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Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

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Sean Baker Editor

Bryan Lund Reporter

Isaac Jahns Reporter

William Forsman Photographer

DMC exploring redesign of First Ave

DMC exploring redesign of First Ave

City planners will be rolling out the concept of curbless streets at a prototyping event Thursday in downtown Rochester.

As part of Destination Medical Center plans, the portion of First Avenue near Peace Plaza is to be redesigned into a tree-lined street corridor that allows for shared space between pedestrians, cyclists and cars.

DMC says members of the Heart of the City design team will be on hand from 2-7 p.m. to answer questions and collect feedback on the plans. The curbless street concept is among a collection of ideas being considered for phase one of the Heart of the City reconstruction project.

In a recent Q&A, Patrick Seeb, DMC’s economic development director, said the First Avenue redesign represents some of the “most dramatic changes” being proposed for the sub-district. The streetscape improvements alone, he said, “will significantly increase the amount of public space and greenery in the downtown core.”

As part of the project, the Heart of the City design team, led by Minneapolis-based Coen and Partners, is also looking at changes to Peace Plaza. Among the considerations: making it more flexible for programming and outdoor activities; and adding art and other multimedia installations.

While plans still need final city approval, one component of the effort does appear set in stone. After hearing from the public, the city has enshrined the placement of the Peace Fountain into its planning documents.

The goal is for the fountain to take on an even greater stature in the plaza by elevating the sculpture and adding lights on the cylinder. The enhancements to the sculpture, said Seeb, were made after spending “significant time” with the artist’s wife, Arlyn Gagnon.

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County gets full $5 million for crisis center

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