Rochester, Minn. — HGA-designed property supports downtown revitalization and fills housing need.
Rochester, Minn. — HGA Architects and Engineers has designed 318 Commons (left), a mixed-use retail, office, classroom and residential development that includes market-rate, amenity-rich apartments for students at the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR), as well as local residents wanting to live downtown. Located within The Urban Village District, 318 Commons is a short walk from Mayo Clinic, the UMR campus at University Square Mall, and the Minnesota Bio-Business Center, as well as other businesses, restaurants, shops and attractions. HGA helped the development venture secure unique funding sources, including the Local Option Sales Tax Fund, which is dedicated to higher education advancement in Rochester. The project was developed by G.H. Holdings, which markets and leases the apartments to UMR students and the public. In turn, UMR leases space in the building for classrooms, offices and student life activities. This arrangement relieved UMR of the need to raise the capital necessary for new student housing.
As UMR’s first residential project, 318 Commons is a nine-story building, with the first two levels including 20,000-square feet of leased space, with floor-to-ceiling windows. The first floor also includes a reception/waiting space (right), the office for the housing coordinator, and a metal-framed staircase leading to the second-level Student Life Center, which includes a student lounge, big-screen TV, ping-pong table and other amenities. In addition, 20 faculty workstations provide space for student-faculty meetings and tutorials. Student apartments are located on the third through ninth floors, and they include fully equipped kitchens with modern appliances, maple cabinets and granite countertops; luxury bathrooms; living/dining and bedroom furnishings; cable connections and Wi-Fi access; and in-unit laundry. Overall, the building includes 98 rental units, totaling 208 bedrooms. 318 Commons also has 5,300 square feet of classroom space located on the lower level.
318 Commons was designed and constructed to meet LEED® requirements, including energy-efficient, four-pipe heat pump units, a programmable thermostat in each unit, and HVAC systems that ensure clean indoor air and reduce exterior CO2 emissions. The building includes low-flow water fixtures and energy-efficient appliances.
— Dan Marcec