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Est. 2014

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Want to manage the Chateau? Friday is your final day to let the city know

Want to manage the Chateau? Friday is your final day to let the city know

This Friday marks the deadline for parties interested in managing the Chateau Theatre to come forward with their ideas.

As we first reported in December, the City of Rochester has put out a request for proposals (RFP) for the re-use of the historic theater, which has sat empty since the city purchased it in 2015.

You can view the full document here. Essentially, the city is looking for an entity that can program the venue over the next 3-5 years.

As of Tuesday morning, the city had not received any proposals from potential operators. However, a city spokesperson said it is not unusual for applicants to wait until the 11th hour to submit the paperwork.

“It is common for applicants to take as much time as allowed to fully develop their proposal, with many submitting at the very end,” said Jenna Bowman, the city’s communication manager.

Bowman said once proposals are received, the city will make public the names of the applicants along with a summary of their intended use. The applications themselves, however, will remain confidential for some period of time while officials from DMC and the city perform an initial review.

Ultimately, it will be up to the city council to determine what direction to move in. Bowman said the timing of when the proposals may come before the council will likely depend on the volume of applications.

The theater is currently undergoing $1.1 million in renovations that include repairing the roof and removing the second floor (which is not original to the building). The goal is to have the work finished later this year.

The building’s RFP intentionally does not prescribe any singular use for the venue; instead, it lays out only general criteria (for instance, that the venue should be used as a “vibrant entertainment, education, and cultural hub”). The city also wants the venue to be active both day and night.

It is a similar strategy to the one that resulted in the Castle Community project at the old Armory/Senior Center building. The only difference: in the case of the Chateau, the city will retain ownership of the building.

In making its pitch to potential applicants, the city touts that Peace Plaza sees close to 1.4 million visitors a year and is within walking distance of more than 2,200 hotel rooms.

The city held an open house in late January that attracted prospective applicants from both Rochester and the Twin Cities.

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