UMR to outclass ex-eateries with a wrecking ball
The former China Dynasty and Rico Mex buildings on South Broadway will soon be outclassed by the University of Minnesota Rochester.
The buildings at 701 S. Broadway and 617 S. Broadway, respectively, are slated to be "schooled" — demolished — in the next few weeks.
That will be the first step to start clearing the way for UMR to build its proposed 10.5-acre campus during the next 20 years near Soldiers Memorial Field.
This is part of a long-term development plan for downtown Rochester.
"The Rico Mex and China Dynasty properties will be demolished late August or early September," says Sarah Oslund, UMR's director of communications and public relations. "UMR has plans to clean up the site and develop a landscaping plan for the property over the winter months."
Look for that landscaping plan to be put into action in the spring or early summer.
Rochester's Construction Collaborative firm applied to the city for demolition permits for the two buildings last week.
The university currently is based mostly on the third and fourth floors of the University Square mall in downtown Rochester.
UMR purchased the China Dynasty restaurant for $1.025 million in June 2010. The 2,975-square-foot eatery has been empty since a fire in April 2009.
In December 2010, UMR bought the former Rico Mex site for $1.19 million from Z's American Properties of Dallas.
That was after Z's American Properties turned down an offer of $1.06 million.
Rico Mex closed in 2008 after a little more than a year of cooking in the former Burger King restaurant.
Z's had a history of being a tough negotiator. In 2006, it rejected a bid of $896,500 for that building made during a real estate auction by Burger King franchisee Dolphin Fast Food.
The restaurant there closed in 2005 along with seven other BKs after then-franchisee Girish Dharod of Road Corp. lost a dispute with Burger King's corporate.
Dolphin Fast Food later re-opened some of local BKs.