Discovery Square

An artist's rendering of the Discovery Square concept.

The DMC Corp. Board of Directors at its first meeting since adopting the DMC Development Plan made headway on two major projects: the Chateau Theatre and Broadway at Center.

Both projects received the approval of the DMCC board on Thursday, qualifying them as DMC projects to be funded with DMC dollars. The city of Rochester has a stake in both ventures.

The city is in a 60-day due diligence period for the Chateau but has not yet finalized its purchase, slated for $6 million.

Broadway at Center, a Gus Chafoulias project, plans a unique Hilton hotel, residential apartment, restaurants and retail in a 23-story mixed-use tower. The project is "shovel-ready" according to Victor Pechaty, a consulting architect, aside from a few final actions.

Sheila Thoma, marketing and communications manager for Titan Ventures, said there is no set timeline established for groundbreaking.

Broadway at Center plans include a $140 million, 24-month construction, with $6.5 million in approved city incentives and more than $14 million in city infrastructure related to the project, including a 450-space downtown parking ramp.

DMCC board member R.T. Rybak noted he would approve the Broadway at Center project but he would be opposed to any other downtown projects proposing parking ramps.

EDA executive director

The DMC Economic Development Agency gave an update on its staffing. Lisa Clarke, formerly the EDA's interim executive director, was named the first full-time executive director of the agency after a nationwide search lasting more than a year.

The EDA staff will be filled with four positions below Clarke, trimmed back from an earlier 11-member staff estimate.

While the staff recruits and transitions into full-time roles, the EDA asked the DMCC board to approve extending a contract for management services with Hammes Co. consultants. The $1.8 contract would run through the end of the year.

Hammes, based in Chicago, will be the recipient of another contract as well, according to Jeff Bolton, DMC EDA chairman and Mayo Clinic chief administrative officer. Mayo Clinic will independently commission Hammes to conduct a feasibility study for developing Discovery Square, a DMC development district.

DMCC Board Chairwoman and Lt. Gov. Tina Flint Smith indicated in her report that the board could look into requests proposed by citizens in recent meetings, particularly requests for renewable and sustainable energy practices. Smith indicated the board could host a workshop this summer to explore the topic.

In other DMCC board actions, the board approved a conflict of interest policy to govern future actions, and approved a contract with CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP for auditing services.

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