An extension of two deadlines connected to Rochester’s former Kmart have been approved.
The Rochester City Council voted 6-1 to extend the time allowed for landscaping and paperwork that could lead to the 2022 demolition of the former retail space.
“During the pandemic, the lot never saw the anticipated use,” said council member Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick, who represents the ward that includes the property.
She added that the neighbors have voiced limited concerns related to the lease change.
Council member Nick Campion cast the sole vote opposing the lease changes.
Camegaran LLC, which bought the property for $7 million in 2019, asked to extend deadlines after it missed the 2020 goals.
The city joined Camegaran and Mayo Clinic in an agreement last year to allow the site at 201 Ninth St. SE. to be used for commuter parking for 7.5 years as development plans are made. The agreement established a variety of deadlines to move the project forward.
Failing to complete initial landscaping and file documents for demolition of the building was set to spawn monthly $4,000 penalties to be paid to the city, but Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish said the penalties were put on hold with the discussion of a potential extension.
In exchange for the extension, he said Mayo Clinic has agreed to pay the site’s full property taxes through the contract, which has not been extended beyond the potential 7.5 years.
The lease change gives Camegaren until Sept. 30 to complete planned landscaping and the creation of a small park at the intersection of Third Avenue Southeast and Ninth Street, both of which were expected to be completed last year.
It also gives the developer the rest of the year to secure approvals for the demolition of the former Kmart building, with demolition still slated to be completed by the end of 2022, if Camegaran and Mayo Clinic decide to increase parking at the site beyond the currently approved 729 spaces.
In addition to the former Kmart site, Camegaran also owns the former AMPI site. Both are part of a small area plan that the City Council is slated to review on April 19.
The plan provides a potential vision for the 61 acres between Broadway and Third avenues and Fourth and 9½ streets. The proposed 20-year vision includes the potential creation of 1,500 housing units, with half defined as affordable and half at market rate, 140 hotel rooms, 70,000 to 100,000 square feet of retail space and 50,000 to 70,000 square feet of office space.
Pat Regan, president of Camegaran, said the company endorses the plan, which included input from neighboring residents, as well as Destination Medical Center officials and property owners in the defined area.
“It’s good work, and it’s going to take a lot of time,” he told the Rochester Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this month, before members voted 7-1 to recommend the council approve the plan.