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Kutzky House decision nears

The August Kutzky house, built just over a hundred years ago and considered a "potential historic property" by the city, was moved to make room for construction of an apartment building. It's been standing in this condition for more than a year.

The fate of the Kutzky House could be determined Monday, following the Rochester City Council's public hearing on the request to demolish the former home of August and Bertha Kutzky, early settlers of Rochester.

The hearing will be part of the regular council meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE.

The 103-year-old Kutzky House was moved from from 718 W. Center St. in 2014 to the 800 block of First Street Southwest to make way for the 83-unit Nicholas Apartments. At the time, developers indicated they planned to eventually renovate it as a triplex.

In May of this year, Brad Clemens of Key Builders applied for a permit to demolish the building, later noting Nicholas LLC discovered the cost of renovations put the planned project out of reach following the move.

During a June public hearing before the city's Heritage Preservation Commission, he said the cost of relocating the building and starting renovations had been $260,000 and completing the project would cost another $605,000.


Kutzky Park neighbors and others, however, have voiced concerns about how the structure was treated following the move, noting roof tiles were removed last year, leaving the building exposed.

Kellie Mueller, a broker and owner of Midwest Landing, said most issues cited in the report aimed at outlining barriers for renovation should have been expected. She said most could have been addressed to make the home economically viable before the roof was removed.

Following the June hearing, the commission voted 5-3 to recommend the Rochester City Council deny a demolition permit for the building.

Since the building is on the official list of the city's potentially historic structures, the commission was required to weigh in on the demolition request, and some members indicated they weren't convinced all options to make the building economically feasible had been considered.

Other commission members noted recouping the costs would likely require rents or a sale price that isn't feasible in the neighborhood.

After hearing from people both sides of the issue on Monday, the council could make a decision, or it could delay the decision, which will be required by Sept. 7.

In other business, the council will:

• Hear a request for funding an urban forest master plan.


• Hold a public hearing on the final plat for Riverwalk Apartments, which is planned along the north side of East Center Street east of the Zumbro River and south of Mayo Field.

• Hold a public hearing on the final plat for Century Valley Subdivision, which would subdivide 17.57 acres into 30 lots for residential development, along with a 6.23-acre park.

• Consider projects for federal transit assistance funds. A public hearing on the topic will also be held.

• Hold a public hearing on a tax-increment financing request for the Mortenson Properties project being built in Destination Medical Center's Discovery Square subdistrict. City staff is recommending $4.9 million in TIF.

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