Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- A plan that adds more parking in the downtown Rochester area took a step closer to becoming reality.

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The Rochester City Council Monday night unanimously approved a conditional use permit for a proposal that would add more surface parking spaces at the former Kmart and AMPI sites along 3rd Ave. Southeast. City documents indicate nearly 400 parking spaces would be added on the AMPI property and almost 250 additional parking spots would go in at the former Kmart building.

Rochester Planning & Zoning Commission document
Rochester Planning & Zoning Commission document
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The plan calls for demolishing the west portion of the former Kmart building as well as some of the structures in the former AMPI complex. Right now there are about 740 parking spaces at the site. The proposal would boost that total to nearly 1400.

The majority of the parking spaces are and will be used by Mayo Clinic employees, but there are also some spaces available to the general public. City officials say the AMPI site needs to be cleaned up before more motorists can start parking there. They plan to pursue grants to fund the cleanup effort.

Wow! Check out how Rochester has changed throughout the years in these Google photos.

As we are soaring down Hwy 52, it is hard to imagine what life was like in our town before the Target store was built where it is today. Or the house that you live in now, at one point in town, that wasn't there. In fact, Rochester has grown so fast throughout the years, most of our houses weren't even around 50 years ago! Don't believe me? Look through these photos to get a glimpse of what Rochester was like years ago.