The recent Hyatt House ribbon-cutting ceremony marked a milestone for Rochester. The event heralded the completion of the city’s first Qualified Opportunity Zone project: a hotel of 172 apartment-style, long-stay suites designed to provide crucial comfort for patients traveling into the city.
“This is really a home away from home for people who need a place of comfort and safety,” said Chris Schad, Director of Business Development for Discovery Square. “People who are staying here become members of our community.”
Thousands of people returned to downtown Rochester this month to celebrate the return of Thursdays Downtown, a summer staple in the community. Amid the live music, food, and shopping, attendees could also spend time checking out the big changes happening in the Heart of the City Phase 1 project.
DMC Economic Development Agency executive director Patrick Seeb, City of Rochester Mayor Kim Norton, and Rochester Downtown Alliance executive director Holly Masek stopped by the Heart of the City Thursday morning to welcome residents and visitors to the first Thursdays Downtown of the year. They shared that as the summer progresses, parts of the Heart of the City project will re-open as soon as they’re complete.
If speaking on behalf of downtowns across America, Mark Twain might have quipped “…the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
In most communities, the downtown is its central gathering place, home to event and hotel venues, a concentration of businesses and their workforce, and the greatest mix of unique restaurants and retail. It is where baby boomers and millennials alike have migrated to live a vibrant urban lifestyle. It is where traveling visitors often begin their exploration of a region.
Spring brought the Rochester Rapid Transit project positive news: First, the project received the support of the federal government as U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg announced a recommended $2.5 billion budget for new and expanded public transit services across the country, including $56.1 million for Rochester Rapid Transit. Additionally, Rochester Rapid Transit received an official FTA Rating of Medium-High. Here’s what this news means for the project as it moves forward:
“My announcement today is that all lights are green when it comes to this important rapid transit bus project for the city of Rochester,” said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar last Friday at a press conference at the Rochester Government Center.
Senator Klobuchar was joined by Rochester City Council President Brooke Carlson and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) Executive Director Patrick Seeb.
She highlighted the project’s potential impact to the city’s fabric of caregiving, as well as the high-level federal interest in it. In May of 2021 it was announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) had rated the project as “Medium-High.” Her former presidential debate stage mate, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, included $56 million for the project in his proposed $2.5 billion budget for 2022. These “breadcrumbs,” as she called them Friday, are why the senator sees green lights.
One Discovery Square, Mortenson’s life sciences building which opened in 2019 in the Discovery Square sub-district in downtown Rochester, reached a major milestone this spring: the building is now 100 percent leased. Thermo Fisher Scientific is the latest company to commit to space alongside other tenants, including Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Rochester, Epic, Philips, Boston Scientific, RION, WuXi Diagnostics, Cytotheryx, Exact Sciences and Café Steam. The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors at a recent meeting commended the continued momentum in the sub-district.
Healthy cities require healthy air. Thanks to a constellation of local organizations and civilian scientists, Rochester is poised to safeguard its air quality with robust data.
Destination Medical Center has partnered with University of Minnesota Rochester, Rochester Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County, the Sierra Club, We Bike Rochester, and civilian scientists to install a network of air quality sensors throughout the city.
Healthcare innovation building, One Discovery Square, now fully leased
(Rochester, Minn.) May 20, 2021 – The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors today commended the continued momentum in DMC’s Discovery Square sub-district. One Discovery Square, Mortenson’s first life sciences building in the sub-district which opened in 2019, is now 100 percent leased. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Cytotheryx and Exact Sciences are the latest companies to commit to space alongside other tenants, including Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Rochester, Epic, Philips, Boston Scientific, RION, WuXi Diagnostics and Café Steam.
Like millions of Americans, I watched in horror the video of George Floyd being murdered by Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. In the aftermath, I attended Black Lives Matter rallies, helped shovel embers from Lake Street, and participated in community discussions. I knew these were but small gestures. With colleagues at Destination Medical Center, we looked for ways to contribute more meaningfully to reducing inequities that have plagued our society for generations.
A friend and mentor who has worked to advance social justice throughout his entire career in economic and community development counseled me that we are all on a journey. He said of our efforts at DMC: we have done good work and (not but) we must do more.
The first phase of Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City public realm project includes major infrastructure improvements and renovation of the east side of Peace Plaza and surrounding areas. The new design will create active, engaging experiences for residents, visitors and patients in the heart of downtown Rochester. These updates will provide enhanced safety measures, including curbless streets, and provide greater accessibility for people of all abilities. Here are five things to know about the project as it nears completion: