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Architects present revised DMC plans to DMCC board

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  • Architects present revised DMC plans to DMCC boardMore>>

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Architects and planners met with the DMCC board for the third time Thursday to discuss the evolving future of Rochester.

The word "iconic" was thrown around quite a bit at the meeting, as planners try to create an environment for Rochester unique from any other place place in the world. The plans are still preliminary, but they are impressive.

"The planners have taken a lot of information and pulled it together to really transform Rochester,” said Economic Development Association executive director Lisa Clarke.

The master plan includes a total transformation of downtown, including a huge crystalline roof over the intersection one block south of peace plaza.

The plaza itself, would get a makeover too, as the "Visitor Lantern" would take the place of the UMR building, and grand stairs would guide visitors to the Zumbro River.

Shops and restaurants would line the Zumbro and the water would be at city level, so its frozen surface could be used in the winter as well.

Another huge project is Discovery Square, two blocks south of the Plummer building, with more iconic architecture that planners hope will stand out as Rochester competes with other medical cities.

"Rochester is a special place, it has a special culture, it has a special industry with the Mayo Clinic. And we want to reflect that the best we can, creating amazing, exceptional public spaces and buildings,” said the master plan architect Peter Cavaluzzi.

Although impressive, the plans did not come without some constructive feedback from the DMCC board. "There's some real consideration about the meaning and usefulness of the subway, skyway, and the street level and how we can use those to reinforce the street,” said Cavaluzzi.

Another point board members made was about the location of the light pavilion. While that places the city center at Second Street and First Avenue, the board pointed out that people naturally gravitate toward Peace Plaza, one block north.

"I think the board is providing great input, and we'll take those to the drawing board and incorporate those ideas as we go forward,” said Cavaluzzi.

While none of this is final, some of it could be happening sooner than you think. "We need to make sure that things happen within the first three years, three to five years to really have that strong impact,” Cavaluzzi said.

Planners will also run into the trouble of negotiating with private landowners to put these plans into action.

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