Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A snag has cropped up concerning plans for the construction of affordable housing units on top of Rochester’s newest public parking ramp.

A statement issued by the city this morning indicates a preliminary engineering review of the over 600 stall parking ramp has identified possible issues that suggest the structure might not be up to the task of supporting the addition of housing units on top of the parking ramp. Officials stress the new parking facility next to the new Hilton Hotel is safe and remains open.

Walker Consultants was hired by the city after the Rochester City Council recently voted to accept a proposal from Common Bond to develop an apartment building on top of the parking ramp with 127 units to help address the city’s shortage of affordable housing.

City Administrator Steve Rymer shares, “The City of Rochester is doing our due diligence at this point and the thing we do know, is that the ramp is safe for its intended use as a parking facility today. Some additional work may be required to support the housing and we are taking the necessary steps needed to better understand our options. The City of Rochester remains committed to affordable housing and the safety of our community and visitors."

City officials say the review results are preliminary. Rymer says the next steps will include seeking a bid from the consulting firm to expand its study to determine what additional work might be needed to allow for the Common Bond project to proceed.

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