Riverfront Walking Tour + Ice Cream Social

May 9, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center (DMC) are inviting the community to a Walking Tour and Ice Cream Social on Saturday, May 14 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The tour will begin at the City/County Parking Lot at 401 4 St SE and will conclude near the former Legends site on the west side of the river. 

 

Self-guided tours can be taken at any time to gain an understanding of the sites at the various learning stations. Three guided tours are scheduled for 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30. The tour is designed to carry participants to both sites included in the Riverfront Small Area Plan to see how these central waterfront properties can be developed into a people-centric place that leverages downtown Rochester’s unique assets and helps to reestablish our community’s relationship with the Zumbro River. This is a family-friendly activity.  

 

“The goal of the Ice Cream Social Walking Tour is to invite everyone to these spaces and help them to realize the potential of each space beyond surface parking,” said Project Manager Jaymi Wilson. “The tour will give everyone another opportunity to share their thoughts on what the future of these sites could be.” 

 

The Walking Tour and Ice Cream Social are the latest in a series of community engagement tools guiding the Riverfront Small Area Plan to develop a market-supported vision for the downtown waterfront to link together several civic, cultural, and government assets to the heart of downtown Rochester. The process has included a public comment period, involved community co-designers, as well as a five-part virtual ‘Riverfront Talks’ series. 

 

Find out more about the Riverfront Small Area Plan at the project website. 

Commemoration of Peace Plaza

May 4, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester would like to invite everyone to a Commemoration of Peace Plaza on Thursday, May 18th at 1:30 p.m. with remarks from DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb and Rochester Mayor Kim Norton. The Commemoration will acknowledge the history of this space and look to the future possibilities for our downtown and the Peace Plaza.

The Commemoration of Peace Plaza will be followed by a community-hosted celebration from 2:00 – 6:00 pm. “Partnerships have been an important piece of the Heart of the City project, so we are making partnerships a focal point of the event,” said Jamie Rothe, DMC’s Director of Community Engagement. “We want to highlight the multiple ways in which the Plaza was designed to be used by partnering with local organizations and community members.”

Activities are planned throughout the afternoon to showcase the new space:

  • The Rochester Art Center will engage community members with public art in public spaces through the act of “en plein air” art making, as well as inviting attendees and passersby to create alongside experienced artists in mobile, pop-up sketching exercises.
  • The Rochester Public Library will provide an opportunity to celebrate the art of words represented in the Peace Plaza inspired by the work of Ann Hamilton and Gwen Westerman.
  • Local poet Danny Solis and other local artists will lead improvisational and interactive spoken word activities to aid people in feeling at home in the transformed Peace Plaza.
  • Four, one-hour, family-friendly music performances by John Sievers and other musicians displaying Rochester’s diverse local music scene.
  • Mindfulness Walks and Yoga Experiences with Maria Serbus from Grounded Evolution and Radiant SoL Yoga Studio to encourage participants and attendees to pause and take a mindful moment and to appreciate the world around them in this hustle and bustle world.
  • A Sustainability Walk with the design team to learn about the design innovations incorporated into the project.
  • A Celebration of Women in Construction. It took the hands of many to complete the first public realm project supported by Destination Medical Center. From design to the hand laying of thousands of granite pavers, this project was touched by many, including incredibly talented women. Meet the women who worked on this project and join as we celebrate all women that participated in Heart of the City. Hosted by NAWIC, City of Rochester, and DMC.

The first phase of Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City public realm project is a renovation of Peace Plaza and surrounding areas. The new design creates active, engaging experiences for residents, visitors, and patients in the heart of downtown Rochester. The updates provide enhanced safety measures, including curbless streets, and provide greater accessibility for people of all abilities. Movable seating options will allow for a variety of public programming. The addition of more trees as well as interactive art displays and water features will create a family-friendly space to gather in the downtown area.

For more information on the Commemoration of Peace Plaza and these activities, please visit the event page on the DMC website.

DMC and partners to host Rochester Housing Summit

April 5, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center, the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and local housing partners are hosting the Rochester Housing Summit at the Mayo Civic Center on Thursday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A virtual option to attend the summit is also available. The cost is $20.

The summit will provide a deep dive into understanding our community housing needs, learning of the opportunities, potential sites, various financial tools, and housing innovations of interest locally. This summit will be helpful to anyone interested in our community’s housing needs and efforts, such as entities or individuals involved in commercial real estate development.

“We are excited to offer this housing summit in partnership with Olmsted County, the City of Rochester, and other local partners.” said DMC’s Director of Housing and Sustainability Kevin Bright. “Our collective aim is to grow relationships with like-minded partners locally, regionally, and nationally to accelerate the development of housing units throughout our region.”

Speakers for the summit include:

  • David Dunn, Housing Director, Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority
  • Mat Miller, Director, Olmsted County Facilities and Building Operations
  • Josh Johnsen, Interim Community Development Director, City of Rochester
  • Taryn Eden, City of Rochester
  • Kevin Bright, Housing and Sustainability Director, DMC EDA

“Finding an affordable place to call home is one of the most significant challenges facing this region,” shared Olmsted County Housing Director David Dunn. “By bringing together housing experts at the Rochester Housing Summit, we are hopeful we can use our collective knowledge to help create more places for people to call home in Olmsted County.”

Gold Sponsors
     

 

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Common Bond

Aeon

Noble Development

Registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. For more information and to register for the summit, please visit dmc.mn/events.

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‘Riverfront Talks’ Virtual Community Engagement Series Concludes

March 17, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center (DMC) are concluding the five-part community engagement series, Riverfront Talks, with an in-person event on Thursday, March 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Historic Chateau Theater, 15 1st SW. The focus of this final session will be on Urban Design and Programming. Design concepts for the space will be on display. The interactive session will bring forward community-based planning and design principles that will enable the Rochester community to evaluate alternative options for the space.

The conversation will be driven by a series of questions, including:
• What community-based themes have emerged in the first four Riverfront Talks?
• What is the spectrum of options for both development and open space?
• What are the programmatic and economic opportunities?
• How do east and west riverfront sites differ from one another?

A virtual option will be available for those unable to attend in person. Please visit riverfrontsap.com to register for the virtual session. Recordings of the first four Riverfront Talk sessions are also available for viewing on the website.

“The riverfront site is a major piece of downtown Rochester’s landscape,” shared City of Rochester Project Manager Jaymi Wilson. “Because of its importance, we wanted to ensure the renovation process is community driven. The feedback we have received so far has been incredibly valuable and informative, and we cannot thank the community members who have participated enough.”

The Riverfront Talks series is one of several engagement tools to gather feedback from the community to help inform the development of the small area plan for the central waterfront property. This space links together several civic, cultural, and government assets to the heart of downtown Rochester. The conversations will focus specifically on the area between Broadway Avenue and 2 Street SE and 4 Street SE. The goal of the site’s transformation is to establish a people-centric place that leverages natural and cultural resources and supports multi-modal connectivity to adjacent areas including the downtown.

“It’s exciting to see Rochester work to reclaim its relationship with the Zumbro River,” said DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb. “Cities around the country are rediscovering their waterways as an extraordinary asset.”
An informal Open House will be held on Friday, March 25 at Fagan Studios, 324 South Broadway Avenue, from 8 to 10 a.m. This will be an informal gathering for those interested in reviewing the plans. The design team will be present to answer any questions.

Highway and Heavy Construction Training Starts on April 18

Free Highway and Heavy Construction Training Starts on Monday, April 18 in Rochester, Minnesota

(ROCHESTER, Minn.) March 15, 2022 – Workforce Development, Inc. and Laborers Local 405 are offering a free four-week highway and heavy construction training course for minorities, women, and disadvantaged individuals. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 15. Classes start on Monday, April 18 through Friday, May 13 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The class will be held at Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) located in Heintz Center at Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) in Rochester.

This training is provided by an award from Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for highway and heavy construction training, recruitment, screening and placement with contractors and supported by the City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center (DMC) to help contractors meet workforce participation goals on publicly funded projects. Workforce participation goals for women (8%) and people of color (15%) have been challenging for local contractors to meet, especially on highway and heavy construction projects, due to a lack of minorities and women trained to work in the field.

During the training, Local 405 Laborers Union trainers will conduct OSHA 30 and CPR/First Aid/AED training. Participants will also receive flagger training, qualifying them for flagger positions on MnDOT projects. Local contractors will have the opportunity to interview class participants.

Jobs in highway and heavy construction pay a competitive wage with benefits. Minnesota Prevailing Wage Highway and Heavy region 6, effective November 1, 2021, Labors (101) basic hourly rate is $30.51, plus $20.84 fringe rate for a total rate of $52.35 per hour. Fringe benefits for Local 405 include medical/dental/life insurance, pension, and training.

 

Destination Medical Center Sees Increased Investment

(Rochester, Minn.) March 10, 2022 – The Destination Medical Center Corporation Executive Committee approved a report documenting 2021 private investment in the DMC district of more than $155 million. This brings the cumulative total to more than $1.3 billion in private investment since the beginning of the DMC initiative in 2013.

The 2021 figures include $110.6 million in Mayo Clinic investment and $44.7 million by other private investors. The 2021 private investment, along with the cumulative investment since 2013, will release approximately $29.2 million in state public infrastructure funding later this year.

DMCC Board Secretary Pamela Wheelock said, “These have not been the easiest couple of years to do any kind of investment in any community. This is something to pause and recognize and celebrate. So, congratulations to all of you who have done the heavy lifting to make that possible.”

The state aid supports many community benefits including new jobs and businesses, accessible public spaces, generational improvements to streets and sewers, increased mobility options, greater arts and culture programming and overall downtown vibrancy.

When asked about projections for 2022 and beyond, DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb highlighted Mayo Clinic’s 5-Year Plan that documents future capital improvements for their Rochester campus, potential development in the proposed Link Rapid Transit corridor, as well as resources from the Main Street Grant program from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development as points of optimism. “Like all markets we may face headwinds due to commodity pricing, supply chain disruptions, interest rates, and workforce. One area we do address is workforce. With the mayor leading the way with the Bloomberg Global Challenge around women in construction, specifically BIPOC women, we will continue to see growth of our workforce in the built environment.”

2021 private investments, an $11 million improvement over 2020, were seen in housing, hospitality, and life science, as well as vital improvements to the rebounding downtown sector.

“I would just like to say how proud I am to pass along this report to the state. Along with leveraging private investment, we are seeing housing for our incoming workforce and small businesses and entrepreneurs reinvesting in Rochester. We can see that Destination Medical Center is working,” said DMCC Chair R.T. Rybak.

To release state funding over the span of the initiative, DMCC must present the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) with an annual accounting of qualified private investments from Mayo Clinic and other private investors in the DMC district. DEED is then responsible for certifying the investments and qualifying DMC to receive state funding for public infrastructure projects.

The next DMCC Board Meeting is scheduled for May 18, 2022 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.

 

DMCC Board Supports Adjustments to Bus Rapid Transit Application

(Rochester, Minn.) February 4th, 2022 – Yesterday, the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors passed a resolution to support staff in pursuing design improvements to the Bus Rapid Transit project, known as “Link”. The purpose of the proposed improvements advances the goals of creating a world-class experience for customers and providing equity of access, as well as optimizing federal funding.

The areas being looked at for inclusion in the project are:

  • Enhanced station user experience focused on weather protection and sustainable design materials with direct access to pedestrian subways.
  • Realignment and extension of east terminus with a new station on 6th SE, west of 3rd Ave. SE.
  • Expand project to include infrastructure investments not part of the original federal Capital Investment Grant.

“When we look at the potential development in this area, this will provide a huge opportunity for Rochester. I’m thrilled you are suggesting these changes,” said DMCC board member Jim Campbell.

The proposed design enhancements were developed through collaborations with community co-designers and stakeholders, as well as taking into consideration future connectivity and development outlined in the Downtown Waterfront Southeast small-area plan. Staff is recommending requesting any additional costs come from Federal sources in a revised Federal Transit Administration (FTA) application, keeping the local contribution the same.

The DMCC board also received an update on activities in the Discovery Square subdistrict. Several Discovery Square stakeholders were on hand to provide their perspectives on the importance of continued support for improvements, including Lizzy Haywood, CEO of People’s Food Co-op. “We employ 73 people with competitive wages and benefits. We are counting on the continued growth in this neighborhood for our long-term sustainability.”

Additionally, the board unanimously approved the resolution to submit the DMCC Annual Report to the Minnesota Legislature. The statutorily required report includes the DMC development plan, progress on projects in the development plan, actual costs & financing sources for projects completed in the past two years, estimated costs & financing sources for the next two years, as well as debt service schedules for outstanding obligations of the city for debt service issued for projects identified in the plan. The report was approved by the City Council on January 19, 2022.

The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant Program

The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center accepted an award of $3.12 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) on October 14, 2021, as a part of their recently created Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. The grant dollars will be used to help central business districts rebuild and reposition themselves in the face of a substantially changing downtown economy. Rochester was one of eight communities receiving funding, with a total investment of approximately $40 million being invested across the state.

We at DMC have received many questions about the grant. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Main Street Frant Program.

  1. What is the Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant Program?
    This is a state-funded initiative intended to provide no-cost grants for capital improvement projects in central business districts across the state.
    Projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value are eligible. Business operational expenses are not eligible. Applicants must also have other sources of funding to “match” any funds given by this program, details are below.
  2. Who may apply for funding?
    Any person or company planning to invest in eligible capital projects in the DMC development district (map below) may apply. Priority will be given to businesses and organizations that represent veteran, disabled, Black, Indigenous, or people of color whose projects will build wealth, create jobs, and stabilize communities along the corridors.
  3. What investments may be funded by the grant?
    Capital investments, such as:
    − Repair or renovation of real property, including expansions and additions
    − Demolition, site preparation, and building construction
    − Landscaping, streetscaping and related site amenities
    − Engineering, pre-design and design work
    − Infrastructure
  4. What are the primary objectives?
    – Revitalizing properties in the DMC district harmed by the events of the past two years.
    – Elevating opportunities for BIPOC, veteran, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), or disabled business and property owners.
    – Creating and retaining permanent jobs.
    – Enabling existing businesses to strengthen and diversify their products and services.
  5. Are funds available for projects already completed?
    No, these funds are only available for new projects as described in your application.
  6. What if I have already started the project?
    The funds can’t be used for work already in progress. However, the funds can be used for work that has not yet been started. The work yet-to-be-done would need to be described in your application.
  7. What investments may NOT be funded by the grant?
    The purchase of real estate is not eligible, nor are business operations or business operating expenses, such as inventory, wages, or working capital.
  8. How much is the DMC EDA’s grant award?
    The DMC EDA will be distributing up to $3 million in grants with a maximum of $750,000 per award. These grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project cost. The remaining funds must come from other sources.
    For example:
          a. A $100,000 capital project can be awarded up to $30,000 in Main Street Grant funds. The remaining balance must be funded through other sources.
  9. What can be used for the matching funds?
    Loans, equity, and local government funding not derived from state or federal sources can be used for the match.
  10. When can interested applicants apply for funding?
    The DMC EDA intends to begin accepting applications no later than May 2022. DEED requires all funds to be awarded no later than Dec 31, 2024, and the projects must be completed by Dec 31, 2026. If you have a project that might qualify, we encourage you to contact [email protected] to set up a call for more information.
  11. What is the application process?
    DEED has designated the DMC EDA to develop a customized application process for projects in Rochester. The DMC EDA is engaging local stakeholders, and will utilize a community co-design team, to develop an accessible application and review process. The details of this application process will be forthcoming as the design of the application gets developed.
  12. What details will be finalized in the coming weeks and months?
    A) Identifying community co-designers that will help the DMC EDA:

    • Build the application and review process
    • Engage outreach and communication partners
    • Identify resources that DMC EDA can make available to applicants

    B) Building and publishing a webpage
    C) Begin reviewing applications
    D) Issuing grant awards

  13. Who is providing the grant funding?
    Funding is provided by the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED).
  14. Why did the State of Minnesota initiate this program?
    The grant program is intended to help central business districts physically rebuild and reposition themselves in the face of a substantially changing downtown economy.
  15. Who is administering the grant program in Rochester?
    The Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA), a private non-profit corporation located in downtown Rochester, MN. The DMC EDA applied for and secured the grant award with the support of the City of Rochester.
    Eligible projects must be within the DMC District boundaries (map above).

Rochester Awarded 3 Million Dollar Main Street Grant from Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

211014_MSERG Round 1 Announcement

African American/Black Construction Entrepreneur Event

ROCHESTER, MINN. – In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 17, 2022 and National African American/Black History Month in February 2022, the City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center are hosting an event for aspiring and current minority construction entrepreneurs on Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Kenneth Bush, founder of Minnesota Minority Trades Council, will be co-hosting the event. He comments, “Anybody can start a business with a positive attitude, willingness to learn and the right resources. The Minnesota Minority Trades Council helps entrepreneurs create a roadmap in order to get their business started by utilizing the resources that are in our community.”

Entrepreneurs will learn about the exciting economic growth of downtown Rochester driven by Destination Medical Center. Minnesota Department of Administration Office of Equity in Procurement and Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights will present on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification and benefits of being certified.

Prime contractors and project sponsors are invited to attend the event from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, Yolanda McIntosh will be the lunch keynote speaker. Videos featuring our local DBEs will be shown. This is a great opportunity to increase exposure for our current and future DBEs. In the afternoon, local business development resources (RAEDI, Collider and SBDC) and private business consultants will present.

The event is being planned with both in-person and virtual options. The decision to host or cancel the in-person will be made on Monday, January 24. A complimentary lunch will be provided for pre-registered entrepreneurs attending in-person.

Minority community members working in construction (residential or commercial) or entrepreneur-minded individuals interested in owning/operating a construction business are invited to attend. Participants must pre-register by Monday, January 24, 2022 with Jorrie Johnson via email at [email protected] or 507-328-2016.

For more information about the City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Targeted Business and Workforce Participation Plan program visit City of Rochester, Administration WBME & WF webpage.

Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement Project Open House

The City of Rochester is hosting two public information sessions on the upcoming Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement Project. This project, expected to occur in 2022, will replace the deteriorated brick inlay pattern sidewalks along Broadway from 2 Street North to 4 Street South, and also along Historic 3rd Street SW. Information about the project is available on the project website.

“This project is focused on improving the experience for those moving around our downtown. The sidewalks will be safer and the current blight of the deteriorated and patched brick will be eliminated. This is one of those important infrastructure projects that will have benefits for residents, visitors, and downtown businesses,” shares Cindy Steinhauser, Deputy City Administrator – Development Services & Infrastructure.

Patrick Seeb, Executive Director of Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency highlights, “This project is a vital infrastructure improvement for our downtown. We listened to our community and made this project a priority. We are looking forward to working with local businesses and stakeholders on a Business Forward strategy to minimize the impact of construction on their operations.”

Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement Project – Meeting 2
            January 13, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Microsoft Teams Link: https://bit.ly/3z78cVk
Call-in Number (Audio Only): 347-352-4853; Conference ID: 358 766 514

Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement Project – Meeting 3

January 13, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Microsoft Teams Link: https://bit.ly/31cyQQe
Call-in Number (Audio Only): 347-352-4853; Conference ID #: 629 945 453

*The content presented at these sessions will be identical, so stakeholders do not need to attend both meetings.

One session, including the attendee Q&A, will be posted to the project website.