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Bloom riverfront development could top $180M

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A concept view of Bloom International Realty's Rochester mixed-use development from the air.
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An international developer's grandiose plans for a Rochester riverfront development could top $180 million to build a mix of residential, hospitality and commercial uses.

Bloom International Realty, based in the United Arab Emirates, brought plans for its massive development for a first look at the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board meeting Thursday. The multiphase development is expected to cost from $180 million to $200 million, according to Bloom Properties CEO Sameh Muhtadi.

The development site is south of Second Street Southeast and east of South Broadway Avenue, along the Zumbro River.

The developer is working with AE7 Architecture , a firm with offices in Dubai and Pittsburgh.

"We're very excited," AE7 architect Jonathon Golli said. "I think it would be an amazing opportunity for the city to develop."

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According to plans shown at Thursday's meeting, the mixed-use development would include about 100 condos, 40 leased apartments, 120 hotel rooms, 45 serviced apartments in the hotel, more than 94,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet for food and beverage establishments and 2,400 feet for retail uses.

Bloom purchased the Associated Bank building and would redevelop that space for office uses. New construction would redevelop the current city-owned parking ramp and in a later phase the city-owned property further to the south known as the Labor Temple building.

The developer is also considering significant public space improvements, Golli said. At the eastern end of Third Street Southeast, an open space between two new construction buildings could be developed as a public plaza with water features, a stage, or other options.

DMCC board members had high praise for the project, particularly the developer's commitment to public space improvements.

"I think this is a real home run," said board member R.T. Rybak. "I think this is really moving in the right direction. It accomplishes a lot of the goals that we want developers to help us accomplish for the public purpose to go beyond the direct benefit of the project."

Board member Mark Hickey added: "This is going to be an exciting project for Rochester and the whole state of Minnesota."

Bloom is still under an exclusive negotiating period with the city of Rochester, first approved in May last year and extended in December.

The Rochester City Council expects to review a preliminary, nonbinding version of a development agreement with Bloom at its June 6 meeting, said Council President Randy Staver.

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City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold said the city and the developer hoped to have a final development agreement in place by the end of the year.

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A concept design of the view from Second Street.

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