The Boys & Girls Club of Rochester is taking a new approach to job skills development for Rochester youth with the opening of a new downtown ice cream shop. The Chocolate Twist will occupy the main floor of the Paine Furniture building, which is prominently located in the Heart of the City. The shop will not only offer personal and professional development opportunities for teens, it will also create an additional revenue stream for the Boys & Girls Club.
As DMC drives growth and investment in and around downtown, Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc., commonly referred to as RAEDI, and Journey to Growth (J2G) work to diversify the economy and increase investment throughout the entire region.
To help these complementary efforts succeed, RAEDI recently launched the Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, which was spearheaded by J2G back in 2015 when the group recognized that one of the primary barriers for startups was the lack of local angel financing.
Neighbors from across Rochester united in the Kutzky Park neighborhood this weekend for the second year of Porchfest, an event that partners local musicians with area homeowners who offer up their porches, decks, and lawns for the artists to perform.
Rochester’s inaugural Porchfest took place last fall and attracted nearly 300 attendees. This year’s event drew even greater crowds, with initial estimates at over 400, according to event organizer and Kutzky Park Neighborhood Association president, Jesse Welsh.
Fifteen musicians played at thirteen homes throughout the afternoon, and Welsh said some homeowners went above and beyond to draw in friends and neighbors. One couple had just moved into Kutzky Park less than six months ago, she says, but they loved the idea so much they took it the extra mile.
Got an idea you’d like to share?
The DMC Discovery Square Investors & Innovators Forum is the perfect venue for start-ups, spin-offs, and experienced entrepreneurs to pitch their pioneering ideas, technologies, or solutions.
Now in its second year, Destination Medical Center (DMC) will bring together investors and innovators from around the state to foster conversation, encourage collaboration, and grow partnerships in hopes of advancing healthcare at the 2017 Investors & Innovators Event on Tuesday, October 10.
Sustainability is an increasingly hot topic in community development and construction, but it’s hardly a new concept. One of DMC’s guiding principles is for the initiative to be a model for sustainability that will strive to implement ecological urban design and building practices to improve and enhance the environment and quality of life.
To help achieve this goal, DMC and the City of Rochester hired Kevin Bright as a shared Sustainability Director to support the community’s efforts to go green. The position is funded by a two-year McKnight Foundation grant.
Cities at any stage of development can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with and learning from other communities.
For the second year in a row, more than 40 leaders from organizations in and around Rochester traveled to the Twin Cities for a DMC-organized site visit. This year’s trip focused on topics of transportation and public spaces and included discussions and presentations from key experts in those fields. Attendees included staff from the DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) staff, the City of Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Coen+Partners, RSP Architects, the University of Minnesota, the Rochester International Airport, and other local organizations.
At the heart of every destination city is a vibrant downtown, where signature spaces, diverse programming, and enticing events encourage residents and visitors to linger a little longer.
In downtown Rochester, the bold vision for the true Heart of the City is coming to life as designers unveil a new future for the Destination Medical Center (DMC) sub-district where residents and visitors come together to celebrate life, community, health, and wellness 365 days a year.
From Discover and Dream to Design and Do
The Heart of the City Design Team recently unveiled plans for the much-anticipated core of downtown. Their forward-thinking vision for this integral part of the DMC district was received with excitement and anticipation by the DMC Corporation Board of Directors, the Rochester City Council, and the community at-large as they learned of the new plans for the sub-district.
We are building America’s City for Health.
Rochester has been named one of the healthiest cities in the country by Forbes and U.S. News & World Report. And Minnesota has ranked as having the best health care in the United States. Together, DMC and Mayo Clinic will push Rochester forward as a global destination for health and wellness.
To help illustrate the many ways individuals are transforming Rochester, DMC has created a video series called “DMC Rochester, MN Storyteller Videos.” These snapshots of forward-thinking people and approaches showcase the opportunities that exist in Rochester as DMC sets in motion a new future for America’s City for Health.
In the Middle of Health
Each year, Mayo Clinic contributes millions to support local community needs and wellness initiatives. Amit Sood was training overseas when he first heard about Mayo Clinic. “I was taken by the Clinic’s mission and values,” Sood says. “I wanted to be a part of it.”
They might be called “small businesses,” but there’s nothing small about the impact these organizations have on our economy.
Recently, two Rochester businesses were named finalists in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, making the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce the only chamber in the United States with more than one finalist.
“There are 8,800 chambers in the United States,” says Rob Miller, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce president. “Any one of those could potentially submit nominees for the award. But Rochester was the only chamber – and Minnesota, the only state – who had more than one finalist.”
With the rapid population growth predicted for Rochester over the coming years, DMC and other community leaders appreciate the need to channel days gone by and rekindle the sense of fellowship that existed among neighbors before smartphones and Wi-Fi became the norm.
In 2007, a group of Ithaca, New York residents started a local festival to bring back a sense of unity to their community and celebrate local musicians. They launched the first “Porchfest,” an event that partnered local musical talent with area homeowners who provided porches, decks, and lawns where the artists could perform. Since that first event ten years ago, similar events have sprung up in cities all around the nation.
Rochester’s first Porchfest took place in the Kutzky Park neighborhood last fall when 12 hosts invited local musicians to perform outside their homes. More than 300 people attended the city’s inaugural event, and organizers are looking forward to an even greater turnout for Porchfest 2017, scheduled for Saturday, September 16.