ROCHESTER — Instead of fighting City Hall, local investors recently paid $5 million to buy it…at least the 90-year-old old Rochester City Hall has become an apartment complex .
Black Swan Living, led by Rochester Realtors and Developers Nick and Dr. Elaine Stagebergbought the Residence at the old town hall apartments at 224 First Ave SW from Jeff Allmann in mid-September.
Nick Stagberg grew up in Rochester and graduated from John Marshall High School. This latest addition to Black Swan’s housing portfolio is therefore special.
“Who doesn’t want to own the town hall of their hometown? It’s the coolest thing ever. I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of emotion in that,” said an enthusiastic Stageberg. “It’s not an asset where dollars and cents are the main drivers.”
Built in 1931, the classic Art Deco building served as Rochester’s city hall for 67 years. Allman bought it from the city in 1998 for $200,000, then renovated it into a 22-unit apartment complex.
Olmsted County estimated the property’s total market value at $2.5 million for 2022-23.
“Jeff just did an amazing job renovating it. It has a really neat vibe. Almost every unit is unique, like the former mayor’s office, the city council chamber, and the basement safe,” said Stageberg, “Jeff wanted someone local to own it. Someone who was going to own it for a long time, so he approached us. It was such an honor. We jumped on it. We’re excited to pursue it.” traditions there.
These traditions include the annual “rescue” of Santa Claus by the Rochester Fire Department from the rooftop terrace of Old City Hall the day after Thanksgiving. They are already working with the Rochester Downtown Alliance to plan for the 2022 rescue event.
While Black Swan intends to retain historic features like the classic exterior, main staircase and grand foyer with terrazzo floors, they plan to modernize the apartments. This will include adding washers and dryers to the unit as well as decorating to match the overall aesthetic of the building.
Four of the 22 units are currently open, and Stageberg says the plan is to start with those apartments.
The purchase is the latest in a series of Black Swan apartment acquisitions over the past few years.
The company now owns the
Furlow Apartments, Hamilton Apartments, Raymond Apartments
, the Zick building, the Uptown Landing complex, the Uptown terrace and Nue 52 in Rochester. They also own the growing Stone Haven townhouse development in Byron.
Black Swan’s portfolio includes approximately 800 apartments/condos in the Rochester and Byron area. The company has 23 employees in its workforce.