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« Stewartville manufacturer rolls out new catheter | Main | New south Roch bar wants to be talk of the town »

October 03, 2012

Roch schools buy Market Square building

Here's some from an article by Matthew Stolle about the school district buying the almost empty Rochester Market Square building for $2.1 million.

I guess the buzz about the schools looking at buying a commercial building that I reported back in June panned out. Toot. That was me tooting my own horn. Heh.

I remember back when Tom and Joe Haley along with Darren Groteboer broke ground for the home building mall in 2005.

The district seems to have gotten a good price. The property was listed at $3.5 million on Loopnet.com last month.

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ServeAttachmentThe Rochester School Board on Tuesday approved the purchase of the Rochester Market Square building in southeastern Rochester for the purpose of relocating the district's area learning center programs, housed at Golden Hill Education Center.

The board agreed to buy the 56,000 square-foot, L-shaped structure for $2.1 million, nearly two months after it began negotiations with the owner, SA Group Properties.

Officials estimate that remodeling the building into a school — work that is set to begin in January so that the new school will be ready for the start of the 2013-2014 school year — will cost an additional $6.6 million, bringing the total cost of the project to $8.7 million.

"It's going to be a good deal," said Rochester Superintendent Michael Munoz after the meeting. "They are going to get a better facility to be educated. And we're going to be able to possibly expand the services that we offer them."

There is one unique twist to the arrangement. The market square building is empty but for a single tenant, a Sherwin-Williams paint business that is halfway through its 10-year lease. It so far has expressed no interest in quitting the space it occupies, which is at the top end of the L-shaped building, away from the main part of the building, officials say.

By agreeing to buy the building, the district also purchased the lease held by the previous owner, a detail that will affect the project's financing and make the district a rent collector.
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Even with the tenant there, officials say, the market square structure will be a roomier place for staff, students and programs, allowing the consolidation of some ALC programs that are scattered at different sites. Golden Hill is a building of 36,000 square feet, while market square has 56,000 square feet. Sherwin-Williams occupies about 6,000 square feet of that space, still leaving 50,000 square feet for the school and enough space to accommodate an elementary school-sized gym.

A large garden that students and community groups have been working on at Golden Hill will also be transferred to the new site, officials say.

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