Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  The Rochester City Council may have a tough time making a decision on the future use of the former Armory building.

The historic building was vacated last year by the Senior Center and the council is trying to figure out what to do with it. Some council members have indicated they would like to put the building on the property tax rolls while others support a public purpose.

Five proposals were presented to the council Monday.

One came from the Arts Collaborative Initiative, which also made a proposal last year. It proposes a project with an emphasis on space for artists. It is the only proposal that would keep the building under city ownership, which would also require assistance with operating expenses.

A proposal called Castle Community would operate as a public/private project that would include public space, a restaurant and bookstore.

A proposal called Creative Castle emphasizes a restaurant and office space.

The Titan/Kraus-Anderson proposal is the only one calling for apartments, along with studio space for artists.

The fifth proposal came from Minneapolis-based Entourage Events Group and Fine Line Cafe. It proposes renovating the building to bring back its original look and offering live entertainment and other events, similar to its Twin Cities venues.

This proposal was more detailed than the others and includes a fast-track schedule. It also does not require ownership of the two nearby city parking lots, which may boost its chances of winning approval.

After the presentations, the council indicated it may reconsider an earlier plan to sell the lots. It will give the other presenters two weeks to revise their proposals to reflect this possible change.

Click here for a video recording of the council's meeting and presentations.


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