Downtown Business Central

Downtown Business Central

The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) facilitates a variety of events and programs. Use this portal as a tool for the latest information about the RDA and access important documents.

​Façade Improvement Program

The RDA and the City of Rochester want to stimulate downtown improvements and help maintain a high quality retail and business environment. To inspire and facilitate this goal, the RDA has created the Façade Improvement Grant program.

Using the Urban Village Overlay Zone Design Guidelines, matching grants of up to $20,000 are available to business and property owners to improve their properties. In addition to the up to $20,000 available for grants, applicants are eligible to receive up to $2,000 to pay for or assist in paying for design assistance. These dollars do not need to be matched.

These grants come from abated city property tax dollars. Historically, these abated tax dollars have been used for property acquisitions or skyways. Some were used for the construction of the Peace Plaza. The RDA Façade Improvement Grants program allows small business owners and their tenants to utilize the same abated tax dollars for their own façade improvements.

As of January 1, 2017, 58 projects have been completed.  Over $2 million dollars have been invested by properties owners.  This means for every dollar invested by the City of Rochester through this grant, $3.50 has been invested by properties owners.  These improvements include: murals, lighting, awnings, painting, tuck-pointing, windows, doors, signage, etc.

The RDA encourages other businesses and property owners to take advantage of this program to continue to make downtown Rochester beautiful and vibrant.

Please take a look at the Façade Improvement Program packet and the Urban Village Overlay Zone Design Guidelines below:

Facade Improvement Program (PDF)

Urban Design Guidelines (PDF)

If you should have any questions, please contact Executive Director, Jenna Bowman at 507-216-9885 or

Before and After Photos

Lillians 315 & 317 South Broadway CJ's Fagan Studios Patterson Dahlberg SEMVA Sontes Broadstreet Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Event Recaps & Annual Reports

Interested in learning more about our downtown events? Check out each event's recap below. If you are seeking event recaps for any year prior to 2015, please contact the Rochester Downtown Alliance at or 507-216-9882.


Ladies Night Out
Thursdays on First & 3rd
Movies in the Park
Dogs Downtown
Fall Fest
Small Business Saturday
Here Comes Santa
2016 Annual Report


Thursdays on First & 3rd
RedBall Project
Dogs Downtown
Movies on the Plaza
2015 Annual Report
Here Comes Santa Claus

Downtown Rochester Newsletter


March (coming soon)





Special Service District (SSD)

The RDA is funded by a portion of property taxes paid by commercial property owners located in the downtown service district. The special service district is comprised of 44 blocks. Click here for Rochester Downtown Alliance Special Service District map.

Fly Local Supporter

The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a proud “Fly Local Supporter” by choosing to “Fly Local." The “Fly Local” travel policy encourages and supports the use of air service at RST.

Rochester Experience Dedicated Survey

Tell us about your Rochester experience with this 1 minute survey.


4 3rd Street SW, Suite B
Rochester, MN 55902



Subscribe to E-Newsletter