Task force seeks solutions for downtown Rochester challenges

Community members and businesses are being asked to help identify their priority concerns and potential solutions to COVID-related economic challenges facing downtown Rochester.

Downtown Rochester
A new Downtown Rochester Task Force is seeking to identify priorities to address continued COVID-related impacts to businesses.
Post Bulletin file photo

ROCHESTER — A task force is being assembled to identify priorities in response to the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on downtown Rochester.

The Downtown Rochester Task Force includes members from the city of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, Diversity Council, Experience Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Area Economic Development Agency Inc., Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and Rochester Downtown Alliance.

“The pandemic was a disrupter to many aspects of our national, state, and local economies. How and where people work, shop, and participate in activities has changed,” Rochester Mayor Kim Norton said in a statement announcing the effort. “While downtown Rochester has and will change, there are several opportunities in how we can strengthen and become a more resilient downtown. And we must do this work together.”

The Downtown Rochester Task Force is inviting community members and downtown businesses to participate in upcoming work sessions to share specific challenges they are experiencing related to downtown. Attendees will be asked to identify priority concerns and potential solutions. Once key priorities are identified, an action plan will be created to address each concern.

Four work sessions — three in-person and one virtual — are planned:


  • 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at Fagan Studio and Studio 324.
  • 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, March 3, at Chateau Theatre.
  • 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, March 6, at Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 14, with a planned virtual meeting.

Patrick Seeb, executive director of Destination Medical Center Economic Development Center, said the planned work acknowledges that everyone has a stake in a healthy downtown.
"Now is the time to be intentional about the steps we take to help accelerate recovery," he said. "We will build on existing strengths while focusing on the future.”

The Downtown Rochester Task Force will use an accelerated model in creating an action plan, which will allow participants to identify concerns and work on solutions quickly. The goal is to present an action plan by May 2023 to guide the Downtown Rochester Task Force moving forward.

More information about community work sessions can be found on the Destination Medical Center website, .

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