Plans For Downtown Rochester’s Riverfront on City Council Agenda
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council will be given a presentation on Monday by a firm hired to come up with plans for the future of city-owned lands along the Zumbro River in downtown Rochester.
Gamble Associates was selected by the City Council last July to create the "Riverfront Small Area Plan" for the 2.5-acre site on the west side of the river between 2nd and 4th Streets Southeast along with a 3-acre parcel along the north side of 4th Street Southeast that is currently used for Government Center parking. The project was led by a steering committee that included representatives from the City, DMC, and Downtown Alliance.
The main focus of the presentation is on the site west of the Government Center that currently contains the old Time Theater/Red Owl/Legends Bar building and the city's 2nd Street Parking Ramp. Two main options are being proposed and both call for tearing down the parking ramp and making that portion of the site available for commercial development.
The differences between the options involve the southern two-thirds of the property and the former Legends Bar building that was spared from the wrecking ball by the City Council last year while the Riverfront Small Area Plan process was ongoing. One option would preserve at least a portion of the structure and combine it with a covered "year-round sunken garden" public space just to the north. The remainder of the site would be outdoor green space that could be used for recreation, performances, and various events.
The second option calls for demolishing the former Legend's Bar building and creating a public space featuring elevated walkways and ramps, along with open terraced steps that could be used for seating, along with green spaces for a variety of activities. The second option also incorporates a "Riverfront Deck" in the Zumbro River.
The plans developed for the parking lots east of the Government Center envision two mixed-use/residential towers along 4th Street Southeast with green spaces between the buildings and the river for public use. That could include community gardens, a flexible plaza, and a kayak or canoe launch.