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Heard on the Street: Alatus names its tower after Daisy Berkman Plummer

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Construction crews prepare the site this month for the $115 million Alatus luxury apartment building along Second Street Southwest at 14th Avenue, just west of Saint Marys Hospital. The formal groundbreaking for the project will be on May 2.
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Standing in front of a huge hole on the corner of Second Street Southwest and 14th Avenue, developers unveiled the name of their planned 13-story tower.

Minneapolis-based Alatus,partnering with Rochester developers Ed and Nick Pompeianand Bob Sexton,has been working on the proposed tower for more than three years. Contractor Weis Buildersstarted moving dirt on the site next to Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospitalearlier this year.

While many details for this $115 million project were hammered out in many public meetings, it never had a name.

Ashley Bisner, Alatus’ lead development associate on this project, announced the carefully chosen name of The Berkmanat the ceremonial "groundbreaking" on Wednesday afternoon.

She explained the name refers to Daisy Louis Berkman Plummer, who was the wife of legendary Mayo Clinic physician Dr. Henry Plummer. The couple’s home, the Plummer house, is a historic Rochester site.

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"We wanted to take it way back to the beginning … What was that great untold story that helped shaped Rochester into what it is today?" said Bisner regarding the search for the name.

Daisy Berkman ran a small laboratory to test patients’ blood in the early days of Mayo Clinic, before marrying Dr. Plummer in 1904.

A dedicated pianist, she founded what would evolve into the Rochester Symphony & Chorale Orchestra. She also was known for hosting weekly baked bean dinners on Sunday evenings for the doctors at Mayo Clinic.

"Our focus on doing these type of names is to really add a soul to a project," said Alatus Founder and Principal Bob Lux. "We feel, in this day and age, it is so appropriate to celebrate Daisy and her contributions and really celebrate the female side of the world."

The 13-story tower and attached condominiums with 350 housing units being built on the site also will include 21,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

If everything goes according to plan, the project should be completed in early 2020.

"We want to fill a niche in the market that is not in the marketplace now … a world-class multihousing development that would be attractive to all of the residents, nurses, incoming fellows, everybody that is attracted to the Mayo," Lux told the crowd of local leaders at the event.

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Daisy Berkman Plummer mug
Daisy Berkman Plummer.

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