(Rochester, Minn.) May 25, 2023 – The Destination Medical Center Corporation Board of Directors recognized the extraordinary work of the Downtown Rochester Task Force at today’s regular meeting. The Task Force conducted several working sessions to identify four main themes to help inform a community-based action plan to address immediate and short-term recommendations to be taken by organizations and businesses that support downtown Rochester.
“While the DMC initiative is about the long-term vision for Rochester, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the immediate needs of our community,” said board member Brooke Carlson. “The City and City Council are committed to helping with the goals identified by the task force to help our downtown businesses.”
The Downtown Rochester Task Force includes members from the City of Rochester, Destination Medical Center, Experience Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Area Economic Development Agency, Inc., Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, and Rochester Downtown Alliance.
The board also received an update on funding options for the District Energy System Rochester (DESR). With new possibilities available from the Inflation Reduction Act, it may now be possible to build out the system to its initial design while remaining within the original budget set by the Rochester City Council.
“It is heartening to know there is so much federal money for this project. It is a positive for this community and closely supports what the city council has already decided,” said Vice Chair Kim Norton. “It will be good for everyone’s health and everyone’s pocketbook.”
An update on the Main Street Revitalization Grant program was provided by DMC EDA President Dr. Clark Otley. The program provided $3 million in no-cost 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 covered up to 30% of the project costs.
Highlights from the presentation included:
- Funding was provided to more than 50 projects
- 24% of awardees were Black, Indigenous, or People of Color
- 30% of awardees were women-led applicant teams
- 22 awardees are occupying previously vacant or under-utilized project sites
“We invited a diverse group of entrepreneurs and community members to be a part of the application evaluation process,” stated Dr. Clark Otley. “It gave us great insights into some of the challenges that entrepreneurs in our community face when they are trying to develop businesses.”
Board members also kicked off a discussion on DMC investment priorities in preparation for the 2024 DMC funding request. Strategic direction from the board as well as DMC goals, guiding principles and priorities will help shape the annual request before it is presented to the DMC EDA Board of Directors, DMCC Board, and Rochester City Council for approval.
The DMCC Board will consider the 2024 funding request at its next meeting on September 28, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.
Destination Medical Center (DMC) is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota’s history. The 20-year plan to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness will attract developers, investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to live, work and play in America’s City for Health. For more information, visit dmc.mn.