Month: September 2022

DMC Celebrates Community Co-Design Toolkit

Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester celebrated the culmination of over two years of work with the publication of the Community Co-Design Toolkit. It is a booklet of tools and tactics for “equitable community engagement and action”.Co-design booklets on a table

“This is a celebration of an approach that has been used to help create new places and programs, answer particularly difficult questions, and open up opportunities for many community members to participate in public decision-making processes,” said DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb.

Ten local community co-design pilots have been completed over the last two years to help guide local projects. One of those pilots led to Rochester winning a $1 million grant as a 2021 Global Mayor’s Challenge Champion City. This project created a set of programs to address the challenges encountered by workplaces and members of the BIPOC community in the construction industry. It combined the experiences of industry, educators, and the experiences of BIPOC women to develop ideas to increase the chance of successful and meaningful employment.

Mayor Kim Norton added, “One of the reasons we were selected for this award was the use of the co-design process and forming solutions in collaboration with the community to increase their likelihood of success.”

Other co-design pilots include:

  • Discovery Walk
  • Channel One Food Bank
  • Greater Rochester Advocates for Universities & Colleges (GRAUC) Healthcare Simulation Center
  • 6th Street Bridge
  • Riverfront Reimagined
  • Link BRT Station Design
  • Senior Housing (with Rochester Area Foundation)
  • BIPOC Home Ownership (with Rochester Area Foundation)
  • Rochester Public Schools Students Belonging

What is Community Co-Design

Community Co-Design is an approach to encourage, compensate, and prioritize the inclusion of diverse populations throughout the design and development process. Community Co-Design hasFatuma Ahmed speaking at podium become a valued and effective community-centric approach to developing healthy and equitable projects, policies, and practices in the Rochester region.

This process was developed as an alternative to traditional engagement practices that limited participation and focused on short-term relationships. Co-design seeks to focus on challenges and the people impacted by them by prioritizing lived experiences and investing in long-term relationships, trust building, and networking.

The Community Co-Design Toolkit was authored by Jess Roberts (Culture of Health, LLC & University of Minnesota), Kevin Bright (DMC EDA & City of Rochester), and Wafa Elkhalifa (DMC EDA).

For more Co-Design information and resources, please contact DMC Equitable Development Coordinator Wafa Elkhalifa.

Community Co-Design Toolkit download

DMCC Board Approves Funding of Soldiers Field Memorial Park Improvements

The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors approved $10 million for improvements at Soldiers Field Memorial Park. This request will help to fund proposed uses north of the golf course, which falls within the DMC District. Soldiers Field Golf Course is outside the district.

“We look forward to partnering with the community to make their vision for Soldiers Field become a reality,” said DMC Board Chair Pamela Wheelock. “It is a critical piece of community infrastructure and a great asset to downtown Rochester.”

The improvements will be based on the Soldiers Field Master plan update that is currently being reviewed by the Rochester City Council.

Additionally, the board approved funding for the continued support of LINK Bus Rapid Transit, the construction of the final two blocks of Discovery Walk, and funding the advancement of the Riverfront Small Area Plan that was approved by the Rochester City Council in July of 2022.

The board also received an update on DMC’s strategies to develop new community housing in the downtown core with the support of the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing, a collaborative community program to create and preserve affordable and workforce-priced housing in the Rochester area. One of the successful strategies has been the introduction of new housing developers to the Rochester market.

“It has been a long road getting everyone to the table,” said DMC Board Secretary Paul Williams. “This is exciting to see. We want to have a community where there is competition to build affordable housing.”

Additionally, the DMCC board approved the DMC Economic Development Agency’s (EDA) 2023 workplan and budgets. Strategic direction from the board as well as DMC goals, guiding principles and priorities helped shape the request. It will be presented in October to Rochester City Council for approval.

The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

 

The Big Dig Event

Destination Medical Center, City of Rochester, Knutson Construction, and Rochester Mom invite community families to The Big Dig; a hands-on, family-friendly event to learn about the Discovery Walk project in downtown Rochester.

Kids will get a chance to play and dig in a giant pile of sand, explore construction equipment, and meet construction workers. Get to know the businesses in the construction zone and have some fun with activities such as a giant chalk mural, bubbles, music from the D’Sievers, and more.

This family-friendly event provides an opportunity to get up close with Discovery Walk and the people that are a part of the project. Discovery Walk, currently under construction, will be a new linear parkway along 2nd Avenue SW in downtown Rochester that will connect Soldiers Field Park to downtown Rochester and is set to be completed in late 2023.

“The Big Dig is an exciting opportunity for our community to have some hands-on fun while learning more about Discovery Walk,” says Jamie Rothe, Destination Medical Center’s Director of Community Engagement. “Our project team and the area businesses have a fun morning planned for all ages.”

The Big Dig is free and open to the public. Parking is also free and available in various places: the 3rd Street SW Parking ramp, street parking along 1st Avenue SW, and 4th Street SW.

DMC Announces First Recipients of Main Street Grant Funding

September 8, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency is pleased to announce the first recipients of grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

“There is an excellent partnership between DEED, DMC, and the City of Rochester, and thanks to that close collaboration these grants are focused on supporting local businesses hit hardest by the pandemic,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants will help revitalize areas with the greatest economic development and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the pandemic began.”

To date, 30 businesses within the DMC District have been recommended for funding totaling over $1.6 million. These funds will help to leverage over $48 million in private investment into Rochester’s downtown.

“The City of Rochester would like to thank DEED and DMC for their partnership in this important grant program. Our local businesses play such a vital role in the vibrancy and character of our community. I have heard from many businesses how impactful the COVID-19 pandemic has been and I hope that these grant dollars will help with both recovery and their ability to thrive in the future,” shared Mayor Kim Norton.

A community-based team comprised of downtown stakeholders was assembled to review applications and provide feedback on each grant application based on the following criteria:

  • Revitalization of properties or organizations operating within or contiguous to the DMC district harmed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Elevating opportunities for BIPOC, veteran, disabled business and property owners, and disadvantaged business entities.
  • Creating and retaining permanent jobs.
  • Enabling businesses to strengthen and diversify their products and services.

DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb said, “We are grateful to our team of staff and community co-designers for their assistance in bringing this project to fruition. We wanted to make this process as fair and equitable as possible and to help those organizations in greatest need.”

This community-based team provided their recommendations to the DMC EDA Board for review and approval. Each entity agreed on the following recommendations:

  • 100 1st Ave. Commercial Condo Association: $2,250
    Repaving the parking lot with asphalt.
  • 1AF, LP – $1,700
    Replace lobby flooring.
  • BGD5 Development, LLC – $52,900
    Demolition of existing blighted structure, with intent of removing for future planning and development
  • BGD5 Mall DBA: Galleria at University Square – $23,797
    Broadway and Peace Plaza facing: Exterior entrance repair & repaint, exterior lighting replacement, exterior door replacement.
  • Capital Ventures, LLC – $200,000
    Restoration of the building for new restaurant concept
  • Chabad of Southern Minnesota – $59,900
    Renovation of hospitality house operator suite into patient/guest quarters.
  • City Walk, LLC – $200,000
    Development and construction of 142 unit apartment building with 142 parking stalls
  • Everyday 365 Clothing, LLC – $4,500
    Renovations to outside of storefront, shelving space to be built into walls, new paint job, new signage, door for back room, new flooring, signage/lighting inside of store.
  • Guerin Studio, LLC – $22,500
    Remodel storefront
  • Healing Touch Spa, LLC – $35,000
    Construct two couples massage rooms and a meditation room and a dispensary for staff.
  • Interiors by J. Curry, LLC – $1,220
    Purchase and installation of a new sign
  • Ironton, LLC: $85,800
    Building out the main floor to accommodate office space.
  • James Krom Natural Images – $1,750
    Replace flooring
  • Kahler Inn and Suites: $15,000
    Improvements to the façade of the east facing wall of the building.
  • Knight’s Chamber: $9,600
    Remodeling the front entry of the business, as well as adding a dressing room, lighting and repainting.
  • La Michoacana Purepecha 3, LLC – $52,500
    Remodeling of the entire site, with dry storage, employee break room, kitchen preparation, sinks, hand-wash stations, and new flooring
  • The Landing MN – $200,000
    Property is being renovated to house a commercial kitchen, day room, restrooms, showers, and laundry as well as offices for leadership, staff, and volunteer medical providers.
  • Marrow Restaurant – $133,919
    Demolition, site preparation, build-out of restaurant and installation of equipment – including engineering, pre-design and design work
  • Masjed Abubakr A-Seddeig, Inc. – $100,000
    Renovating two floors of the building with classroom space to support new job training programs. An elevator will also be installed to support access to the classrooms.
  • Neighborly Group – $58,700
    Remodel of Neighborly Creative and Neighborly Gifts stores
  • Nordic Shop: $23,400
    Expanding their footprint to an adjacent vacant storefront to accommodate growth of in-store and web-based sales.
  • Rochester Art Center – $5,100
    Exterior window bird collision mitigation
  • Rowan International Grocery Store, LLC – $15,000
    Installation of a walk-in cooler and remodeling of the building
  • Skiathos, LLC – $8,000
    Repairing and restriping the parking lot of the Queen City Center Strip Mall
  • Thesis Beer Project: $9000
    Construction of a new 30-40 seat patio on 2nd Street
  • TRCH Plaza, LLP: $11,000
    New roof on the building.
  • True Queens Boutique: $4,500
    New downtown business will use funds to assist with purchasing signage, flooring, furniture, lighting, tables, and shelves.
  • The Well: $200,000
    Renovation of the former Dooley’s Pub site into a new family restaurant.
  • Well Living Lab, Inc – $10,000
    Energy efficiency and technology upgrades
  • Zumbro Lutheran Church – $6,000
    Purchase and installation of an exterior digital sign

All grant awards are subject to final approval from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

About the Main Street Grant Program
The Main Street Grant program provides grants for capital improvement projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value. The grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project costs with applicants securing other sources of funding to match any funds granted by this program. Funding for the $3 million grant was awarded on October 14, 2021, from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

For more information on the Main Street Grant program and to apply, visit dmc.mn/ms.

 

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