Rochester City Council approves purchase agreement for Bloom Project

Monday night, the City Council approved a purchase agreement for the property where the "Bloom Project" is said to be located.

Posted: Aug. 8, 2018 8:46 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The City Council approved a purchase agreement Monday night between the city and Bloom International Reality.

One councilmember is skeptical if the city made a good deal.

The purchase agreement is for the land valued at $8 million, which is said to be used for a major river front project.

According to renderings from Bloom’s website, the Rochester skyline has the potential to reach higher with two tower buildings. They’re said to include a hotel, condominiums, senior apartments, as well as retail and restaurant spaces.

In order for it to go up, Second Street Parking Ramp, Zumbro Parking Lot, and existing Labor Temple Building will have to come down.

Monday night the City Council approved a purchase agreement for the property where the project is said to be located.

“ The agreement that we're looking for here is to sell the parcels to the Bloom company for about $8 million,” Randy Staver, council president, said, “but then they're responsible for all of the demolition and site preparation.”

Councilman Michael Wojcik was the only councilmember to vote no, because he’s skeptical.

“ We're giving a bunch of things away, in the hopes that there's a project,” Wojcik said, “and that's just backwards.”

Staver tells KIMT development plans still need to be finalized and $18 million in Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, still needs to be approved.

“My goal is to try and get the best value I can for the tax payers,” Wojcik said, “and this deal fell well short of that.”

Staver sees it differently.

“Ideally we would like to know all the details of the project before we commit to any particular step,” Staver said, “In this case it's an evolving process.”

Staver said the closing of the property sale is estimated to be completed by this fall. After development plans are finalized, work could start as early as 2019.

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