Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester City Council Monday night approved a development assistance agreement for the proposed Bloom Riverfront project, which will clear the way for work to begin in the near future.

The agreement requires the city to provide about $20-million to Bloom.

Some of the money will cover the cost of extra public parking spaces. Bloom is planning to build its project on city-owned property along the Zumbro River, between 2nd and 4th streets SE.

The project calls for two towers, parking and commercial space and public amenities. A 20 story tower would be constructed first on the south end of the site. It would include 215 apartments for seniors. The second phase calls for a 28 story tower on the north end that would include 181 hotel rooms and 132 condo units.

Both towers will include parking garages totaling about 460 spaces. Bloom will give the city 173 spaces in exchange for the property. Assistant City Administrator Terry Spaeth says the city will give Bloom nearly $2-million for an extra 41 parking spaces, needed to make up for the loss of the 2nd St parking ramp and a surface lot. The two sides had agreed earlier to $18-million in tax increment financing.

The Council also approved the preliminary plan for a planned hotel/retail complex proposed for the Virgil’s site near St. Marys Hospital. The developer can now finalize plans for the 5 story building.

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