After waiting a few minutes to speak during a downtown press conference on transportation this week, Rochester City Council Member Michael Wojcik glanced over his shoulder and referenced the possibility that new buildings may have popped up during his wait.
The joke featuring unrealistic expectations in the midst of Destination Medical Center efforts draws attention to blossoming realities: Developers are looking for local opportunities, and growth is coming.
In the wake of St. Cloud-based developer Larry Brutger’s decision to back off plans to erect a new Holiday Inn across from Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital, a related reality is being brought to light — development takes time, and everything doesn’t always go as planned.
“People are realizing through this controversy that real change is happening,” DMC Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke said, noting such public awareness should spur community engagement in the process and bring focus to efforts aimed at using individual projects to create a sense of place within parts of the city.
Beyond raising that public awareness, we hope it also brings an urgency to better define the process for projects that continue to move forward. It’s not the time to look back to cast blame. Rather, it should be about developing steps for future growth and finding ways to ensure other projects aren’t stymied by past problems.