Castle sold for $2.3 million

Sale of former city-owned building comes with continued agreement to operate with arts-and-culture-based activities in Rochester.

The Castle
The Castle on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — The former Rochester armory, known as The Castle , was purchased for $2.3 million, with the requirement that it continue to operate with community arts and cultural activities.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue reported the deed to the property was transferred to Castle and Company LLC on Tuesday.

The Castle and Company LLC was registered on March 7, the day after the Rochester City Council approved the Castle sale to Rochester investor David Arnett. The approval included a transfer of the city agreement related to building operations.

The former owner, Castle Community LLC, purchased the site at 121 N. Broadway Ave. from the city in 2017, paying $250,000 with another $425,000 in payment to the city being generated through a tax-increment financing district.

The sale came with an agreement to operate the site for arts and cultural uses in an agreement that has been extended through Feb. 20, 2024.


Following the 2017 sale, the Castle Community reportedly invested more than $2 million in property improvements, eventually leasing first-floor space to Cameo Restaurant, using the second floor for a combination of leased and public spaces and reserving the bulk of the third floor as an entertainment venue.

The current estimated value of the property for tax purposes is $1.4 million, according to Olmsted County property records.

Arnett has said he plans to continue many of the same uses, with a new restaurant — Latitude 44 — expected to open on the first floor, offering a modern American menu under the lead of Executive Chef Samuel St. George.

The proposal for the second floor is to offer grab-and-go food options from the restaurant, catering to clientele utilizing work space and conference rooms, as well as the downtown workforce community.

The second floor is also expected to include a room to host podcasts and creation of social media content as well as an art gallery.

The upper level of the building is expected to continue providing event space for weddings, concerts, meetings and other gatherings.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or
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