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
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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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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 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.



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.

Mayo Clinic’s Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester Initiative: A New Chapter for Destination Medical Center

At Destination Medical Center (DMC), we are thrilled and inspired by the news that Mayo Clinic has announced a $5 billion dollar commitment to expanding its Rochester campus as part of the Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester initiative. This is a historic moment for Mayo Clinic, the city of Rochester, Olmsted County, the state of Minnesota, and DMC. Mayo Clinic’s newest commitment to the city demonstrates the success and impact of the 20-year economic development initiative first authorized by a bipartisan group of Minnesota legislators and the Governor in 2013.

Not only is this the largest investment in Mayo’s 160-year history, but it is also the largest public or private investment in Minnesota’s history!

DMC was created to position Rochester as a global destination for health and wellness, and to support Mayo Clinic’s vision of transforming health care for the benefit of patients and society. Through DMC, we are leveraging public and private investments to create a vibrant, welcoming, and livable city that attracts talent, innovation, and visitors from around the world and solidifies Rochester as America’s City for Health.  Mayor Norton, in her remarks at the announcement, credited the DMC initiative as helping to “set the stage for this transformational project, in Rochester.”

Through 2022, approximately $200 million of public investment through DMC has helped attract nearly $1.5 billion of private investment from Mayo Clinic and other investors. Estimated job growth related to these initiatives total nearly 8,000 thus far. New public spaces supported with DMC funding include Discovery Walk, Heart of the City, and forthcoming Soldiers Field and riverfront redevelopment projects.

DMC successes through its first decade have helped create the conditions and opportunities that support Mayo Clinic’s new multi-billion-dollar commitment. Mayo Clinic’s Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester initiative will expand its clinical, research, and education facilities in Rochester, enhancing the patient experience in addition to its ability to deliver world-class care and innovation to patients while advancing its mission of inspiring hope and contributing to health and well-being.  According to Mayo CEO, Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., the Unbound project will blur “…the lines across hospital, clinic, and digital care to help our teams anticipate our patients’ needs, accelerate more cures and greater connection to our patients.”

Mayo Clinic’s new commitment will also bring significant benefits to Rochester and the region, including:

  • Creating thousands of new jobs and generating new tax revenue for the state and local governments.
  • Attracting more visitors and businesses to Rochester, boosting the local economy and tourism industry.
  • Enhancing the quality of life and well-being of Rochester residents and Mayo Clinic patients and visitors, by providing more amenities, services, and opportunities for recreation, culture, and entertainment.
  • Strengthening Rochester’s reputation as America’s City for Health, and a model for sustainable and inclusive urban development.

As we celebrate this milestone, I want to thank Mayo Clinic for its leadership and partnership, and for its unwavering commitment to Rochester and Minnesota.  Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was explicit in acknowledging Mayo’s decision to invest in Rochester…” it’s not lost on myself, our administration or the people of Minnesota — you choose to make that investment in Rochester, Minnesota. You made a conscious effort as you looked elsewhere, where you could go, you said ‘No, this is the best place.”

I also want to thank the DMC Corporation Board, the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the State of Minnesota, and all our stakeholders and community members for their support and collaboration.

Together, we are enabling DMC to deliver on the vision and aspiration behind its inception and together, we will continue to make it a success.

I invite you to learn more about DMC and Mayo Clinic’s Bold Forward Unbound initiative by visiting our website and following us on social media. I also encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas on how we can make Rochester an even better place to live, work, and visit.

Thank you for being part of this journey, and for your passion and enthusiasm for DMC and Mayo Clinic. I look forward to working with you as we embark on this new chapter of growth and transformation.

Patrick Seeb
Executive Director
Destination Medical Center

Mayo Clinic’s Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester is exciting news for Rochester

The news that Mayo Clinic’s board of directors has approved the $5 billion Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester initiative to further expand its Rochester campus is a historic moment for our

city, our state, and our region, as we witness the world’s premier destination for health and wellness grow and thrive. “This is a transformative investment in the future of health care,” said executive director Patrick Seeb. “It solidifies Rochester as America’s City for Health, a destination for health and innovation.”

Mayo Clinic’s continued commitment to Rochester is also a reflection of the vision and collaboration that Destination Medical Center has nurtured and advanced since its inception in 2013. DMC, born of a bipartisan effort in the Minnesota legislature to strengthen Rochester as America’s City for Health with Mayo Clinic at its heart, has been instrumental in creating an environment that helped Mayo Clinic confidently commit to substantial expansion of its core campus. This unprecedented investment by Mayo Clinic coupled with additional significant public and private investment in downtown Rochester, is accelerating the Destination Medical Center initiative originally envisioned.

Over the past 10 years, we have seen this in many ways, including:

  • DMC’s ongoing stewardship of $585 million of public infrastructure funds, the largest in Minnesota history, to support improvements, public amenities, and placemaking projects in Rochester. The scope of improvements encompassed transportation, utilities, parking, parks, trails, public art, and more. These enhancements not only benefit Mayo Clinic, but the entire community and region.
  • DMC has facilitated the development of Discovery Square, a 16-block innovation district that connects Mayo with entrepreneurs, researchers, and educators. It is also home to One and Two Discovery Square which have a combined 290,000 square feet of cutting-edge life science amenities with such tenants as Phillips, Rion, and Mayo Clinic Advanced Diagnostics Laboratory.
  • DMC has supported the creation of signature public realm projects to enhance the experience and well-being of patients, visitors, and residents. The Heart of the City is a vibrant and welcoming public space that serves as the gateway to downtown Rochester and Mayo Clinic. Improvements to Soldiers Field Memorial Park will provide a relaxing experience for everyone, just a short walk from downtown. Connecting all of this is Discovery Walk, a 4-block linear parkway through Discovery Square that extends the collaborative environment within One and Two Discovery Square to the outdoor space.

DMC will continue to work with Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester, and Olmsted County to make Rochester an increasingly attractive place to live, work and visit. Among other initiatives, we will be working together on the Link Bus Rapid Transit system and redevelopment of key riverfront areas along with a new Sixth Street bridge.

As these projects unfold, we will continue to approach them through lenses of equity and sustainability. Community co-design will be used in conjunction with Discovery Walk and other DMC initiatives to engage, hear from, and collaborate with our community. Work will continue with our partners in the City of Rochester to achieve sustainability and energy goals. We will leverage what we have learned in DMC’s first decade with respect to engaging businesses and other stakeholders impacted by construction to lessen inconvenience through Business Forward.

Mayo Clinic’s Bold. Forward. Unbound. in Rochester initiative is exciting news for Rochester. At DMC, we are proud to have played a part in enabling Mayo Clinic

to make a substantial new commitment to our community. We look forward to working with Mayo Clinic, the City of Rochester, and Olmsted County to fulfill our shared vision of making Rochester a world-class city that is a destination for health and wellness, and a place where everyone can live, work, and thrive.