Permitting process update

More information continues to come forward about our development process.  I believe that there are improvements to be made, but the Dorfman report remains an absolute joke.  It was a good move by our permitting task force to immediate throw it out.  Here was a note we received.

Dear Task Force Members-

I wanted to take this opportunity to offer my insight in working with city staff on development projects related to the University of Minnesota.

As quick background, prior to joining the University of Minnesota I worked for a large national development firm where I had development responsibility for projects located in several major cities throughout the country.  As such, I have an excellent frame of reference regarding city staff and their ability to work – or not work – with the development community.  I have said this repeatedly and will say it again, I have never worked with a city that has been more friendly, progressive and thoughtful about its development process than Rochester.  In fact, when I spoke to a committee at NAIOP’s national convention (the largest commercial real estate development association in the country), my message was that the future of development needed to be done in partnership with cities like Rochester.

The University of Minnesota’s growth in Rochester can be attributed to many wonderful groups and individuals.  And when the time came to make our projects a reality, city staff was a big reason that we successfully delivered as promised.  If not for the staffs can-do attitude and understanding of the greater good, our delivery time on bringing projects to market would have taken the more typical route of excessive process, delays and added costs.

The old adage that “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” is worthy of consideration on your part.  Rochester’s city staff is the best group that I have ever worked with, which is a tremendous compliment to the team that Stevan Kvenvold has built over the years.  They have been remarkably helpful to us by supporting innovative concepts together with ingenious problem-solving, and always with an eye toward the greater good for Rochester.

The residents of Rochester should feel proud to have such a progressive city staff running their community.  Staff has a lot of masters to serve and in my opinion, do it as good as anyone I have ever encountered as a developer.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Mike Denny

University of Minnesota

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