Destination Medical Center Corporation Board Applauds Process of Soldiers Field Memorial Park Improvements

At the November 10, 2022 meeting, the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors commended the process the City of Rochester and Rochester City Park Board have undertaken in working toward an equitable, sustainable, inclusive final design. The Rochester Parks Board adopted the Short-Term Soldiers Field Master Plan at their October 4, 2022 meeting.

There are several key features within the 2022 Soldiers Field Master Plan that align with the DMC Development Plan

  • Continues to define Soldiers Field Memorial Park as an anchor and signature public space of the Education and Recreation Sub-district.
  • Equitably designed spaces that are created with the specific needs of users.
  • Provides a welcoming and inclusive park for a growing and diverse community.
  • Incorporating sustainable design practices.

“We have a great opportunity with this project, the Riverfront, and key infrastructure, most notably Discovery Walk to differentiate us from our competitors,” said board member R.T. Rybak. “I strongly support putting funds into this project and making sure the City and Destination Medical Center are in alignment on how this incredible redesigned asset connects to Discovery Walk and the Riverfront.”

An update on the Main Street Economic Revitalization grant program was also provided to the board. To date, funding has been awarded to 36 different projects for a total award of $2.01 million with an average award of $56,000. 42% of the awardees are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC), woman-owned/led, and or/veteran-owned businesses.

The board also received an update on DMC’s equitable economic development strategies. DMC EDA staff members Kevin Bright and Wafa Elkhalifa were joined by Chao Mwatela, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director Chao for the City of Rochester, and Dee Sabol, Executive Director of the Diversity Council to highlight this collaborative effort by the Rochester community toward ensuring that everyone in Rochester is included in the economic prosperity associated with the DMC initiative.

“This is what sets DMC apart from many other economic development initiatives; the buy-in from the DMC team and our partners,” said board member Brooke Carlson. “This is a collective community responsibility. It takes engagement and partnership across so many different sectors and representatives and leaders in our community as well as those living and breathing and experiencing the inequities in our community to come together. Thank you for setting the gold standard for how we do our work at the City and DMC through this co-design process and being the catalyst for how this work can be done across the state and across the country.”

The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Thursday, February 2, 2023 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 Approves Funding of Soldiers Field Memorial Park Improvements


The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors conditionally approved $10 million for improvements at Soldiers Field Memorial Park. This request will help to fund proposed uses north of the golf course, which falls within the DMC District. Soldiers Field Golf Course is outside the district.

“We look forward to partnering with the community to make their vision for Soldiers Field become a reality,” said DMC Board Chair Pamela Wheelock. “It is a critical piece of community infrastructure and a great asset to downtown Rochester.”

The improvements will be based on the Soldiers Field Master plan update that is currently being reviewed by the Rochester City Council.

Additionally, the board approved funding for the continued support of LINK Bus Rapid Transit, the construction of the final two blocks of Discovery Walk, and funding the advancement of the Riverfront Small Area Plan that was approved by the Rochester City Council in July of 2022.

The board also received an update on DMC’s strategies to develop new community housing in the downtown core with the support of the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing, a collaborative community program to create and preserve affordable and workforce-priced housing in the Rochester area. One of the successful strategies has been the introduction of new housing developers to the Rochester market.

“It has been a long road getting everyone to the table,” said DMC Board Secretary Paul Williams. “This is exciting to see. We want to have a community where there is competition to build affordable housing.”

Additionally, the DMCC board approved the DMC Economic Development Agency’s (EDA) 2023 workplan and budgets. Strategic direction from the board as well as DMC goals, guiding principles and priorities helped shape the request. It will be presented in October to Rochester City Council for approval.

See the full video below:


The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Thursday, November 10, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

 

DMC Announces First Recipients of Main Street Grant Funding

September 8, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency is pleased to announce the first recipients of grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

“There is an excellent partnership between DEED, DMC, and the City of Rochester, and thanks to that close collaboration these grants are focused on supporting local businesses hit hardest by the pandemic,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “These grants will help revitalize areas with the greatest economic development and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the pandemic began.”

To date, 30 businesses within the DMC District have been recommended for funding totaling over $1.6 million. These funds will help to leverage over $48 million in private investment into Rochester’s downtown.

“The City of Rochester would like to thank DEED and DMC for their partnership in this important grant program. Our local businesses play such a vital role in the vibrancy and character of our community. I have heard from many businesses how impactful the COVID-19 pandemic has been and I hope that these grant dollars will help with both recovery and their ability to thrive in the future,” shared Mayor Kim Norton.

A community-based team comprised of downtown stakeholders was assembled to review applications and provide feedback on each grant application based on the following criteria:

  • Revitalization of properties or organizations operating within or contiguous to the DMC district harmed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Elevating opportunities for BIPOC, veteran, disabled business and property owners, and disadvantaged business entities.
  • Creating and retaining permanent jobs.
  • Enabling businesses to strengthen and diversify their products and services.

DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb said, “We are grateful to our team of staff and community co-designers for their assistance in bringing this project to fruition. We wanted to make this process as fair and equitable as possible and to help those organizations in greatest need.”

This community-based team provided their recommendations to the DMC EDA Board for review and approval. Each entity agreed on the following recommendations:

  • 100 1st Ave. Commercial Condo Association: $2,250
    Repaving the parking lot with asphalt.
  • 1AF, LP – $1,700
    Replace lobby flooring.
  • BGD5 Development, LLC – $52,900
    Demolition of existing blighted structure, with intent of removing for future planning and development
  • BGD5 Mall DBA: Galleria at University Square – $23,797
    Broadway and Peace Plaza facing: Exterior entrance repair & repaint, exterior lighting replacement, exterior door replacement.
  • Capital Ventures, LLC – $200,000
    Restoration of the building for new restaurant concept
  • Chabad of Southern Minnesota – $59,900
    Renovation of hospitality house operator suite into patient/guest quarters.
  • City Walk, LLC – $200,000
    Development and construction of 142 unit apartment building with 142 parking stalls
  • Everyday 365 Clothing, LLC – $4,500
    Renovations to outside of storefront, shelving space to be built into walls, new paint job, new signage, door for back room, new flooring, signage/lighting inside of store.
  • Guerin Studio, LLC – $22,500
    Remodel storefront
  • Healing Touch Spa, LLC – $35,000
    Construct two couples massage rooms and a meditation room and a dispensary for staff.
  • Interiors by J. Curry, LLC – $1,220
    Purchase and installation of a new sign
  • Ironton, LLC: $85,800
    Building out the main floor to accommodate office space.
  • James Krom Natural Images – $1,750
    Replace flooring
  • Kahler Inn and Suites: $15,000
    Improvements to the façade of the east facing wall of the building.
  • Knight’s Chamber: $9,600
    Remodeling the front entry of the business, as well as adding a dressing room, lighting and repainting.
  • La Michoacana Purepecha 3, LLC – $52,500
    Remodeling of the entire site, with dry storage, employee break room, kitchen preparation, sinks, hand-wash stations, and new flooring
  • The Landing MN – $200,000
    Property is being renovated to house a commercial kitchen, day room, restrooms, showers, and laundry as well as offices for leadership, staff, and volunteer medical providers.
  • Marrow Restaurant – $133,919
    Demolition, site preparation, build-out of restaurant and installation of equipment – including engineering, pre-design and design work
  • Masjed Abubakr A-Seddeig, Inc. – $100,000
    Renovating two floors of the building with classroom space to support new job training programs. An elevator will also be installed to support access to the classrooms.
  • Neighborly Group – $58,700
    Remodel of Neighborly Creative and Neighborly Gifts stores
  • Nordic Shop: $23,400
    Expanding their footprint to an adjacent vacant storefront to accommodate growth of in-store and web-based sales.
  • Rochester Art Center – $5,100
    Exterior window bird collision mitigation
  • Rowan International Grocery Store, LLC – $15,000
    Installation of a walk-in cooler and remodeling of the building
  • Skiathos, LLC – $8,000
    Repairing and restriping the parking lot of the Queen City Center Strip Mall
  • Thesis Beer Project: $9000
    Construction of a new 30-40 seat patio on 2nd Street
  • TRCH Plaza, LLP: $11,000
    New roof on the building.
  • True Queens Boutique: $4,500
    New downtown business will use funds to assist with purchasing signage, flooring, furniture, lighting, tables, and shelves.
  • The Well: $200,000
    Renovation of the former Dooley’s Pub site into a new family restaurant.
  • Well Living Lab, Inc – $10,000
    Energy efficiency and technology upgrades
  • Zumbro Lutheran Church – $6,000
    Purchase and installation of an exterior digital sign

All grant awards are subject to final approval from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

About the Main Street Grant Program
The Main Street Grant program provides grants for capital improvement projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value. The grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project costs with applicants securing other sources of funding to match any funds granted by this program. Funding for the $3 million grant was awarded on October 14, 2021, from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

For more information on the Main Street Grant program and to apply, visit dmc.mn/ms.

 

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Destination Medical Center Hosts Annual Meeting on September 15th

Learn, Transform, and Innovate at DMC’s Annual Meeting

Join us in celebrating Rochester’s continued growth and transformation at the DMC Annual meeting on Thursday, September 15th from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. on 1st Avenue SE between Center Street and 1st Street SE. This location will showcase a future public realm project connecting the Heart of the City with the Mayo Civic Center and the Downtown Waterfront sub-district, as well as proximity to future development sites.

4:00-6:00 pm – A Vibrant Downtown
Our partners will host learning stations where attendees can hear more about the technology and innovation being used to make downtown Rochester vibrant. During this time, attendees can also grab a bite from the Duck Truck and Infuzn Foods.

6:00-6:30 pm – Program
A recap of the past year and a glimpse into what is to come for downtown Rochester will be provided by the DMC EDA executive director, City of Rochester Mayor, DMC EDA Board Chair, and DMCC Board Chair.

6:30-7:00 pm – Music & Connection
End the evening by connecting with community members and listening to live music by the local band, True North.

*Please Note: Free, outdoor event, open-house style; Restrooms with washing stations provided on site.

If you’re enjoying your time at the end of the evening, we recommend you continue your evening at a nearby restaurant.

The DMC Annual Meeting is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is preferred.

“The solution to housing in Rochester is in this room and in this community.”

“The solution to housing in Rochester is in this room and in this community.”

These words by DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb kicked off the 2022 Rochester Housing Summit on Thursday, May 12th at the Mayo Civic Center. The Rochester Housing Summit provided a deep dive into understanding Rochester’s housing needs. There was also a spotlight focused on the opportunities, potential development sites, and the financial tools available to bring more housing to the community.

The summit included experts from the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Destination Medical Center, and the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing. Wes Johnson, Senior Underwriter for the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and Anne Ketz, Director of Real Estate Development and Asset Management for Urban Homeworks were also on hand to discuss the financial tools and innovative housing approaches that are available across the state.

One of the keynote presenters was Johnny Opara, President, and CEO of JO Companies, LLC, a Black-owned, mission-driven real estate development company that specializes in developing affordable multifamily housing, workforce housing, and selling residential and commercial real estate. When asked about the key ingredients in creating equitable housing, Opara said, “Engage the community, be fair, listen first and foremost. I think you have a really strong chance for projects to move forward.”

“I would like to thank all of our sponsors, our partners and panelists, that helped put together this amazing day,” said DMC Director of Housing and Sustainability Kevin Bright. We are very appreciative. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

You can watch the 2022 Rochester Housing Summit on DMC’s YouTube channel. Click on this link for access to the materials presented at the summit.

Gold Sponsors
     

 

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

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Noble Development

DMC Launches $3 Million Main Street Grant Program

May 19, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency are pleased to announce the launch of the $3 million Main Street Grant program. Funding for the grant was awarded on October 14, 2021, from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.

“Destination Medical Center has established itself as one of the leading economic development partnerships in the country,” said Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove. “These new investments in Main Street revitalization will create jobs and growth in Rochester – particularly in corridors hit hardest by the pandemic.”

The Main Street Grant program intends to provide no-cost grants for capital improvement projects that result in improvements to any permanent structure or other asset added to a property that adds to its value. The grant awards can cover up to 30% of the project costs with applicants securing other sources of funding to match any funds granted by this program.

Any person or organization planning to invest in eligible capital projects in the DMC district may apply. Businesses and organizations that represent Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), veteran, disabled, Black, Indigenous, or people of color whose projects will build wealth, create jobs, and stabilize communities in the district are strongly encouraged to apply.

“We are pleased to be launching the Main Street Grant program and we are grateful for the efforts of our community partners in shaping the application process,” said DMC Director of Business Development Chris Schad. “The Main Street Grant program reflects our shared vision of equitable access to financial tools for property owners and small businesses.”

DMC worked with six community co-designers to help guide the design process of the Main Street Grant program. Co-designers are connectors to underrepresented community members with different perspectives – cultural, religious, mobility, mental health, and socio-economic. The community co-designers engaged with their communities to discuss how the application and approval process could be more accessible to under-represented communities.

Co-design was a conscious and intentional effort to make an application process with the people it intends to serve,” said Kevin Bright, DMC’s Director of Housing and Sustainability. “From its use, we learned many challenges the community faces in accessing grant opportunities and we believe provided a set of tools, resources, connections, and support to allow as many as possible to ease their access to these funds. We want to thank our co-designers whose commitment to the project and the community, we think created a much more equitable outcome”.

In addition to the $3 million grant award in October, MN DEED announced a second round of funding on Tuesday, May 17, of which DMC was awarded an additional $988,000. This second round of funding will expand the Main Street Economic Revitalization initiative to provide grants to businesses outside of the DMC district to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The City of Rochester and our partners in economic development, particularly DEED, DMC and RAEDI, understand the importance of having healthy, viable neighborhood commercial corridors”, said Deputy City Administrator Cindy Steinhauser. “This funding from the DEED Main Street Economic Revitalization program will provide funding to support equitable, economic recovery for these neighborhoods devastated by the impacts of COVID-19. We want to thank the State of Minnesota and DEED for creating opportunities for cities and for their confidence in investing in Rochester’s recovery.”

The details for the second Main Street Grant program will be announced in the coming months.

DMCC Approves Enhancements for Link Rapid Transit

(Rochester, Minn.) May 18, 2022 – The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors at a special meeting today passed a resolution to approve three enhancements to the Link Bus Rapid Transit project for submission to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Starts Program. The enhancements approved in the resolution are:

  • Realignment and extension of east terminus with a new station on 6th St. SE, west of 3rd Ave. SE.
  • Enhanced station user experience focused on weather protection and sustainable design materials with direct access to pedestrian subways.
  • Expanding the project definition in the application to the FTA Small Starts Program to include infrastructure improvements, including design and construction of a public plaza area, a portion (1,400 feet) of the roadway, municipal utilities along this roadway, and public parking at the West Transit Village, extension of 6th Street SE, and bus maintenance improvements at the Public Works Transit Operations Center.

The reason for these enhancements is to improve connections between people, neighborhoods, employment, parks, shopping, and dining along the Link route. The approved enhancements will extend the estimated completion date of the project to the spring of 2026. The resolution will next move to the Rochester City Council for approval.

The DMCC also approved a resolution to for additional capital investments for the Chateau Theatre. These funds will provide for the installing, furnishing, and equipping of the Chateau Theatre as a multipurpose performing arts center and driver of DMC development district economic activity and revitalization.

The improvements will include:

  • Audience furnishings
  • Lighting, projection, and audio/public address equipment
  • Stage, pipe and drape, and truss items

“This is an opportunity to see what works really well and how it connects to the Heart of the City,” said board member Brooke Carlson. “It gives us at the city time to figure out a long-term strategy for the theatre.”

The meeting also marked the end of board member R.T. Rybak’s term as chair. During the meeting, Pam Wheelock was voted in as the new chair of the DMCC Board of Directors. “I am honored to pass the gavel to Pam Wheelock,” said former chair R.T. Rybak. Pam has tremendous experience working in economic development and with cities.”

Newly elected Chair Pam Wheelock stated, “I am delighted that R.T. [Rybak] will continue his service on the board. I am also pleased that Kim [Norton] will continue to serve as vice chair. I look forward to their sustained support as we move forward.” Mark Thein was elected Treasurer of the board. Chair Wheelock appointed Paul Williams as Secretary and Dale Martinson, City of Rochester Director of Finance and Information Technology, will continue as Vice Treasurer.

The next DMCC Board Meeting is scheduled for September 22, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement Project to Kick Off

May 16, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency are announcing the beginning of the Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement project on Monday, May 16th. The purpose of the project is to replace the deteriorated brick inlay with an exposed aggregate pattern similar to other areas in downtown.

The new sidewalk will eliminate the tripping hazards caused by the brick inlay popping out. Pedestrian ramps will also be improved in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines. As a result of these improvements, the overall downtown pedestrian experience will be enhanced.

“It is great to see this project take its next steps after continuous input from the community requesting these upgrades,” shared City of Rochester Project Manager Jaymi Wilson. “On top of safety improvements, the Downtown Sidewalk Enhancement Project will bring a new level of visual appeal to our Downtown area.”

An important part of the project will be the implementation of Business Forward strategies that were pioneered during the Heart of the City Phase I project. Business Forward seeks to minimize the impact of construction on businesses and pedestrians in the area. Some of the tools implemented include strategic phasing of the project, maintaining access to businesses, and the placement of public art to beautify the space.

“Adding art to the otherwise mundane concrete barriers is a creative way to add vibrancy to an important pedestrian space,” said Founding Director of Threshold Arts Naura Anderson. “This collaboration with the City and DMC helps Threshold Arts fulfill our mission to support local artists financially while connecting the community with their work in nontraditional ways. Our hope is that these murals will bring more folks downtown, and that they will support neighboring businesses, while they are in the area.”

The first phase of the project will begin on the southwest corner of Broadway Avenue and 4 Street SW and will move up the west side of Broadway to 3 Street SW. As a result, southbound traffic on Broadway Avenue will be reduced to one lane in the project area. Upon completion of this phase, the project will move over to the east side of Broadway. The total project scope includes sidewalks along Broadway Avenue from 2 Street North to 4 Street South as well as sidewalks along Historic 3rd Street SW and 1 Avenue SW. For more information on the Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement, please visit the project webpage.

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.