Bill George: We Need to Start with the City Center


“I think we need to start with the (City) Center,” said DMCC Board Member Bill George, a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees and former chairman and CEO of Medtronic Corporation.

“I love Discovery Square, and I think it’s going to make a huge difference for this community,” George said. However, hospitality, transportation, and shopping need improvement before we can consider the city competitive.

“You want to create a wellness city,” George said. “It has to be a place where you say, ‘I feel great–this is a wonderful city.'”

DMC, Rochester, and Mayo Clinic must create an environment where visitors come to remain well and then stay to enjoy the city.

Rochester Mayor and DMCC Board Member Ardell Brede said he likes the Discovery Square concept but leans toward focusing first on the City Center, largely because it is a project that can make an impact much more quickly than Discovery Square.

“To date, the public only has seen the money we’ve spent,” Brede said. “We need to get going. If we’re going to do something, we need to move quickly.”

“We can build glamorous buildings, but if we can’t see the people in those buildings, I think we’ve missed the boat,” Brede said.

George cited prioritizing as among the primary risks to the DMC project.

“The biggest risk to me is that we try to do everything at once,” George said. “We need to get the money flowing in … and that will create more opportunities (for larger projects like Discovery Square).”