City Hopes to Be New Owner of Chateau Building
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester residents will soon be asked what their thoughts are concerning the future of the Chateau Theater building.
The city has reached a purchase agreement with its owner for $6 million. Mayo Clinic has agreed to contribute $500,000 and the city will pay the rest, using DMC funds.City Administrator Steve Kvenvold says he will schedule a City Council vote on the purchase agreement at its April 6th meeting. If approved, a 60 day public review and comment period will begin.
The building originally opened in 1927 and was last used as a Barnes and Noble book store,which closed in December. It has been identified as a key component of the DMC initiative and its board has already endorsed its value.
Kvenvold says he will ask the City Council to use DMC funds to help cover the building’s operational costs, once its purpose has been approved.
DMC Corporation Board Chair Tina Smith was among those speaking at Monday's news conference when the purchase plan was revealed publicly for the first time. She told the gathering the preservation of the building “ is a great way to jump start the Destination Medical Center initiative. “
Also speaking was Mayo President and CEO John Noseworthy, who said, “Our gift demonstrates Mayo’s commitment to this community while fulfilling the vision for one of Destination Medical Center’s first areas of focus, its ‘Heart of the City’ district.This is the right thing to do as a community partner and demonstrates Mayo’s commitment to preservation of our community’s historic assets and the Destination Medical Center initiative.” Noseworthy also told the crowd that Dr. Charlie Mayo turned the first shovel of dirt at the building's groundbreaking ceremony.
City Council President Randy Staver says he fully supports the purchase and told the crowd if it can be finalized, the building will have a public purpose.
Mayor Ardell Brede told the crowd he anticipates the only real physical changes to the building will be the restoration of the original design and features.