Our most recent newsletter provided a general overview of development plans and offered some highlights from the proposed DMC development plan. We’d like to take this opportunity to offer some more detailed insight into the frame of mind that guided the years-long process of research and composition of the development plan’s first draft.
The following guiding principles were established to provide guidance to the Economic Development Agency (EDA) project team in the completion of this development plan. These guiding principles resulted from discussions and direction gained from the EDA and DMCC Boards, stakeholders, and public feedback, during the Development Plan process.
- Establish a Bold and Compelling Vision for Rochester and Destination Medical Center
The DMC Initiative sets forth a plan to transform the epicenter of Rochester from what is perceived to be largely a medical campus, into a vibrant urban center and one of America’s model cities. This is accomplished by creating a vision for an integrated downtown, unified by six sub-districts that are anchored by unique places designed to create experiences to attract and retain residents, visitors, employees and investors to the community. This is a place for Rochester, it is envisioned by its citizens. It reflects the principles, ideas, and culture unique to this community.
- Sustain Rochester and Southeast Minnesota as a Destination Medical Center and Economic Engine for the State
Rochester and its largest employer, Mayo Clinic, are critical components of the regional and State economy. Rochester, particularly its downtown core, needs to maintain an economic concentration, expand its business base and enhance the diversity of its economy. The DMC Development Plan promotes strategies that are focused on a broad range of opportunities, giving special consideration to strategies that support and leverage Mayo Clinic’s growth to enhance and expand the economy of Rochester and Southeast Minnesota. These strategies will promote the growth of new businesses, investment, entrepreneurship, and targeted businesses locally and within the region.
- Create a Comprehensive Strategy to Drive Economic Development and Investment
The Development Plan is a comprehensive planning document akin to a strategic business plan that addresses land use, transportation, infrastructure, finance, business development, marketing and operations strategies and sets an implementation framework for the Project. A financial framework and rigorous application process and underwriting (evaluation) criteria are incorporated.
- Encourage visionary thinking and projects that challenge the status quo
The planning framework and implementation strategies are established to encourage an active and ongoing public-private partnership between DMCC, the City of Rochester, EDA, Mayo Clinic, developers, and other stakeholders. The goal is to fund and operate infrastructural improvements and maximize land use in and around Rochester, borrowing from the best practices of other cities, and relying on the strength of the assets unique to this community. Finally, the implementation plan establishes metrics to measure the progress of the plan relative to the DMC objectives over the 20-year planning period.
- A Market Driven Framework & Strategies
The Development Plan is based on market driven strategies that establish a strategic framework for implementation of the DMC Initiative. It does not dictate specific projects or development/redevelopment parcels. Ultimately, the private and public partners will determine the rate in which the vision is realized and investment occurs. Therefore, the key to the Development Plan strategy is to establish a framework that is both visionary and flexible to respond to changing market conditions.
These principles are borrowed from the complete first draft of the DMC Development Plan, available for download in pdf format.