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Rochester city administrator backs arts and cultural proposal for Armory

Rochester city administrator backs arts and cultural proposal for Armory

City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold issued a memo on Tuesday in support of the Arts and Cultural Initiative's proposal for the re-use of the historic Armory building in downtown Rochester.

Here is the full text of his statement on the proposal:

The Armory building has served as a community resource for a number of decades and I would prefer that it continues to serve as a community resource for the future. A community is enhanced by a vibrant arts scene and an affordable gathering work space is needed for individuals to explore and implement their artistic endeavors. 

 

In many cities, an artistic quarter often thrives in a low rent area of the city, frequently resulting in making such an area more attractive to investors, ultimately increasing rents which drives the artists out of the area. With a community owned facility, an "artistic quarter" could exist for many years without a loss of space due to the increasing costs of such a space.

The proposal from the Arts and Cultural Initiative would also serve the needs of Rochester's diverse cultural groups by providing a space for the groups to meet and interact.

Kvenvold, the city's highest ranking non-elected official, said he would be willing to provide assistance "reviewing and recommending an organizational structure involving the operation of the building" if the council chose to give ACI's proposal additional consideration. 

Last week, the city council voted to reject the group's proposal and directed staff to begin to soliciting appraisals for the building. The council also asked staff to provide a more in-depth analysis of ACI's proposal — essentially putting any move on hold until more information is collected.

Note: Tip of the hat to Councilman Michael Wojcik for making this memo public.


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