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Alatus tower will reshape city’s western ‘gateway’

March 28, 2018 GMT

As the temperatures warm up, look for more than spring flowers to grow on Rochester’s Second Street Southwest.

A $115 million tower will soon sprout on the southwest corner of Second Street at 14th Avenue Southwest. Site preparation is already underway on the project that will stand just west of Saint Marys Hospital. Groundbreaking has been set for May 2, and the project’s name also will be announced at that time.

Twin Cities-based Alatus LLC is the developer of the 13-story tower and attached condominiums with 350 housing units in the shadow of the famous hospital. It will also include 21,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

Weis Builders starting work on the site in February with excavation to be followed by pouring concrete.

“It will take three to four months for that until people will see any structures start to go up,” said Alatus Development Director Chris Osmundson in February.

It has been a long process to get to this point. Alatus originally proposed the project in 2016. It hit bumps along the way with neighborhood opposition to the size of the tower and how it would disrupt the Folwell residential area.

Alatus eventually received the blessing of the Rochester City Council and the Destination Medical Center Corp. board, which extended the boundary of the Saint Marys area development district to accommodate the project. The city OK’ed $10.5 million in tax increment financing for the project.

In August 2017, Alatus took control of The Brentwood on 2nd hotel (formerly known as the Blondell) and the Ray-Mar Motel on that corner. The long-time Rochester hotels were demolished last fall.

Then it was just about lining up the money. Financing was completed and closed on Feb. 13, Osmundson said just prior to Weis crews starting to work on the site.

If everything goes according to plan, the project should be completed by late 2019 or early 2020.