Here's some from an article I have in today's edition about yet another major downtown Rochester real estate deal.
The rush for developers to stake out a claim in downtown Rochester
continues this month, as the seven-story Associated Bank building was
sold on Sept. 16 after months of speculation.
As of Oct. 1, all tenants of the building
at 206 S. Broadway are to make out rent payments to Bloom International
Realty, according to a letter from Oxford Property Management. Oxford,
which is based in Rochester, will manage the building for the new
A series of major development projects have been launched since Mayo
Clinic's Destination Medical Center initiative to invest in Rochester's
infrastructure, Mayo Clinic and the surrounding business community was
launched earlier this year.
"We're not surprised. DMC represents an exciting new chapter for
Rochester, which the marketplace is reacting to," said Rochester Area
Chamber of Commerce President John Wade.
The tenants, which include the bank, the Dunlap & Seeger law firm,
the O'Brien & Wolf law firm, Minnesota Public Radio and others, were
told they need to vacate the building in 2015. Many tenants said off
the record that they've heard the new owners will demolish the building
to make make way for a new development, possibly a high-end hotel.
Mark Dixon, of Oxford Property Management, exchanged phone messages with
the Post-Bulletin on Tuesday but could not connect for an interview.
Dixon was meeting with a visiting international group, presumably the
new owners of the Associated building.
Bloom is a foreign company that incorporated in Minnesota last week,
according to state records. Some Rochester business leaders have said
off the record that the new owners are Bloom Properties LLC, which is
based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. If the Abu Dhabi firm is the
new owner, it would raise the recent real estate activity to a new
level. Bloom signed a deal with another firm this week to build a $4.5
billion residential project in Baghdad to house 150,000 people.
"The new owners have not only made an investment in downtown but want to
be partners with our community going forward," said Wade, who has met
with the new owners.
While he did not identify them, Wade said this is the first local
investment by this group. However, they have had "a long relationship"
with the city and are very familiar with Rochester.