Destination Medical Center Corporation Commits Nearly $12 Million for Housing and Historic Preservation

(Rochester, Minn.) May 23, 2024 – At their quarterly meeting today, the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors committed nearly $12 million for projects in the DMC District, focusing on housing and historic preservation.

The housing projects include a mixed income development at Civic Center North by Sherman Associates and an affordable senior housing development at the West Transit Village by Aeon.  Once completed, these developments will add more than 400 homes to the downtown area, all within walking or easy transit to jobs, services, restaurants, and entertainment.

DMC’s support of the Sherman development ($3.0M) will ensure that it connects to Rochester’s newly established Geo-Thermal district energy system.  The Aeon project is the first of several new developments that will provide housing options at the west end of Rochester’s Bus Rapid Transit system (LINK).  DMC’s commitment of $3.9M will advance the project as it pursues other funding sources. The vision for the West Transit Village is to create a vibrant, desirable community that enhances the BRT experience, offering a better alternative to car travel.

“The totality of these projects will help address the housing shortage in Rochester,” said DMCC Board Secretary Paul Williams. “It’s encouraging to see a mix of market-rate, affordable, and senior housing in these developments.”

The board also took action to designate the Downtown Historic District as public infrastructure, making it eligible for DMC funding. The DMCC board approved $5 million to support eligible capital improvements in the 28 contributing properties in the district. Projects must fall within four categories of investment:

  • Adaptive reuse: Converting property use, such as office to retail or restaurant, or renovating vacant second-story space for housing or commerce.
  • Building system upgrades: Improvements to HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and other systems.
  • Building safety and preservation: Exterior envelope sealing, accessibility improvements, and more.
  • Code modernization: Upgrades to ensure compliance with ADA or other regulations, and preparations for future reinvestment or sale.

“It is vital that we continue to support our downtown properties,” said DMCC Board Member Brooke Carlson. “Downtowns contribute to the fabric of every community; this program will ensure Rochester’s historic properties can be improved and preserved for the future.”

Board members also discussed DMC investment priorities in preparation for the 2025 DMC funding request. Strategic direction from the board, along with DMC goals, guiding principles, and priorities, will 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 2025 budget at its next meeting on September 26, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

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About DMC

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.

Unprecedented Demand and Opportunity

The 2024 Real Estate Development and Investment Summit, a collaboration between Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) and ULI Minnesota, promised unprecedented demand and opportunity – and it delivered.

The morning began with an insightful panel highlighting the current and future plans of key stakeholders in Rochester, including Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester, and University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR). Representatives from Mayo Clinic unveiled their strategic initiative, “Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester,” which aims to revolutionize healthcare through innovative care concepts and digital technologies. Chancellor Lori Carrell of UMR discussed the university’s rapid innovation focus and tailored education solutions.

The City of Rochester, amidst unprecedented levels of public and private investment, nearing $7 billion over the next 7 years, showcased its strategic infrastructure investments and partnerships to support sustainable growth. Deputy City Administrator Cindy Steinhauser outlined the city’s efforts to position itself for transformation while fostering an environment for additional private investment to thrive.

Attendees had the opportunity to explore Rochester’s development opportunities through guided tours:

Link Bus Rapid Transit & West Transit Village: Participants toured the planned 2.9-mile bus route along 2nd Street, learning about development opportunities, including the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) village.

Bold. Forward. Unbound.: This tour showcased the evolving downtown community and Mayo Clinic’s growth, highlighting connections to hospitality, neighborhoods, and public transportation.

Riverfront Small Area Plan: Attendees walked along the Zumbro River to explore Rochester’s community vision captured in the Riverfront Small Area Plan, focusing on potential public and private investment opportunities.

Discovery Square: Dubbed “Healthcare meets Hospitality,” this tour provided insights into the Biomed-tech buildings and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Discovery Square innovation district.

Housing: Tour groups visited Bryk on Broadway, a mixed-income apartment building, and explored the University of Minnesota’s conversion of the Doubletree Hotel into a student housing complex.

The 2024 Real Estate Development and Investment Summit exemplified Rochester’s commitment to innovation, collaboration, and sustainable growth, setting the stage for an exciting future in the heart of Minnesota.

DMC and ULI Minnesota would like to thank our sponsors for their support
Gold Level

 

 

 

 

Silver Level

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bronze Level
Kraus-Anderson Construction
Ryan Companies
Premier Bank

2024 Real Estate Development and Investment Summit Resources

Main Street Grant Stories: Anderson Wheelchair

58 years. 

That’s how long Anderson Wheelchair, 1117 Second St SW, has provided mobility to residents and visitors to Med City.

The shop sells, rents, customizes, and services mobility products. Best known for skillful wheelchair customization, their staff works with everything from hospital beds and lifts to walkers and scooters. Though ultimately of a personal, mechanical nature, the work requires coordination with a network of therapists, doctors, insurers, and customers to get a mobility solution just right. 

In the last 15 years, their software has logged over 20,000 people served, but in terms of total people helped during the company’s lifespan:

“It’s almost impossible to put a number on that question,” says Drew Anderson, part-owner of the business with his brother and their father, Jay, who has run the business for the last 30 years.  

“It’s a third-generation, family business,” says Anderson. “Grandpa and Grandma started the business out of their garage 58 years ago. Since then, last 30-plus years, my dad has taken over and run it along with my uncle who helped out. Now my brother and I are the third generation.”

The business has grown alongside the family. In January of 2023, Anderson Wheelchairs started work with architects and contractors on the next-door six-apartment complex they’d acquired. The goal: join the new space to their old one to increase capacity for both product inventory and customization workspace. 

“That allowed us to stock more inventory, which allows us to help more people,” says Anderson. “In a sense, it can be compared to a bike shop; the same bike is not meant for every person. Having more inventory on hand is helpful for us in our community,” says Anderson.

Anderson Wheelchair was awarded $88,548 through DMC’s Main Streets Grants program to help with the remodel of the interior and facade.

“We redid our entire facade. Instead of having two separate facades, there’s now one conjoined, uniform look between the building we’ve operated out of for the last 40 or 50 years to our new building,” says Anderson.

The expansion has allowed them to hire one new employee so far; a search for a maintenance technician and people to work on internal sales and customer service continues. Aside from COVID-19 and its attendant lockdowns and closures of public spaces, Anderson says that’s been the biggest challenge his business has faced since 2020: finding new employees.

“During COVID, the Mayo Clinic basically shutting down was a challenge, as people stopped coming, people stopped going out. So that was a challenge. But everybody knows that wasn’t easy on any business.,” says Anderson. “We are back to normal in terms of just about every aspect of the business.”

The visitor-friendly nature of their shop’s location means they won’t have trouble dealing with an increased customer base, either. 

“Every business that’s located down here does have parking, even a small business like us, we have at least 15 parking spots in the back of our office. Or whether it’s Caribou Coffee or The Canadian Honker… just about every business in the downtown district does have parking,” says Anderson.

Main Street Grant Stories: The Landing

It’s hard to imagine a place in Rochester where a dollar’s impact can cause more positive ripples than The Landing, 426 3rd Ave SE.

The organization was founded in 2018 to provide direct support to members of the Rochester community experiencing homelessness and has operated some iteration of a day center since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In November of 2023, The Landing opened its own, independent, privately funded day center. Their center is open daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., regardless of weekends, holidays, or weather.

“We figure homelessness doesn’t get a day off, so neither do we,” says Holly Fifield, co-founder of The Landing.

The $200,000 in Main Street grant funding awarded to the organization helped fund part of the renovations necessary to transform the building from pawn shop/auto garage into the clinic/office space/day shelter it is now. That construction, in turn, opened up the doors for new employees.

“Because we were able to open our new data center, we now employ 9 full-time employees and around 12 part-time employees. We have created over 20 jobs,” says Fifield.

That means 20 more people building trust and connection with Rochesterites experiencing homelessness. As trust builds, so does momentum toward stability, which lessens demand on downtown Rochester’s skyways, subways, and leafy oases.

“Coordination is just huge,” says Fifield. “It’s a lot like Mayo Clinic has a multi-specialty, multidisciplinary approach. They bring all the specialties under one roof. Ours is a different application of the same kind of concept; we’re bringing social services and medical care and treatment facilities and peer recovery services and all of those things under one roof so that they’re easily accessible and available to the people that need them.”

The Landing’s central location means barriers to healing stability, like transportation, communication, trust, or distrust, dissipate. The Landing’s day center is a one-stop shop for nutrition, hydration, free laundry, shower facilities, on-site medical care, and social services. It’s a place for members of the community experiencing homelessness to rest, decompress, and recover from the often minute-to-minute stresses of homelessness. The services also allow guests to move toward wellness and stability.

“They’re in a place that they know and trust with people that they know and trust in the services are right here. It’s not, ‘Let me make an appointment for you next Tuesday, somewhere else with somebody you don’t know…’,” says Fifield.

With over 50% of The Landing’s annual budget coming from public donations, the organization feels a constant tide of gratitude toward the Rochester community. Still, according to Fifield, The Landing’s biggest challenge since 2020 has been misunderstandings and misperceptions around the issue of homelessness. She encourages people to come and tour the center, to ask questions, to invite The Landing to speak at group events.

“The downtown in the business district of Rochester is a wonderful resource and area for all the members of our community. And that includes the members of our community experiencing homelessness. They are our friends, our neighbors, our brothers, our sisters, our sons, our daughters. They are members of our community, and they are needing us to link arms with them and hold them up during this very difficult time of their lives,” says Fifield.

Main Street Grant Stories: Jack’s Bottle Shop

Because of its absolute uniqueness, Jack’s Bottle Shop, 909 6th St NW, is an established pillar of the Rochester beer (and by extension social) scene. That same uniqueness means the shop doesn’t often find itself fitting neatly into bullet points on an application.

But, as owner Jack Lester says, “Stars can align sometimes like that.”

Since opening in December 2020, Lester and his staff’s meticulous, aficionado-first approach to craft beer has earned a reputation for the most varied, specific, and downright niche coolers in the city. When they decided to add a wine and spirits wing to their already-expansive emporium, Lester found himself putting in even longer nights on the never-off-the-clock small business owner schedule. Finding an application for the DMC Main Street Grants program felt serendipitous.

“When I saw the grant, while we were in the midst of building [the wine and spirits expansion] out, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is exactly what we’re about to start doing!’ Literally, every single bullet point what the grant was for was what we were just about to do,” says Lester.

The $15,000 in grant funds awarded to Jack’s Bottle Shop allowed it “to become more than a beer store,” says Lester. The funds were used to construct the wine and spirits side of the shop and to hire on a full-time beer buyer position. That buyer position will work daily with brand representatives, research new flavor horizons, and cultivate durably fresh relationships with suppliers.

“One thing that makes Jack’s Bottle Shop very special is how we have the selection that nobody else has in Rochester. Like, Jason just walked back in the door from his Twin Cities trip. He goes up every single Tuesday and picks up almost all about 70% of the beer that we carry from the breweries that we select to bring beer in from,” says Lester. “People ask all the time, like, ‘How are you getting these guys?’ We’re putting in the work to go get it.”

If it sounds like Lester’s motivation for excellence in beer selling comes from somewhere deep, that’s because it does. Lester has shepherded his store with consistent enthusiasm through a pandemic, finicky regulations, and the ever-vexing questions of growth and market. Both the bottle shop and the funds they’ve raised for the transplant house and Children’s Clinic of St. Paul are in memory of Marcus, his son.

“We lost Marcus in 2019 to a fight for a dual lung transplant. Nothing in my life has been challenging since then. That’s honest. Truth.” Lester says.  “We don’t have a lot of struggles. I love what I do. You should love what you do in life. If you’re not happy at work, go be happy somewhere else and work somewhere different. My biggest challenge here has been nothing close to what life can present.”

That attitude has translated into a citywide embrace of the enthusiasm crackling through the coolers and over-the-counter interactions at Jack’s Bottle Shop. Each interaction means the world to Lester and his staff.

“I’m so grateful for everybody that goes out of their way to drive across town to come to Jack’s bottle shop and be greeted by us and shop with us. Every single person that pulls our door makes a difference,” he says.

2024 Real Estate Development and Investment Summit

Register Here

When: Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | 9:30 a.m.
Where:  Mayo Civic Center – 30 Civic Center Drive SE
What: The 2024 Real Estate Developer and Investment Summit presented by Destination Medical Center and ULI Minnesota! Join us on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at the Mayo Civic Center for an exciting day of networking and learning about the scale and scope of opportunities in Rochester, MN.

At this event, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with real estate developers and investment professionals from around the region. Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting out, this summit is designed to provide valuable insights and opportunities specific to the Rochester, MN market.

Register Here

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Bronze Sponsors

Kraus Anderson
Premier Banks
Ryan Companies

Meet the DMC Team – Neohemiah TwoBears

Image of article subject, a 20-something college student with dark hair and glasses. He is wearing a white-collared shirt with a dark suit coat.
DMC intern Neohemiah TwoBears

We would like to welcome intern Neohemiah TwoBears to the team. Neohemiah is from Columbia Heights, MN, and is pursuing a double major in Data Science and Nordic Studies with a concentration in economics.

1. Why did you choose Luther College? Luther College stood out to me as the perfect environment to continue my academic journey and pursue my passion for music. Growing up, I had the opportunity to participate in a music camp called Dorian at Luther College, where my passion for music grew stronger and I developed a strong connection to it. As I approached my college decision, I knew that I wanted to continue playing music while pursuing my academic interests. Luther College’s renowned music program and vibrant musical community provided the ideal setting for me to explore further and cultivate my musical talents while pursuing a rigorous academic curriculum.
2. Why did you choose an internship at DMC? I chose an internship at the Destination Medical Center (DMC) because of its innovative approach to sustainability and urban development. The opportunity to apply my data science skills to meaningful projects that contribute to the sustainability goals of a growing urban center like Rochester, MN, was incredibly appealing. Additionally, I was excited about the opportunity to help improve the city and make a positive impact by participating in projects that focus on sustainability and community development.
3. What are your duties at DMC? As an intern at the DMC, my main responsibilities include gathering data, conducting research, and preparing reports. This involves collecting and analyzing various data types such as energy usage, population trends, and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, I assist in acquiring data for specific initiatives like GreenStep Cities, housing and population statistics, and workforce data.
4. What is a unique fact about yourself? One unique fact about myself is that I have traveled to Norway twice to learn about architecture. I studied at the University of Oslo where I had the opportunity to delve deep into architecture, learning about different design principles and sustainable approaches. This experience broadened my understanding of architecture and deepened my appreciation for the intersection of culture, environment, and design in shaping urban landscapes.
5. What are your plans for after graduation? After graduation, I am interested in exploring opportunities that allow me to apply my skills in data science to address real-world challenges, whether through further education, research, or professional work.

Meet the DMC Team – Hernan Manzanet

Man with dark, curly hair, brown eyes and a mustache. He is wearing a white-collared shirt under a burgundy-colored sweater.
DMC intern Hernan Manzanet
Meet Hernan Manzanet, DMC intern. Hernan joins the team from Luther College by way of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, majoring in Data Science. His plan after graduation is to find a job as a business analyst, ride motorcycle, and spend time with friends and family.
1. Why did you choose Luther College? I chose Luther College because it was the best option for me in which I would have a good soccer experience and academic career.
2. Why did you choose an internship at DMC? I liked the plan of the DMC to put Rochester on the map and all the positive things they are doing for the city of Rochester. I always wanted my job to have a positive impact on society, so when I thought about working with data and being part of a project that will have a positive impact on a community, the internship at the DMC was the perfect fit for me.
3. What are your duties at DMC? Collect and organize data to answer questions and develop projects that will help advance the DMC plan. Also, use GIS to visualize data and create story maps with that data.
4. What is a unique fact about yourself? A unique fact about myself is that I love motorcycles.

DMC Announces New Business Development Manager and Energy and Sustainability Manager

(Rochester, Minn.) February 27, 2024 – Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) announced the hiring of Kylle Jordan to the position of Business Development Manager. She previously held the position of Global Principal for Medical Alley Association.

Image of Kylle Jordan.
Kylle Jordan

In her role as business development manager, she will expand upon DMC’s business attraction and recruitment strategies to bring new businesses to Rochester. She will report to DMC EDA’s

Senior Director of Economic Development Michael Flynn.

“Kylle’s extensive experience working with life science and MedTech companies from around the world, as well as her tenure working within the Minnesota life science and MedTech ecosystems makes her the perfect fit for Destination Medical Center, and our aggressive program of work,” said Flynn.

At Medical Alley, she helped to attract over 30 internationally based life science companies to Minnesota, as well as building key stakeholder relationships to promote the Minnesota ecosystem for life science investment. Prior to that she worked for Greater MSP as their director of business investment.

Throughout her 15-year career in economic development, Kylle was focused on investment recruitment, industry marketing, and awareness building, all areas that fit closely in the DMC EDA business development program of work. She also has extensive experience working with MedTech companies evaluating Minnesota for investment opportunities.

Kylle started her new position on February 26. She has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from St. Cloud State University and a master’s degree in global finance, trade, economic integration from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Image of Lauren Jensen
Lauren Jensen

DMC EDA also announced the hiring of Lauren Jensen to the position of Energy and Sustainability Manager. She previously held the position of Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Rochester.

As Energy and Sustainability Manager, she will lead DMC’s participation in the Downtown District Energy system development, community electrification campaign, electric vehicle strategy, and other related initiatives. Director of Public Infrastructure and Development Strategy Catherine Malmberg will be overseeing this position.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lauren Jensen as our new energy and sustainability manager. She brings a wealth of experience to our Rochester community alongside fresh ideas that will be invaluable as we continue to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable DMC district. We look forward to the positive impact Lauren will have as she helps chart a greener future for our community,” said Malmberg.

At the City of Rochester, Lauren worked to create a culture of sustainability through environmental, economic, and social equity components while collaborating to build capacity between stakeholders and community partners to develop communities that are truly sustainable for all.

Lauren started her new position on February 26. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources & Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota and a Certificate in Social Media Management from Minnesota State Community & Technical College.

DMC Projects

Since the adoption of the DMC Development Plan on April 23, 2015, a number of projects have been approved by the DMCC and the City.

Discovery Walk

Discovery Walk is a four-block linear parkway along 2nd Avenue SW. It is planned to connect Annenberg Plaza to Soldiers Field Memorial Park and function as an extension of the Heart of the City public realm project. Discovery Walk is designed to feel like a park and to promote health, wellness, and innovation. It will also serve as a catalyst for future private development in Discovery Square. Construction advanced significantly in 2023, including the pedestrian ramp located in the 300 block, pedestrian lighting art, and the snow melt system. Completion is anticipated in spring 2024.

 

Heart of the City Phase One

The first phase of the project was renovating the east elements of Peace Plaza and surrounding areas. It was unveiled in 2023. The public realm project features universal design elements, sustainability, integrated art and improved infrastructure, and a catenary lighting system. This project has stimulated new and expanded commercial and retail businesses in the area and won the 2023 Award of Excellence in Urban Design from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

 

Riverfront Reimagined

Following the City-initiated Downtown Waterfront S.E. Small Area Plan study for a 60+ acre area located southeast of the downtown core on the Zumbro River, the City continues to lead the development of this future mixed-use neighborhood. In July 2022, the City adopted the Riverfront Small Area Plan as a preferred plan to guide the transformation of the redevelopment area as a “front door” to the river and gateway into downtown. In August of 2022, the City was awarded a federal RAISE grant in the amount of $19.9 million for the Sixth Street Bridge crossing the Zumbro River. In 2023, the project advanced with site preparation, flood wall work with the Army Corps of Engineers, further design, and interim site activation.

 

Bryk on Broadway

The Bryk on Broadway, located at 401 Broadway Ave N., opened in 2023 as a mixed-use, mixed-income apartment building with rents at varying levels. Of the 180 workforce housing apartments, 54 units are income-restricted to those at or below 50% of the area median income, 18 units to those at or below 60% of the area median income, and 108 units to those at or below 80% of the area median income.

 

Soldiers Field Memorial Park

Soldiers Field Memorial Park contains 150 acres of memorials and active recreation space, including 4,000 feet of riverfront. The northern portion lies within the DMC Development District and is featured in the Development Plan as an anchor of the Education and Recreation Subdistrict.

This project also maximizes connections to other key features of the DMC Development District: Discovery Walk will connect the Heart of the City to Soldiers Field and the Sixth Street Bridge will link Soldiers Field to the downtown waterfront area.

The public realm improvements within the district feature an aquatics center, with lap pool, bathhouse, wading pool, and outdoor seating, new basketball courts, a trail through the northeast corner of the park, a nature play area, community shelter, public restrooms, and new public parking. Importantly, this project combines federal, State, City, and DMC funding sources to reinvigorate this public asset. Project improvements are well underway and construction is expected to conclude in 2024.

 

Mobility

Progress continued on the approximately three-mile bus rapid transit project known as “LINK.” This project has applied for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Starts funding process. In 2022, the City and Mayo Clinic entered a twenty-year operating agreement in which Mayo Clinic will cover the annual local match for operating costs and all riders may use the system without paying fares. In 2023, design work was nearly completed, and state and federal environmental reviews concluded. With the significant progress in project planning and qualifying expenditures, the City certified, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) approved, $9,081,280.13 in City and County transit contributions for 2022, qualifying for the State’s disbursement of $7,500,00 as the annual maximum of state transit aid.

A critical component of the Link experience is the future development of the West Transit Village at the western terminus at Second Street SW. The vision for the West Transit Village extends far beyond parking, with the potential uses of mixed-income housing, retail, and childcare.