Proposal for former Rochester fire station aims to activate Silver Lake Park
Plans are taking shape for Silver Lake Station, the moniker for the former Fire Station No. 2, located on Silver Lake Drive near 7th Street NE.
The proposal, which was pitched to the city's Parks Board on Tuesday night, includes food truck hookups, public use of the space and a home for the bike-sharing group Nice Ride MN in Rochester.
Per the agreement, Nice Ride would have dedicated workspace, storage and access to administrative office areas free of charge, but would pick up the tab for insurance and any building improvements to accommodate its uses.
Requests also included a formal name change to Silver Lake Station and the formation of a Friends of Silver Lake Station advisory group. The park board made no action on those items at Tuesday's meeting.
The plans were developed and pitched by the Leadership Greater Rochester Class of 2016, a 10-month-long leadership development course offered by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.
When the fire department vacated the building in 2015 and moved to the newly built Station No. 2 off of Viola Road, the group began envisioning new uses for the dated building located next door to one of the city's most popular parks.
"This is an important landmark in Rochester's history," said Hitan Kamdar, a member of the Leadership Greater Rochester class. "With this building being right at the beginning of Silver Lake we really felt it was an opportunity to use the space to activate the park and surrounding community. In addition, it fits into the P&R master plan to increase indoor space for groups to use."
The group estimates that $75,000 will be needed for the first phase of repairs and renovations to the building for community use.
About Claire Walling: Claire is a contributing editor for the Med City Beat. She moved to Rochester two years ago from the Twin Cities after graduating from Hamline University. When she’s not working as a business writer she enjoys running the great trails around the region, designing and creating things, and drinking coffee. Fun fact: she was on a relay team that ran across Iowa in 54 hours. Twitter.
(Cover graphic courtesy LGR)