Original link to article.

 

A new plan has emerged to build a 225-room Holiday Inn and Suites hotel at Second Street and 13th Avenue Southwest, across from Mayo Clinic's Francis Building.

The site has long been discussed as a potential location for a hotel, said developer Larry Brutger, of St. Could. Brutger is in talks to purchase the property if plans for the development move through the city of Rochester's process.

Brutger and local consultants presented a plan to Rochester's Committee on Urban Design and Environment before a pre-development meeting with city officials Thursday. Brutger said the project team is aiming for an Aug. 26 project submission, which means final approval could be obtained by Jan. 4 at the earliest.

The building would stand six stories at its tallest point and four stories in other areas. Four stories of parking, two underground, would be attached to the project.

Brutger said his team of ESG Architects of Minneapolis and CRW Architecture and Design Group of Rochester has already met twice with neighbors, and informally with Rochester City Council members.

Brutger said the project's design has qualities similar to the Homewood Suites that is located on the adjacent block to the west, as well as design components suggested locally.

"We think we've designed a very nice project," Brutger said.

A unique opportunity for the project comes from its proximity to the Mayo Clinic campus. There is "a good possibility," Brutger said, of constructing a tunnel to the clinic campus that could incorporate a food court and transit center.

"We are looking at developing a tunnel system, both to connect to Saint Marys and because (Rochester) Public Works is talking about a tunnel along Second Street Southwest," said CRW Architect Wade Goodenberger.

Affordable housing

A South Dakota developer presented updated plans for a downtown Rochester multifamily housing building. Stencil Homes, which is building Nue52 (formerly Woodland Park) and Kascade Place in Rochester, revised its design for a Third Avenue and Fourth Street Southeast project.

The project now shows a 92-unit building, scaled back slightly from 2014 plans for a 110-unit complex. The development would replace the buildings of Buckeye Liquor, Flowers By Jerry and the Third Avenue Pet Hospital, plus adjoining surface parking lots.

Nate Stencil said Thursday the development is planning to incorporate affordable units, either 20 percent or 40 percent of its total units. The affordable units would be income-qualified and priced on fair market rent guidelines.

The look of the building has also changed from previous plans. The six-story building is now shown in designs with a dark-colored panel system with lighter wood accents.

"We went a different direction architecturally and changed plans," Stencil said.

The development would also include 2,300 feet of retail space on the corner, which could be attractive to a coffee or café business, Stencil said.

Stencil is in talks with the city to receive tax increment financing on the project. He said his timeline for submitting the plan is "sooner rather than later."