Business and real estate owners call 2023 rebound year for downtown Rochester – ABC 6 News

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(ABC 6 News) – Businesses and realtors are continuing their efforts to bounce back from the COVID-19 Pandemic and bring life back to downtown. With a big push from Mayo Clinic’s $5 billion initiative, the outlook for 2024 appears to be bright.

Downtown business owners have said there has been more foot traffic downtown in 2023 than any of the previous three years. Adding the groundwork that’s been completed in 2023, is looking to carry over well into 2024.

“I think 2023 was year one in what I hope to be a lot of growth in downtown Rochester to bounce back to where we were pre-COVID,” said Matt Gove, a Real Estate Agent with Realty Growth Inc.

And that rebound of success has business and real estate owners optimistic for the future.

“This is the time to come to downtown. I can tell because if you don’t see it, I don’t know what school you want to go to figure that out,” said Pasquale Presa, owner of Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria.

But 2023 didn’t come without challenges as at least six downtown businesses closed for good over the year. A potential bright spot is looking towards transitioning those vacancies to fit other purposes.

We see in other cities housing, which costs a lot of money to rejuvenate or recreate a space from an office to apartment living or something along those lines,” said Nick Pompeian of Realty Growth Inc. “I think we just need to start getting creative.”

Mayo Clinic’s recently announced plan to invest $5 billion investment into the Med City is projected to bring more projects for development in business and residents over the next six years. Leaving many optimistic for the changed landscape of downtown life over that time.

“What Mayo wants to do with the jobs they want to bring, there’s already a bit of a shortage of housing so I think we’ll see continued growth and need for that type of housing,” said Gove.

Owning one of Rochester’s most popular pizza joints, Presa sees a lot of clientele in town, visitors and residents, and hears what they’re hopeful will be coming as Mayo expands it’s in-patient care.

“We’re starting to get more parties in the back room. We’re starting to get more larger groups and that’s what I see. We’re going to get back to pre-pandemic in the next two, to three to five years. With all the growth, be ready, it’s about to launch.”

There are currently at least three new businesses set to open downtown in early 2024 but realtors like Gove and Pompeian say they’re expecting the next big change to come downtown, is a retail spot for a Target or Walgreens.

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