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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Bloom pushes ahead with plans for $180 million waterfront development

Bloom pushes ahead with plans for $180 million waterfront development

An Abu Dhabi-based developer has formally submitted plans to the city for a proposed $180 million waterfront development in downtown Rochester.

Bloom International Realty has been operating under exclusive negotiating rights with the city since 2015. Representatives from the firm filed paperwork with the city's planning department this month. 

The land Bloom wants to build on, all of which is owned by the city, runs along the Zumbro River from Second Street SE down to Fourth Street SE. It is now home to parking structures, surface lots and Legends Bar & Grill.

Plans call for a multi-use development anchored by two towers, one at 21 stories and another at 28 floors. The project would be broken up into two main phases, with groundbreaking on the first phase possible by year's end.

The nearly 1 million square-foot complex would consist of a 180-room hotel, 130 condominiums, 215 units of senior housing, 30,000 square feet for food and beverage establishments and 7,000 square feet of retail. 

According to the plan submitted with the city, sustainable elements would be implemented, such as a "green roof to the parking structure that transforms into a public raised park." The project would also include water features, a public roof terrace with a playground, and ice skating rink.

Once reviewed by planning staff, the proposal will head to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. Bloom is expected to request financial incentives for the project, though the exact dollar amount is unknown. Any public assistance would require approval from both the city council and the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board.

The project is the largest private development brought forward since the implementation of Rochester's $5.6 billion DMC initiative.

Cover: Rendering of project by AE7 design firm

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