Lt. Gov. Tina Smith sees three M’s in Rochester’s immediate future. “This coming year — 2016 — is really going to be about marketing, momentum and metrics,” she said during Thursday’s meeting of the Destination Medical Center Corp. board.
As board chairwoman, she said marketing will help sell the potential of DMC, and metrics will help measure future success. Both likely will spur momentum.
Destination Medical Center has long been a plan for Rochester, but so far, many of those plans have been blueprints. Thursday, the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board made a step to bring actual development to the city sooner rather than later.
“People in the community need to see progress for DMC getting underway,” said DMCC board member Bill George.
The board members all agreed 2016 will be a crucial year, and took a big step forward to make sure next year will see some development.
Rochester City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold said the City shares the Board’s emphasis on early transportation planning as essential to long-term development of Destination Medical Center.
Part of that will mean working to define specific plans and work with the Federal Department of Transportation to secure grants and funding for the projects, something the City intends to undertake in partnership with the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department.
While the transportation piece will be critical to setting the stage for resident and visitor movement into and throughout Rochester, Kvenvold’s updates on the Chateau Theatre will perhaps be of more import to local residents who have championed preservation and re-opening of the historical landmark.
The city’s bid to purchase the Chateau from its current owner is tentatively set to finalize within the next “couple of weeks,” Kvenvold said.
Heart of the City, seen above, represents the heart of downtown. This district creates a true center of Rochester, a crossroads where Mayo Clinic, commercial, retail, and residential meet.
DMC Corporation Board member and Mayo Clinic Trustee Bill George called 2016 “our year of building momentum.”
As he has done at several previous DMC Corporation Board meetings, George continued to emphasize a strong focus on the Heart of the City sub-district.
“All the citizens, all the visitors to Rochster need to see improvements,” George said. “It’s incumbent upon us to get that moving quickly.”
George also suggested the DMC Economic Development Agency begin detailing plans for development of Heart of the City.
“We need to back this and get it moving,” George said. “We need to have specific milestones by which we can measure progress.”
Historic preservation remains top of mind for some of those following DMC and the DMC Corporation Board of Governors. At this morning’s public comment period, one person implored the board to watch closely the “power brokers” in Rochester and Minnesota, who are looking to profit from downtown development.
“Be aware of the motivations of the power brokers,” she said. “We feel that we are being rolled over.”
Citing the Connolly Building on Fourth Ave, the visitor admonished that public officials should take a more vigilant and proactive role in preserving Rochester’s historical buildings and landmarks.
“I believe that this board is sincere about historical preservation,” she said.
Board members, including Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede, affirmed the visitor’s desire to preserve local history, but challenged her assertion that not enough is being done in this regard.
Brede called attention to efforts currently underway to preserve and enhance buildings throughout downtown Rochester, including:
- Former Senior Center – “the castle building”
- Chateau Theatre
- Connolly Building
DMC Corporation Board Chair Tina Smith, also affirmed the desire to preserve local history. January’s DMC Corporation Board meeting is slated to have a full discussion about historic preservation and how the DMC Corporation can help, she said.
“I’m very much looking forward to that discussion,” Smith said.
ROCHESTER, Minn. (September 24, 2015) – The Destination Medical Center (DMC) Corporation Board of Directors today approved the proposed 2016 budgets for the DMC Corporation and the DMC Economic Development Agency.
The 2016 operating budgets are largely comprised of legal, insurance, staffing and other professional fees necessary for the DMC Corporation and the DMC EDA to carry out their statutory requirements.
“Today the DMC Corporation approved and forwarded to the City of Rochester a strong budget focused on building momentum in 2016. We look forward to their final approval,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith, DMC Corporation Board Chair. “I’m confident we are on a path to deliver new opportunities for jobs and growth in Rochester and all Minnesota, as we build on Rochester’s unique position as America’s city for health.”
The budget now goes to the Rochester City Council for final approval.
The next DMC Corporation Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 29, at 9:30 a.m.
It’s no secret to residents of Rochester and Minnesota that both the city and state are great places to live and work, but recently the nation itself took notice. A flurry of national accolades this year have bolstered Rochester and Minnesota into the spotlight, reinforcing the importance of and need for efforts like Destination Medical Center (DMC).
This past May, the consumer financial website NerdWallet listed Rochester as the country’s best midsize city for women in the workforce.
Shortly thereafter, an article by corporate development magazine Site Selection followed, highlighting DMC in a story and referencing CNBC’s 9th annual list of America’s Top States for Business in which Minnesota was ranked No. 1.
Then, just this month, Livability ranked Rochester No. 1 on its Top 100 Places to Live list.
Rochester’s push for sustained development is making waves across the nation. And, while we mostly tend to read and hear about the major organizational efforts required to achieve a collective vision like DMC, we recognize that the efforts taking place at grassroots levels across the community are often where its residents can have the greatest impact and make the biggest contributions.
Rochester is entering the first phase of Destination Medical Center implementation, and to guide the building and development to come, the Rochester City Council plans to use design guidelines.
On Wednesday, the council will consider a proposal from the University of Minnesota Metropolitan Design Center to produce the DMC design guidelines.