Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council is expected to take a vote at its next formal meeting on what could become the largest downtown development project in city history.

Bloom International Realty is asking the council to give it exclusive negotiating rights to work on plans for the possible development of a large piece of city property along the west side of the Zumbro River.  The request is expected to be on the Council’s May 4th agenda.

If approved, the designation would give Bloom six months to negotiate with the city on acquiring and developing the site, which is bordered by 2nd street SE on the north and 4th street SE on the south. A city parking ramp currently sits on the north end and the Labor Hall is on the south side.  The city takes over that property at the end of the year. The city already owns the parking lot between the building and the parking ramp.

The Council and others have been briefed on the plan, known as Broadway Waterfront. Plans are very preliminary but the current conceptual design calls for a high end hotel to be built on the site of the parking ramp. A new parking facility would be constructed that would contain nearly 600 spaces. The plans also call for retail and commercial space and a residential building. It’s expected the project would be built in phases.

Bloom owns the former Associated Bank building located west of the parking ramp and has indicated it wants to add up to three floors and renovate the property. It had earlier indicated it wanted to demolish the building and most of the tenants moved out.