An unspecified dollar amount is being sought in Rochester’s lawsuit related to the city’s newest public parking ramp.
A complaint filed Friday in the 3rd Judicial Court alleges Minneapolis-based Collaborative Design Group breached its contract with the city by failing to meet expectations in designing the parking structure to eventually include housing added to the top of it.
The Rochester City Council approved spending an additional $512,000 in 2017 to make sure the ramp, which cost $31.4 million, could support housing at some point.
Court documents filed by Minneapolis-based Kennedy & Graven Chartered on behalf of the city allege Collaborative Design Group didn’t notify the city of limits to the design until after a potential developer noted in May 2019 that added supports would be needed to build additional floors.
A June 11, 2019, email reportedly sent to the city by a Collaborative Design Group representative says: “The columns and foundations have not been designed for additional lateral loads. It is assumed that wind loads on the vertical addition will be resisted by new shear walls or braced frames that extend to the base of the building.”
The email also states added foundations could be required.
In September 2019, the Rochester City Council voted to move forward with a plan for St. Paul-based Common Bond Communities to build eight floors of housing on top of the ramp, but two months later it was reported in a public meeting that additional design and engineering work could be required.
The court documents state city officials met with Collaborative Design Group in an attempt to mediate the dispute, but no resolution was reached.
The city approved a $148,000 study in 2020 related to the ramp, which reportedly found design deficiencies related to insufficient foundation, column and beam strength, as well as drainage and sealant conditions.
On Feb. 18, the council awarded a nearly $114,000 contract to Paragon Restoration II to address waterproofing and other concerns related to the structure.
City Attorney Jason Loos said the total damages related to the city’s lawsuit against Collaborative Design Group are not yet known and will be determined as the court action continues.
Collaborative Design Group has 21 days to respond to Friday’s court filing.