A proposed pilot program could provide early consideration for a plan to adapt and reuse the former Olmsted Bank and Trust Building in downtown Rochester.

The Rochester City Council will be asked Monday to approve the proposal, which would allow the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission to officially review plans for the potential city landmark without an official building permit in play.

The proposal follows a request for a demolition permit for the 103-year-old building at 7 Second St. SW, which was intended as a way to spur a commission decision on whether the building is a landmark before added effort is made toward adding two floors to the building.

RELATED: Olmsted County Bank demolition request intended to spark landmark review amid renovation plans

“The main goal, of course, is not to demolish the property, but instead revitalize it,” property owner Mike Hawkins and a representative of Capital Ventures LLC wrote in a letter sent to Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission Chairwoman Christine Schultze last month.

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In a report to the City Council, Molly Patterson-Lundgren, the city’s heritage preservation and urban design coordinator, said the proposal to the city’s heritage preservation ordinance would allow property owners and developers to seek a “certificate of appropriateness,” but it’s uncertain when the change will be made.

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)
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)

The proposed pilot program would allow the city to test the concept.

Under the program, the owner and developer would submit a request for review, which would include a full set of concept plans.

The commission would hold a public hearing and consider whether to approve the proposed concept. It would be a decision that could be appealed to the City Council, but if approved, it would allow staff to review future permit requests based on how closely they match the project reviewed by the commission.

The commission did review the proposal for the Olmsted County Bank building last month, and members voiced support for the concept, but no official determination could be made without a permit request based on the proposed changes.

The City Council will be asked to approve the pilot program during its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the city-county Government Center. The meeting will be the first this year to be open to in-person public attendance, but seating will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and be available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188, and Metronet channel 80.

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)
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)



Meetings scheduled to be held during the week of May 17 include:

Rochester

  • City Council study session, 3:30 p.m. Monday in City Council chambers of the city-county Government Center. The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188, and Metronet channel 80.
  • City Council, 6 p.m. Monday in City Council chambers of the city-county Government Center. The meeting will livestream at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas and available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188, and Metronet channel 80.

  • Park Board study session, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Dial-in information for listening to the meeting live can be requested by emailing parknrec@rochestermn.gov. Video will be posted online following the meeting.
  • Library Board, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Video of the meeting will be posted online at www.rochestermn.gov/agendas the following day.

Olmsted County

  • Health, Housing and Human Services committee, 11 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the government center.
  • Housing and Redevelopment Authority, 1 p.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the government center. The meeting will be livestreamed at https://olmstedcounty.primegov.com/public/portal.
  • Administrative Committee, 2 p.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the government center.
  • Physical Development Committee, 2 p.m. Tuesday in conference room 2 of the government center.
  • Board of County Commissioners, 3 p.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the government center. The meeting livestream is posted at https://olmstedcounty.primegov.com/public/portal.
  • Parks Commission, 5 p.m. Tuesday. Information for connecting to the online meeting is posted at https://olmstedcounty.primegov.com/public/portal.
  • Sheriff's Civil Service Commission, 8 a.m. Wednesday in the board chambers of the government center.
  • Environmental Commission, 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Information for connecting to the online meeting will be posted at https://olmstedcounty.primegov.com/public/portal.
  • Planning Advisory Commission, 7 p.m. Thursday in board chambers of the government center. The meeting will be livestreamed at https://olmstedcounty.primegov.com/public/portal.

Rochester Public Schools

  • School Board, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom of the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW. Meeting will livestream at YouTube.com/ISD535.

Destination Medical Center

  • DMC Corp. board, 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Information for viewing or connecting to the meeting is available at https://dmc.mn/events/.