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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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Here is what we know about the three housing proposals for Parking Ramp No. 6

Here is what we know about the three housing proposals for Parking Ramp No. 6

We are learning more about the trio of bids submitted to the city for construction of affordable housing atop the city’s newest parking ramp.

The three applicants, according to the city, are Three Rivers Community Action, CommonBond Communities, and Standard Communities. 

Each organization responded to Rochester’s second request for proposals for housing above Parking Ramp No. 6, which is situated behind the new Hilton project. The city’s first attempt at an RFP was unsuccessful.

The six-story ramp was designed to support an addition of up to 10 levels of residential construction on the easternmost portion of the structure.

In soliciting proposals, the city had asked developers to come forward with projects that designated at least half of the units as affordable to households at 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Deputy City Administrator Terry Spaeth said the proposals will not be made public until a developer is selected and a contract is agreed upon.

The city, he said, hopes to select a proposal in early August, though it may take some time after that to work through the contract details. It is unclear how much public assistance would be required for a project to move ahead. Any agreement would need to be authorized by the city council.

Leah Hall, of Three Rivers Community Action, said her organization’s plan calls for 100 percent affordable housing at various income levels. The nonprofit, based here in southeast Minnesota, worked with HGA architects in drafting its proposal. They hope to leverage low-income tax credits, while also enlisting the help of local partners, to fund the project.

Under the proposal they submitted to the city, Three Rivers would make up to 30 units available to residents at 30 percent AMI, 40 units available for residents at 60 percent AMI, and another 30 for those at 80 percent AMI.

CommonBond Communities did not offer many details on their proposal. The organization, based in St. Paul, already owns and manages a property in Rochester: the Towne Club housing community, which serves seniors.

Alicia Cordes-Mayo, CommonBond’s director of communications, said as part of their strategy, they would provide on-site services for all residents so they can “maintain housing stability and achieve their goals.”

“We hope to partner with the City to help achieve its affordable housing goals, and are excited about the opportunity to offer safe, quality housing in such a great location,” Cordes-Mayo told us via email.

The third proposal came from Standard Communities, an organization that aims to “create, preserve, and improve workforce housing nationwide.”

Standard Communities — with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Orange County — has the largest portfolio of any of the three applicants. We reached out to the organization to learn more about their proposal, but did not hear back.

Sean Baker is a Rochester journalist and the founder of Med City Beat.

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