Five Questions with Pamela Hugdahl, Rochester Art Center Executive Director

Pamela Hugdahl began her role as the Rochester Art Center’s executive director in June after serving as the administrative director at the Port Washington Saukville Arts Council in Port Washington, Wis. The art center offers the opportunity for all people to understand and value the arts. It currently has four exhibitions open to the public during this time of physical distancing and is working on activating all areas of the building with art. The organization is  building relationships with past and future community partners, and emphasizing inclusivity and diversity in its admission procedures, programs, and board and staff development.

Downtown Rochester Welcomes Clean and Safe Ambassadors

There is a new crew of friendly faces in bright orange shirts keeping downtown Rochester a clean and safe place to live, work, and play. The Rochester Downtown Alliance’s (RDA) Clean and Safe Ambassador program launched July 1, 2020.

Clean Team Ambassadors provide daily services within the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s 44-block special service district, including sanitizing high touch areas of public spaces, power washing sidewalks, picking up litter, pulling weeds, and removing graffiti. They are also available to assist the public by answering questions and providing directions.

Business Forward: Downtown Rochester Businesses Top of Mind for Heart of the City Project Leaders

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is prototyping a kinder future for construction; one that considers patients, pedestrians, and business owners first. It’s called Business Forward.

“Every business owner will say that anytime they’ve had construction in front of their businesses, they’ve never felt like they’ve been a part of the plan,” says Jamie Rothe, Director of Community Engagement and Experience for DMC Economic Development Agency. “With this type of project, we felt like we needed to build it together. And that’s what we need to do; share information, get information back, then modify and adjust.”

NOTICE OF PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT BOUNDARY MODIFICATION

The Destination Medical Center Corporation, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 469.43, subds. 1 and 4, provides notice of a proposed modification to the Destination Medical Center Development District, the geographic area in the City of Rochester in which public infrastructure projects are implemented. An overall map of the proposed change, with detail in the legend, as well as the DMCC resolution approved May 28, 2020 follow. 

Copies of the proposed modification to the Development District are available at the DMCC and City offices (201 4th Street SE, Rochester, Minnesota 55904) and at the DMC EDA office (195 South Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904), as well as on-line at the following websites: www.dmc.mn and www.rochestermn.gov

All interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this matter by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to the City Clerk, City of Rochester, 201 4th Street SE, Room 135, Rochester, MN 55904, or to attend the public hearing to be held on August 27, 2020 before the DMCC Board of Directors. The notice of the time and place of the public hearing will be posted separately.

 

DESTINATION MEDICAL CENTER CORPORATION

RESOLUTION NO.98-2020

Authorizing Submission of a Modification to the Development District to the City of

Rochester (West Transit Corridor)

This Resolution was offered by Kim Norton, seconded by James V. Bier.

BACKGROUND RECITALS

A. Pursuant to Resolutions Nos. 87-2019 and 89-2019, the Destination Medical
Center Corporation (“DMCC”) approved a locally preferred alternative (the “Locally Preferred
Alternative”) for route, alignment and mode for the downtown circulator and additional project
features, authorized expenditures, and approved application to the Federal Transit Administration
for federal funding. These resolutions also contemplated a modification of the development
district, the geographic area in the City of Rochester (the “City”) identified in the Development
Plan (adopted on April 23, 2015, as amended), in which public infrastructure projects are
implemented as the Destination Medical Center development district (the “Development
District”).
B. The City and the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency
(“EDA”) now request for a modification to the Development District, set forth in Exhibit A
attached (the “Proposed West Transit Corridor Development District Modification”), in order to
implement a phase of the Locally Preferred Alternative.
C. The DMCC may modify the Development Plan at any time, and must update the
Development Plan not less than every five years. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 469.43,
subdivision 4, a modification or update must be adopted by the DMCC upon the notice and after
the public hearing and findings required for the original adoption of the Development Plan,
including approval by the City.
D. The DMCC must hold a public hearing before modifying the Development Plan.
At least sixty days before the hearing, the DMCC must make copies of the proposed
modifications available to the public at the DMCC’s and City’s offices during normal business
hours, on the DMCC’s and City’s websites, and as otherwise determined by the DMCC. At least
ten days before the hearing, the DMCC must publish notice of the hearing in the official
newspaper of the City. The DMCC may modify the Development Plan upon its finding that the
elements of the statute have been satisfied, and upon approval of the modification by the City.
E. The City must act on the proposed modification to the Development Plan within
sixty days following its submission by the DMCC.

RESOLUTION

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Destination Medical Center
Corporation Board of Directors that the Proposed West Transit Corridor Development District
Modification, dated as of May 28, 2020, and on file with the DMCC is hereby submitted to the
City of Rochester for its review and action within 60 days.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DMCC Chair and Vice Chair are authorized:
(1) to make copies of the Proposed West Transit Corridor Development District
Modification available to the public at the DMCC and City offices during normal business hours,
on the DMCC’s website, on the City’s website, and as otherwise appropriate;
(2) to determine the date, time, and place to hold the public hearing for testimony from
the public concerning the Proposed West Transit Corridor Development District Modification;
and
(3) to take such actions as are necessary and appropriate to effectuate the submission of
the Proposed West Transit Corridor Development District Modification and the timely
progression of the approval process.

The question was on the adoption of the Resolution and there were 6 YEAS and 0
NAYS, as follows:

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Destination Medical Center Corporation

 

                                          YEA               NAY              OTHER

James V. Bier                  X   _            ____              ____
James R. Campbell        X   _            ____              ____
Michael E. Dougherty  ____             ____              ____
Kim Norton                     X   _            ____              ____
R.T. Rybak                     ____              ____              ____
Randy Staver                   X   _           ____              ____
Paul D. Williams             X   _            ____              ____
Pamela Wheelock           X   _            ____              ____

RESOLUTION ADOPTED on May 28, 2020

 

 

 

 

The Business Pivot: Scandinavian clothing and home goods

The Business Pivot Logo

The Business Pivot, a blog series from Destination Medical Center (DMC), features local small businesses that are pivoting not just to survive, but to thrive in the current economic environment. These businesses are helping Southeast Minnesota continue to access products and services while also making a difference in the community.

 

The Nordic Shop

Walter Hanson, Co-Owner

DMC: What challenges are you facing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Walter and Louise Hanson, Co-Owners of The Nordic Shop

Hanson: We are a small specialty store that opened in Rochester in February of 1974 and has been through all the ups and downs during that time.  We have made it through the Great Flood, several depressions, the “.com” collapse, 9/11, and now we are working our way through the COVID-19 challenge.

We have always looked at each of these as opportunities to grow our business and to adapt to the level of reality.  Early in our history we realized that we saw our Mayo customers once a year and wanted to continue to market ourselves to them throughout the year.  That led us to start doing mail order.  That was in the mid 1970s where cut and paste were physical actions that would in later years become keystrokes.  Over all those years we have moved from photographing and physically laying out all of our catalogs, ads, and TV commercials to being able to do all of them digitally.  We have also gone from placing ads in regional issues of national magazines to doing most of our marketing on digital platforms along with TV and targeted print ads.

DMC: How is your business responding to those challenges and innovating?

Hanson: When COVID-19 arrived we were already one of the largest and oldest of the Scandinavian stores in the U.S.  But when faced with totally shutting our store doors for 10 weeks that caused us to look back at how we have gotten to where we are now and we started reworking our website, upgrading our Data Management Software, and taking a deeper look at the “wealth of opportunities” for advertising in the digital world, many of which were new to us.

Thankfully, at the beginning of the pandemic, DMC, the City of Rochester, and Rochester Downtown Alliance co-sponsored a grant process that we were able to take advantage of.  It allowed us to partner with another Rochester firm, Tulip Tree Studios, and have them teach us about all the digital opportunities that were new to us and to work with us through preparing, monitoring, and retargeting our choices.  This allowed us to use part of that COVID-19 downtime to become better educated in digital marketing and to have a resource that we could use as we further expand our digital reach for our website.

Our goal is to increase our web sales so that in the event of another pandemic where our store is closed again we can more easily cover our expenses and weather the storm.  Right now the website has stepped up the pace and we at least had income over the time frame that we were closed.

DMC: As you navigate uncertainty, what inspires you?

Hanson: Louise and I have both always been guided by our belief that it is better to take a breath, analyze the situation, formulate a plan and act on it.  If everyone else is pulling back it is easier to take up ground that they have vacated.  That, and the old adage: slow and steady wins the race.  Life will always change; it is how you react to it that will prove what you are made of.  We have never backed down from a challenge and never sat back and just complained about what was happening to us.  We can shape our own destiny by working hard and not being afraid to take on the challenge and to adapt.

The Nordic Shop is the recipient of a Keep It Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant.

 

Counterpoint

Carol Bitton, Owner

DMC: What challenges are you facing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Bitton: Counterpoint in the Galleria reopened knowing life would be different.  Teaching staff new ways of cleaning, dealing with clothing, and high touch areas all took time and patience to reteach.

We now have a procedure we all feel comfortable with and we are in the same rhythm. Now it’s down to helping customers feel safe coming in.

Carol Bitton, Owner of Counterpoint

DMC: How is your business responding to those challenges and innovating?

Bitton: All staff in Counterpoint are very observant and careful every step of the way.  We greet every customer with smiling eyes (since we all wear masks).  We ask them to sanitize hands and wear a mask (offering a free one to those who do not come in with one).  We kind of make a joke about coming in and “passing the test”—now they can touch and be free to shop here without any worries.  Most customers laugh and comment “thank you!”

We also had to update our website. It is coming soon, and we are thankful for the work of White Space to make the leap into that world of online selling for Counterpoint.  After 26 years, it’s about time!

DMC: As you navigate uncertainty, what inspires you?

Bitton: Being here in a beautiful environment, helping customers that come in (a bit cautious) and after a few minutes we get to know their stories.  We love that our customers appreciate our requiring of masks and our cleaning standards and verbalize everyday how much they appreciate us doing this because they see other shops not requiring anything.  This inspires all of us to keep going.

Counterpoint is the recipient of a Keep It Local, COVID-19 Innovators Grant.

 

Rochester City Council approves next phase of design for Discovery Walk in downtown Rochester

The Rochester City Council has approved plans to move forward with design development, engineering work and construction bidding for Destination Medical Center’s (DMC) Discovery Walk, a five-block linear parkway along 2nd Avenue SW in downtown Rochester that will serve pedestrians as well as vehicle access.  The design process is led by Coen+Partners.

A Message from Lisa Clarke

A Time for Reflection

Over the past few months, Destination Medical Center has been working in partnership with other community organizations to support the reopening of businesses and growing the economy that has taken a monumental hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while we cannot pivot from this task, we must make room for an important discussion about community.

Bethel University Students, Toronto Entrepreneurs take home top honors at Destination Medical Center’s Assistive Tech Challenge Virtual Pitch Competition

An afternoon of uplifting presentations put a spotlight on the strong entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the region at the 2020 Destination Medical Center Assistive Tech Challenge Virtual Pitch Competition. The competition on June 2 showcased 10 teams with innovative solutions to facilitate greater independence for people with disabilities.