(Rochester, Minn.) November 5, 2021 – The Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) Board of Directors today praised progress on the development and implementation of a strategy for retail recruitment and retention in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) district in downtown Rochester.
The strategy supports a vibrant downtown retail experience for residents, visitors and downtown employees. It includes tactics that support the growth of existing retailers and the recruitment of new businesses.
“This is exciting and important work,” shared Brooke Carlson, City Council President and DMCC board member. “There are great opportunities to learn from models in communities with similar situations to our community. Walkable, mixed-density neighborhoods with resources near buy for students and other downtown residents will help make Rochester an even more desirable place to be.”
DMC Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) conducted research on residents of downtown Rochester, the fastest growing neighborhood in the city, to help current and future retailers plan their businesses. It also analyzed current gaps in the retail environment, working with downtown visitors and residents to identify unmet needs. This information will be used to help promote downtown Rochester to businesses considering the area for a store, or to existing business hoping to adjust or expand their merchandise mix.
Future plans include a local, regional and national marketing campaign to raise awareness among site selectors and retailers about the opportunity represented by the downtown retail market. The strategy also involves temporary “popup” uses of vacant stores, properties and pre-development sites to create a sense of vibrancy and present opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. A retail incubator is also under consideration.
Board members also today commended and approved the use of DMC and the City of Rochester’s recent award of $3.12 million dollars from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) as a part of its new “Main Street Economic Revitalization Program.” Rochester’s program will provide capital investment for downtown businesses and property owners who do not have sufficient capital to open, adjust or expand operations. Priority will go to BIPOC applicants and vacant properties.
The board also formally commended members Jim Bier and Michael Dougherty, whose terms will conclude at the end of this year. They also commended outgoing DMC EDA board President Jeff Bolton for his service following his recent retirement as Mayo Clinic Chief Administrative Officer.
The next DMCC Board meeting is set for Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.
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.