Rochester hotel plans to make space available to retailers

Jeff Kiger

The Post-Bulletin

Downtown shopping options could increase as a Rochester icon takes retail business to another level.

The Kahler Hotel plans to make 5,750 square feet of office and lounge space on the mezzanine level available for retailers to lease. That means the carpeted areas that now hold couches and a piano on the skyway level could eventually house glass-enclosed store fronts.

Why make this change now?


"The demand for space. We’ve had a lot of people looking for locations," said Bruce Fairchild, regional operations director for Sunstone Properties Inc.

He attributes some of the interest to the growth downtown and to Sunstone’s success with its more than 60 tenants on the main and subway levels.

"If you look over the last few years, we’ve developed a great group of shops and services that have almost become an attraction of themselves," Fairchild said.

While much of the space being offered now is open lounge areas and walkways, enclosed offices will also be available for transformation into stores. Fairchild and his management team plan to occupy one of the offices.

"It is too good of a location for my office," said Fairchild.

Office space housing the Mayo Clinic-related International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms will become available after Feb. 28, when its project concludes, said Sandy Woodford, Sunstone’s leasing manager.

Dr. David Nesset’s office will also open up in a few months.

Once a tenant is signed for a space, it will take at least 30 to 60 days for it to be prepared.


What kind of stores does Woodford expect on the mezzanine level?

"I see upscale stores, like a luxury marketplace," she said.

She has already had interest from retailers that sell perfume and art glass.

"We like having unique retail, particularly independent ones," Fairchild said.

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