"Broadway at Center" changes spark council discussion on proposa - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

"Broadway at Center" changes spark council discussion on proposal-modifying process

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

We told you how the 'Broadway at Center' project is back on schedule about two weeks ago.

At Monday's Rochester City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, the project came up once more, but not because of bumps in the road.

It's a goliath project taking downtown Rochester by storm: A towering, 19-story sky-rise called Broadway at Center, which will be an upscale Hilton Hotel, containing 264 hotel rooms.

The ground floor of the building will consist of approximately 20,000 square feet, containing the lobby, 7000 square feet worth of restaurant space, and also an “urban kitchen” space.

The second level will consist of 15,000 square feet of retail tenant spaces; the third and fourth levels will have ballroom and conference room space; and the fifth floor will have a pool area, sun deck, and a fitness lawn area.

Though it sounds massive, this is actually a downsize from the original plans.

Three stories were removed, from the original development ideas, along with 33 housing units.

That removal prompted discussion at Monday's City Council Committee of the Whole meeting; A discussion focusing on the fact that plans for the project were changed and amended by staff without giving prior notice to city council.

"I think we owe it to our staff and ourselves to add more definition to what constitutes a change where it reaches that level where, yeah, we should come back with some sort of review," said City Council President Randy Staver during Monday's meeting.

This prompted the discussion among city council as to questioning at what point or how significant of changes must be made by a client before they need to get approval from council.

"The idea that knocking off three stories and taking a use off a mixed-use project is deemed by our staff as being minor and routine really really bothers me," said Council Member Michael Wojcik, who is the council member that petitioned for the subject to be discussed at Monday's meeting.

Staver said there is an ordinance that lays out a process for amending certain proposals, however, the language doesn't make things very clear, especially in regards to modification of those proposals.

Council hopes to have some sort of language written up in the next 30 days in regards to those rules and guidelines.

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