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Rochester, ,MN (KROC AM News) - It appears a new tenant has been found for the site of a former downtown Rochester restaurant. No, not another restaurant.

The University of Minnesota-Rochester.

UMR has been working on plans to relocate faculty offices and has found a solution that will also benefit students. UMR Chancellor Lori Carrell is seeking $2.5-million from the city to renovate the site that had been used by The Loop restaurant until it closed permanently in July.

The space is part of the 318 Commons building that is used for UMR student housing. UMR is proposing to relocate its student lounge to the former restaurant space. The lounge would be then converted to faculty and student study space.

Carrell says the proposal would allow UMR “to provide campus food options, a needed service we have not been able to provide students in the past.” She says “ we expect to offer a local business the opportunity to sub-lease the kitchen to meet our food service needs."

In her letter to the city, Carrell says “It is still our intention to build on the property we have acquired.” That property is near the YMCA and earlier plans called for an education and housing mix on the site.

The money she is seeking for the Commons project would come from a city sales tax fund dedicated to UMR. About half of the $14-million fund has been used by UMR.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the request at its Monday meeting.


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