alatus 2nd Street SW, Rochester.jpg

Drawing of proposed Alatus building looking west from Second Street Southwest.

A wave of construction work is rolling toward Rochester in the next few months.

Work has already begin on the downtown Hilton, Flats on 4th apartments and the Miracle Mile developments. Overall, Rochester's construction scene has been fairly subdued.

That's expected to change.

"I think it'll be a good year," said Hawk & Sons Crane Supervisor Joel Wright as his team wrapped up work on the Seneca Foods roofing project.

May is traditionally a slow month as contractors wait for the ground to dry out to put in footings, but many projects could start later this summer and into the fall.

• Alatus tower — The largest private Destination Medical Center project currently in the works is the $115 million, 13-story Alatus development on Second Street Southwest between 14th and 15th avenues. It will be just west of the Mary Brigh entrance to Saint Marys. The project, which developer Bob Lux has described as a "legacy project" for the city, will feature 347 apartments and townhouses, plus about 21,000 square feet of commercial retail space.

Crews have been taking soil borings to prepare for construction, though no date has been set to demolish The Brentwood on 2nd hotel and the Ray-Mar Motel on that corner. That's expected to happen in the coming months. The mixed-use project is projected to be completed by the end of 2018.

• Saint Marys Hospital expansion — Just across 14th Avenue from the Alatus development, Mayo Clinic is working on its own $217 million, five-year "domino effect" of expansion and renovation projects on its Saint Marys Hospital campus.

The elaborate plan includes adding three floors to the Generose Building, moving and upgrading the cardiac surgery facilities and expanding the Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care units.

While Mayo Clinic recently had Vic's Crane & Heavy Haul dismantle and remove two large construction cranes that had stood at Saint Marys for years, they will eventually come back for this project.

Some work to build out empty "shell space" is expected to begin within a few months. The build-out of four now-empty "shell" floors — 7 to 10 — of the East Tower will allow for 78 beds to be moved from the Joseph Building. Those floors were added in 2016 as part of a previous $92.7 million upgrade.

• Mortenson's Discovery Square project — Minneapolis-based Mortenson Co., chosen by Mayo Clinic, is gearing up to start work on an estimated four-story, 89,000-square-foot complex to be the first commercial science and health care building in the Discovery Square sub-district of the Destination Medical Center area.

It's slated to be built at the corner of Fourth Street Southwest and Second Avenue Southwest. That's on Mayo Clinic's employee parking Lot No. 2.

This will be the first Mortenson's development of an estimated 2 million square feet of research and development space in the DMC Discovery Square subdistrict. Mayo Clinic chose Mortenson to drive the massive project. The developer will own the building. Mayo Clinic will be the anchor tenant, with the rest of the facility to be filled with scientific and health care firms looking for easy access to Mayo Clinic.

If everything goes according to Mortenson's plan, construction will start in November with it expected to be finished before the end of 2019.

• Eastgate Apartments/ Wicked Moose development — South Dakota developer Nate Stencil, who is also building the Flats on 1st complex in downtown, is preparing to start work on Eastgate Apartments, a four-story, 135-unit complex at 1201 Eastgate Drive SE.

The apartments are slated to built on the site of the Wicked Moose Bar & Grill, which closed in March. The 7,000-square-foot bar, restaurant and entertainment complex will be demolished to make way for the apartments.

Work is expect to start later this summer or fall.

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Business Reporter

Jeff has worked at newspapers as a reporter, columnist, editor, photographer and copy editor since 1992. He started at the Post Bulletin in 1999. Kiger is the PB's business reporter and writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street."