Business booming in downtown Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Business booming in downtown Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- If you've spent anytime in Downtown Rochester over the past few months, you might have noticed a flurry of new businesses starting to fill empty store fronts.

Many of them are honing in on one very small area on the south end of downtown.

Just a year ago, the area around South Broadway and Historic 3rd St. was pretty empty, but now the empty store fronts that lined the street are filling up.

Three letters are getting a lot of attention from entrepreneurs and developers in Rochester.

"Its a lot of people with ideas of starting a business, moving their business, trying to come from the twin cities, and I would say that a lot of that has to do with Destination Medical Center," said Commercial Realtor Bucky Beeman.

Businesses are flocking to the south end of downtown. Local business owners are taking risks and national chains are seeing opportunities, and Beeman says DMC has a lot do with that.

"We're at a stage where people are very optimistic about what Rochester could become," he said.

Chris Holloway of Press Coffee and Tea Lounge is an example of one of those business owners taking a risk on South Broadway.

"There just wasn't a space downtown that stayed open late and kind of filled the needs of the working community, the downtown community, the creative community and students," Holloway said.

Though Press opened just three weeks ago, Holloway says the idea started years ago -- long before Destination Medical Center was announced. Holloway he says it's made him more confident in his business, but when he chose this space the move downtown was already started.

"It just seems like this is where any current activity and future growth is likely to be centered," he said.

And that growth on South Broadway, Historic 3rd St and even 1st Ave has only accelerated after the DMC bill was announced in January and signed in May.

"Currently there is a need in downtown for spaces," Beeman said. "I showed a space downtown today, and we're seeing a limitation of the inventory that's downtown."

Once that inventory fills, there's only one answer for developers.

"They'll have to be new spaces built and created," Beeman said.

Beeman says as DMC continues and the available spaces downtown are filled, we can expect to see new business developments built and created in downtown.

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