Plan Would Convert Downtown Rochester Hotel Into Student Housing
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - An item on the agenda for this week's meeting of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents includes a proposal involving a significant change to downtown Rochester.
The University of Minnesota-Rochester is asking for authorization to enter into a 12-year lease of the current Double Tree Hotel at 150 South Broadway as part of a plan to convert the hotel into student housing. The plan calls for converting the current 186 hotel rooms on floors 3 through 11 of the building into student housing units with just over 400 beds.
The lower level of the hotel would be used for recreational and gathering spaces, the swimming pool, and laundry facilities. The first floor would house the residential front desk and staff support offices, along with breakout and study spaces, and storage. The dining hall, additional gathering space, and additional fitness and recreational space would be located on the second floor
The owner of the Double Tree Hotel, Titan Development of Rochester would cover the estimated $7.6 million cost of the conversion, while the U of M's lease of the facility would start at just over $3 million the first year and rise by 1.75-percent in the following years. The U of M would also be required to pay the property tax and utility bills, which would be around $1 million in the first year of the lease, which is expected to begin in August of next year. The proposed lease also requires Titan Development to handle food services for the UMR students.
The resolution that will be presented to the Board of Regents on Thursday indicates the University of Minnesota-Rochester will be at capacity for student housing this fall and the campus continues to experience increased undergraduate student enrollment. The resolution also notes that UMR is planning to extend its on-campus housing requirement to include second-year students as part of a plan to meet the school's student retention goals.