I am committed to a fair & equitable process for all parties on this building. Here is how I believe we can achieve this.
The Carlton Hotel was found by our Heritage Preservation Commission to be a Historic Site. As such the city should proceed with respect for the property and a fair determination as to whether the building should be demolished. It is no secret that there are rifts between Rochester’s preservation community, building owners, elected officials and city staff. So how can we make a decision that is both fair and equitable? I would suggest we hire an independant group, give them a through mission, and live by the professional recommendation they make. Here is one such group Collaborative Design Group. I would recommend using this group as they have credibility with staff, council, and the preservation community.
On Monday I plan to introduce a resolution hiring Collaborative Design Group, preventing staff / developer interference, and executing the following scope of work to inform the demolition process:
- Site observation, description and building document research for the existing structural system. Determine columns spacing, floor to floor height, construction type, and condition.
- Site observation, description and building document research for the existing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. Determine existing systems, capacity, and useful life.
- Hazardous materials assessment and handling report
- Site observation, field measurement and building document research for existing life safety and accessibility systems (stairs, ramps, elevators, etc.). Document deficiencies per 2015 Minnesota Building Code requirements.
- Building code and life safety evaluation along with potential floor plan layouts.
- Eligibility and feasibility of renovation/rehabilitation for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
Thank you to community design professional(s) that helped me put this list together. My guess is that this contract would be in the range of $15k-$25k and would potentially inform tens of millions in development.
Once I introduce the resolution under other business it will require a “second.” Assuming that happens; we will then vote on the resolution. Not sure of the chances of this passing. Even if it fails to garner 4 votes it should help apply sunshine to the level of commitment to preservation on the council. It will also give the community a full month to contact elected officials in advance of a hearing on January 18.