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Historic Rochester bank building sold for $2.5 million

The historic former Olmsted Bank and Trust building at 7 Second St. SW was purchased for $2.5 million on Aug. 27 by Rochester-based Capital Ventures LLC. Capital Ventures has previously proposed adding two floors to the building.

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The 103-year-old former Olmsted County Bank and Trust Co. building Tuesday afternoon, April 27, 2021, in downtown Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

A $2.5 million deal marks the next step in the redevelopment of the historic former Olmsted Bank and Trust building in downtown.

The 103-year-old building at 7 Second St. SW was purchased on Aug. 27 by Rochester-based Capital Ventures LLC. Capital Ventures, which lists Melissa Halleland as its manager in its incorporation papers, has previously proposed adding two floors to the building.

RELATED: Rochester council creates path for addition to downtown bank building

The plan is to use it to house a restaurant, retail space, and boutique hotel. The site was last occupied by a sushi restaurant called Fuji, which closed in January 2020 . Since then, the building has remained dark.

Mike Hawkins and his son, A.J. Hawkins, purchased the building in 2017 for $1.5 million. A.J. Hawkins of North Rock Real Estate represented the owners in the deal. Melissa Niichel of Edina Realty represented Capital Ventures, which paid a $300,000 down payment at the closing.

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Olmsted County estimated the total market value of the property at $2.89 million for 2021-2022.

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A preliminary rendering of the concept for adding two floors to the former Olmsted County Bank and Trust building was provided to the Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission for review Tuesday. (Widseth Smith Nolting)

Following the sale, the developers can now work with city staff to work out a financially viable way to add two stories to the building and meet standards for it as a potential historic landmark.

The Rochester City Council cleared the way for that in June , when the council overturned a Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission decision to add some conditions to the project. The developers claimed those conditions could have killed the project by making it not financially viable.

The building dates back to 1918, and originally served as the Olmsted County Bank and Trust. It remained a bank until 1965. After that, it was home to Tinkler’s Restaurant from the 1970s to 1989, the Waters Bar and Grill in 1990, the Clubhaus Brew Pub from 1995 to 1997, and O’Neill’s Pizza Pub from 2000 to 2004. Following O'Neill's, it was Goonie’s Comedy Club/McGoon’s Taxi Co. restaurant, until it closed in 2015.

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