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Developer plans micro-apartments for downtown Rochester

Developer plans micro-apartments for downtown Rochester

Micro-apartments may be on the way for a high-profile street corner in downtown Rochester.

North Rock Real Estate is proposing a 50-unit apartment complex for the former Creative Salon site, located at 324 1st Avenue Southwest.

Initial plans call for 25 studio apartments, starting at 375 square feet, along with 20 one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom apartments.

Mike Zirbes, a partner at North Rock, said the six-story concept is being designed to target young, transient professionals who do not need much space — but want to be close to work and entertainment options.

In recent years, the idea of micro-apartments has become a popular trend in other urban areas, such as Minneapolis's Uptown neighborhood.

"I don't think you could ask for a better place to live if you want to be in the center of action," Zirbes said of the proposed Rochester development.

The project, which is still in the early stages, will offer shared amenities, such as a fitness room and rooftop deck. There will also be underground parking and 2,000 square feet of commercial space on the street level.

Zirbes said it is still too soon to offer a timeline for the development, which has not yet gone through the city's regulatory process.

North Rock plans to purchase the property from a trust managed by Helen Roland. The site was valued at $601,000 in 2017. 

The proposal from North Rock is the latest concept being pitched for the site, which was most recently home to an art gallery. In 2015, a real estate firm introduced plans for a nine-story building offering office space, condos and room for retail. However, that project later stalled.

Downtown Rochester is now in the midst of an apartment boom. Three complexes, with a combined total of more than 450 units, are now under construction. That includes another project from North Rock — the Riverwalk Downtown City Apartments near Mayo Field.

A public informational meeting for the project will be held Tuesday, September 11 at 6 p.m. inside Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester.

Cover: Rendering of proposed development / Momentum Design Group

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