Rochester City Council to Consider Fate of 19th Century Buildings
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday evening to hear an appeal from a local businessman with plans for a significant development in the 300 block of South Broadway.
Hal Henderson is asking the elected officials to overturn a decision by the Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission to deny his request to remove five properties on the west side of the block from the city's historic property inventory. The properties are among dozens that have been deemed potentially historically significant but have yet to be evaluated for a possible historic landmark designation under Rochester's Unified Development Code.
The affected properties are identified as 309, 311, 313, 315, and 317 South Broadway from just south of Kathy's Pub through the building that houses Steam Cafe and an art business. The former Paine Furniture Store site is on the list.
Materials presented to the city by Henderson in support of his appeal depict plans for an eight-story structure behind a two-story building that would match the height of other buildings on the west side of South Broadway between 3rd and 4th Streets SW. The plans also include a skyway connection across Broadway.
in his presentation to the Heritage Commission in October, Henderson, who owns a stake in the properties through the GH Holdings Partnership, argued that updating the existing buildings is no longer financially feasible. The commission voted 5-2 to deny his request.
City staff notes that the inclusion of a property on the historic inventory does not necessarily preclude its demolition. There is a process under the United Development Code to request authorization from the Heritage Preservation Commission with the City Council having the final say on the proposal.
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