(1) 2021-06-27 Status Community Report;  (2) 2020-01-15:Olmsted County joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.


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June 17, 2021: Sustainable, Resilient Rochester

Sustainability Task Force: Presentations to CMRC, Housing and Feedback from survey and action plan

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May 29, 2021: South-of-Downtown Waterfront Small Area Plan

  March and May 2021 status slides and recording. 

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May 27, 2021: Discovery Walk

March 2021 DMCC approval for Bid

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May 26, 2021: Bryk Apartments March and May Status

March and May reports to DMCC including video, documents and presentations. 

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March 06, 2021: Housing Alliance Coalition

   Work Products: 2021 Housing Profile and Coalition Report 2020

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December 10, 2020: Co-designing of Discovery Walk Concept

Summary of Co-design of Discovery Walk and Codify the co-design process. 

Read more ...



Last modified by support on 2021/09/26
Created by support on 2019/10/05




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The following defines the various project phases:
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  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.
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