Plans for a unique type of mixed-use, live/work project on the edge of downtown Rochester’s emerging Discovery Square district have taken a major step forward.

The Rochester City Council voted 6-1 this month to award preliminary approvals for the Residence at Discovery Square, which, if given a final thumbs-up in the coming weeks, would be situated along the western edge of the Discovery Square zone, one of six planning sub-districts in the city’s Destination Medical Center development effort.

The block of 3rd Avenue SW. now contains a pair of older apartment buildings and five single-family homes, all of which would be razed under the proposal from property owners Vance and Barb Vinar of Faribault. In their place would be up to 150 market-rate residential units, 20,000 square feet of commercial space and underground parking.

A key feature of the proposal is 15 street-level live/work units boasting their own walk-up entrances, which developer Oxford Management described in submitted documents as “warehouse artist lofts” meant to provide a unique opportunity for small, home-based businesses.

The pitch also includes a pair of entrance plazas with landscaping and outdoor seating, touted as something new for the downtown edge.

Address: 519 3rd Av. SW., Rochester
Type: Mixed use
Rental units: 150
Commercial space: 20,000 square feet
Developer: Oxford Management
Architect: Urban Studio