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Apartments proposed near Mayo Field

Riverwalk Downtown City Apartments.jpg
Riverwalk Downtown City Apartments, Momentum Design Group rendering

A development proposal for a new apartment building is aiming to upgrade downtown living in Rochester.

The Riverwalk Downtown City Apartments is a redevelopment of four residential properties on East Center Street, on the north side of the block at the entrance to Mayo Field.

North Rock Real Estate is handling the development on behalf of an ownership group that controls the properties.

The design currently shows about 160 apartment units in a six-story building, said Mike Zirbes, of North Rock. The architect is Momentum Design Group of St. Paul.

The project proposes an abundance of amenities for residents, something Zirbes said is not common to competitive apartment developments North Rock has reviewed. The building would include a rooftop sky deck, a pool and exercise room, community rooms and about 200 stalls of underground parking.


"The idea is more of a walking-friendly project where very likely the majority of the residents would work downtown and have the ability to park in the underground parking garage and walk downtown," Zirbes said.

The units would be priced at market-rate rents, Zirbes said.

The project team has had a pre-development meeting with city of Rochester staff, as well as meetings with the city's planning department, parks department and public works department.

The developers also met with a neighborhood association and the city's Committee on Urban Design and Environment.

Mike LaPlante, Eastside Pioneers Neighborhood Association president, said neighbors voiced some concerns with the developers at a meeting last week. Those concerns included the density of the project and its setback from a single-family home to the east of the project site.

"There's plenty more meetings planned between the developer and the neighborhood," LaPlante said.

Zirbes said the project design is still conceptual and the development team would continue to seek and consider input from community groups and individuals.

"We're taking feedback into consideration as much as we can. We don't just brush things off and run through as quickly as possible. We're definitely respectful of the process," Zirbes said.


Jesse Welsh and other members of Imagine Kutzky also met with the developer. Welsh said the conversation focused on the building's entryway design and making it a focal point, as well as the scale of the building and strategies to downplay its size.

"I think it's a great gateway toward Eastside; it would be nice to see mixed use there as you transition," Welsh said. "That area is going to develop more, so this would be the beginning of, probably, a lot of development in that core."

Zirbes did not have a timeline for the project to move into the application and formal review process. The next steps, he said, included forming a detailed landscaping plan that could include a reworking of the Mayo Field entrance.

Honkers General Manger Dan Litzinger said he and the developers would "need to sit down and think about it."

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