Heart of the City
Heart of the City creates a true center of the city, a crossroads where Mayo Clinic, commercial, hospitality, retail, and residential meet.
The Heart of Downtown Rochester
Heart of the City encompasses the core of downtown Rochester and the essence of Destination Medical Center. It is designed from the ground up to elevate both the patient experience and vitality of the city of Rochester. Heart of the City extends and enhances public spaces to create active and engaging experiences for residents and visitors throughout downtown Rochester.
Rochester is a community that shows up for events and activities, and Heart of the City has proven to be a great gathering place for all seasons.
We know when patients and their families come to Rochester, they spend 70 percent of their time away from Mayo Clinic. It’s essential that there are ample entertainment and leisure-time activities for them as well as visitors and residents.
Rochester welcomes more than 3 million visitors annually. Within walking distance from Heart of the City, there are more than 2,200 hotel rooms, great dining options, the Mayo Civic Center and soon to open and beloved Chateau Theatre.
Future of Heart of the City
Heart of the City Phase 1
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 will create active, engaging experiences for residents, visitors and patients in the heart of downtown Rochester.
Heart of the City Phase 1 is focused on the redevelopment of three areas in the heart of downtown Rochester: East side of Peace Plaza, 1st Ave. SW between 2nd Street SW and W. Center Street and the adjacent alleys. The updates will 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.
More Heart of the City Projects
In addition to Heart of the City Phase 1, several projects are planned within Heart of the City, including public spaces, renovations, and new additions.
A historic and beloved landmark, DMCC in partnership with the City of Rochester and Mayo Clinic purchased, renovated and reopened the historic Chateau Theatre that is located in the Heart of the City adjacent to the planned public realm project. The community has expressed considerable interest in the revitalization of this building to further leverage the public realm investment and as an opportunity to amplify programming offered by a range of organizations.
Wells Fargo Renovation
The renovated Wells Fargo building located on Peace Plaza includes updates to approximately 91,700 square feet of rentable space, the installation of modernized transparent glass on the exterior of the building, and the addition of public realm lighting features and space which connect subway, street and skyway levels. This is a DMC funded project.
Kahler Hotel Renovation
The Kahler Hospitality Group’s expansive $30 million renovation project includes the historic Kahler Grand Hotel and The Towers at The Kahler Grand. It includes the revitalization and transformation of the hotel’s levels 2-11, including 605 guest rooms. This project provided sweeping changes to both hotels, bringing these historic structures back to life and providing a luxurious historic Minnesota experience to its guests.
More Project Information
Heart of the City Phase 1 Design Concepts
Discover the next phase of the Heart of the City project, including schedule, design framework review, and schematic design concepts.
Heart of the City Public Space Schematic Design
This document reveals the first phase of capital improvements to the Heart of the City public space. Anchored by Mayo Clinic’s Mayo and Gonda Buildings, numerous hotels, restaurants, shops and boutiques, and the University of Minnesota, this vibrant and well-programmed public space will increase visitor traffic, generate economic activity, appreciate real estate values, and provide a community gathering place for the community and and more than 3 million annual visitors.
Find out what activities are going on in the Heart of the City!
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is your go-to source for events happenings in the Heart of the City.
Our Team Is Here To Help
DMC EDA Executive Director
Patrick Seeb is the DMC Economic Development Agency Executive Director. He is your partner and point of contact for providing resources and answering your questions.