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Bloom continues to ghost the city

Bloom continues to ghost the city

The fate of the Bloom project grew bleaker Monday.

City Administrator Steve Rymer told the council his office has yet to hear from Bloom. The UAE-based developer missed a deadline last week to provide the city with a revised proposal for its riverfront project. Now, nearly a week later, the city still has not received formal contact.

At this point, Rymer said he interprets the lack of communication from Bloom as a sign that the project is not moving forward.

“We really think it’s the time to step back for a second, think about what the vision is for that site,” said Rymer. “Four years years later, from where we started the conversation, Rochester is a much different place.”

The four years Rymer is referring to is the amount of time Bloom had exclusive negotiation rights on the city-owned riverfront land.

Given the amount of staff time spent on the project, along with the fact that public assistance was offered, Council Member Michael Wojcik asked that city staff not engage with Bloom without consent from the council.

“As I see this, the Bloom project is dead, dead, dead,” said Wojcik, “and if they want to start talking again, they need to come back and the council should have to give permission for that first.”

Council Member Nick Campion, who in an interview with us last week called the potential demise of the project “disappointing,” was more optimistic Monday night. He said by rethinking the site now, the city has the chance to take a challenge and turn it into an opportunity.

“Not only do we kind of back away from a subsidy that frankly a lot of us had concerns about,” said Campion. “But now we can back away and take a second look.”

Rymer said his office will come back to the council within the next month or so with recommendations on how to proceed with the site.

Bloom had been pitching a $230 million development on the west side of the Zumbro River in downtown Rochester. The first phase called for senior housing; the second phase was billed as condos and a hotel.

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Cover photo: File / site of the now doomed Bloom project

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