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Saint Marys-area project a '100-year' building

The Alatus project. Image and design courtesy of ESG Architects.

A 100-year building with materials and design directly informed by the context of Mayo Clinic and the historic Folwell neighborhood — that's how the developers of a major mixed-use project neighboring Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus described the 13-level building.

After seeing and hearing the plans described at a meeting Thursday, members of the city of Rochester Committee on Urban Design and Environment called the project "striking" and a project that would bring new concepts to the city.

The project is a product of longtime local developer Ed Pompeian and son Nick Pompeian, who lead 1406 Second Street Associates, with Twin Cities real estate developer Alatus LLC.

Project plans envision 359 multifamily housing rental units in both apartments and town homes, as well as 13,700 square feet of commercial or retail space at the ground level and 7,400 square feet of office space on the second floor. More than 880 parking stalls are also incorporated in the structure, with about 335 targeted for public or contract-based parking.

The development is projected to cost more than $100 million .


In a more detailed look at design plans Thursday, the project architect said the group had aimed for a "timeless" character, inspired by the Saint Marys campus and Folwell neighborhood .

"We see it as a 100-year building," Ryan Samsa, a senior design architect with ESG Architects , of Minneapolis, said. "The construction is robust. … It really needs to exude kind of a permanent and durable, timeless character and that's what we're trying to do."

The building materials include brick and stone that matches the materials at St. Marys, as well as modern materials like architectural cast stone for a refined veneer look, glass and metal accent pieces.

"We're really trying to work with a limited material pallet that is refined and timeless. It's a pallet that's derived and inspired by the Mayo campus directly," Samsa said.

The site plan for the building was also a reaction to the context of the site, Samsa explained. The mass of the building is located at the corner of Second Street Southwest and 14th Avenue, with commercial uses along the busy Second Street corridor.

The town homes offer a step down from the tower toward the single-family residential neighborhood the development borders.

The Committee on Urban Design and Environment responded enthusiastically to the materials, the design and the site plan.

"This is striking, the way it looks," committee member Bari Amadio said. "Compared to what we have (in the city) now, this just strikes me. I just love this."


Committee Chairwoman Jesse Welsh said the project had the capacity to take the city in a new direction — from Point A to Point Z in a single step.

"This kind of gets you going in that direction that Rochester hasn't gone before," she said.

Rents for residential units in the project are projected from $1,300 to $3,000 per month, according to Chris Osmundson, an Alatus senior development associate. The building would provide a rooftop amenity deck, full gym and other benefits, he added.

"It's definitely a difference scale than other projects in Rochester. It sets a tone for a different mode of apartment dwelling in Rochester," Osmundson said.

The project is scheduled for its first public hearing on July 13 at a city Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Developers anticipate a 90- to 120-day period to move through the city's restricted development process, Osmundson said.

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