ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — On Monday, The Rochester City Council voted to allow Powers Ventures to buy the Third Street Ramp Retail Space for $1.4 million.
The location was formally known as Dooley’s Irish Pub.
“It was definitely from the beginning a very complex situation going into it. It was a lot of back and forth discussion. But I think what’s key is overall what we were really showing was what we want to put in there. And that’s just bringing vibrancy to downtown and adding that to the great places there,” said Nick Powers, President of Powers Ventures.
Powers Ventures also owns Canadian Honker Restaurant and Catering, Pinnacle Catering, J. Powers event venue at the Hilton downtown, Rochester International Event Center and Mayowood Stone Barn.
The agreement between Powers and Rochester also included a section about the construction of the Third Street Ramp.
“There is an item within the purchase agreement that focuses on closure for ramp repairs that allows the city, after 15 years, or every 15 years thereafter, to close the ramp for up to one year with no financial obligation to the owner,” said Allison Zelms, City Administrator. “So that would mean they would potentially need to close the business for up to one year.”
Powers said that aspect of the agreement took a lot of thought.
“Obviously it was concerning when it was brought up. And that was probably one of the most difficult things to work around was deciding what happens when the ramp comes down,” he said. “Nobody can look forward in 30/ 40 years and figure out what’s going to happen.”
The agreement also includes a section if the ramp needs to be demolished.
The location has been vacant after Dooley’s Pub closed in early 2021.
Councilmember Molly Dennis, believes the Powers family has done great things for the community but wished the process of them getting the building was different.
“This has all been done during a pandemic. And the downtown is changing. What we are having right now, is not what is necessarily going to be in the future. So, I think this is being very quickly done,” she said. “I feel like we should open this up again and go more slowly to get more, I don’t know, more of a competitive bid, I believe.”
Dennis also said community members she’s talked to, want a downtown spot that caters to the nightlife such as a club or bar.
However, that’s not the plan that Powers’ has in mind.
“Essentially this building is set up for a nightclub bar. We have no interest obviously of getting into that. So it’s going to be extensive renovations.” Powers said.
So what will the new space be?
“You know, we want a little bit of the element of surprise. But I can tell you if anybody knows what our products are. Obviously, it will stay in line with you know, family-friendly. But also it will be different. It will be different than anything we’ve ever done and we’re excited,” Powers said.
Powers did not say when the new establishment will be open to the public.
Council members Nick Campion and Molly Dennis voted against the agreement.