Castle Community gets three month extension

ROCHESTER – The owners of the castle building have postponed any decision regarding the Echo Church, the threshold arts and the use of the building until the end of March.

As the 60-day homeowner compliance deadline approached, Scott Hoss of Castle Community, LLC, requested and was granted a three-month extension on December 29, 2021 from the city.

Deputy city administrator Aaron Parrish said the city’s intention is for the castle to have a solution in place to his breach of contract by March 31, 2022.

The owners of the castle have indicated that lease negotiations and “rental improvements / adjustments” will take longer than expected, Parrish said.

“During the pandemic, we tried to work with various partners to ensure compliance with the agreements and respect the environment in which they work,” he added. “By extending the compliance period, we are still respecting the activation period while recognizing that many sites are constantly adapting and repositioning themselves.”

The city of Rochester had previously informed the owners of the castle that maintaining the Echo Church residence in the building was a breach of contract. The owners have had until January 10, 2022 to comply with their initial agreement to use the space for artistic and cultural growth.

Rochester City Project Manager Jaymi Wilson said that in exchange for the extension, the castle owners would add three months to the end of the development agreement contract.

This would ensure that the castle building would be used for the purposes described in the sales contract until February 28, 2024.

The original deal is said to have expired on November 30, 2023.

Bre Holtan, owner of Queen City Coffee & Juice, said her initial guess that she would be back at the castle at the start of the year was no longer accurate.

Instead of moving in in the spring, she now believes she could return in the fall of 2022 – well past the three-month extension period.

“I was told I could go back in September, I could go back in November…” she said. “I’m just waiting.”

Castle Community members, LLC Hoss, Eric Deutsch, Ross Henderson and Leyzer Topel have not responded to repeated requests for information since mid-November.

Threshold Arts executive director Naura Anderson said Thursday (Jan.6) that she had no new information regarding the future of arts organization at the castle.

James C. Tibbs