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 with plans underway to create a multipurpose performance arts center in the heart of Peace Plaza, just steps from dining, retail, lodging, and Mayo Clinic.
Wells Fargo Renovation
The proposed renovation of the Wells Fargo building located on Peace Plaza will include 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 would connect subway, street and skyway levels. This is a DMC funded project.
Kahler Hotel Renovation
The Kahler Hospitality Group is undergoing an expansive $30 million renovation project which includes the historic Kahler Grand Hotel and The Towers at The Kahler Grand. This plan includes the revitalization and transformation of the hotel’s levels 2-11, including 605 guest rooms. This project provides sweeping changes to both hotels, bringing these historic structures back to life and providing a luxurious historic Minnesota experience to its guests.
Gonda Building Expansion
Mayo Clinic and Pontiac Land Group, a Singapore-based real estate developer, are partnering to expand the Gonda Building on Mayo’s Rochester campus to support the growing need for additional clinical space, and to offer patients and visitors to the community a premier hospitality experience.
The 11-floor expansion includes four floors for new clinical space and seven floors for a premier hotel space. The four-floor clinical space expansion provides an additional 200,000 square feet to accommodate current patients and meet the needs of future patients. While specific plans for this development are being finalized, Mayo Clinic plans to invest $190 million into the clinical expansion and use the additional space for expansion to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and Outpatient Procedure Center.
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.
DMC Director of Economic Development & Placemaking
Patrick Seeb is the Director of Economic Development & Placemaking. He is your partner and point of contact for providing resources and answering your questions.