With all the activity taking place in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) District, the recent DMC Corporation Board of Directors meeting agenda was a full one and included updates on DMC’s top development priorities, such as Discovery Square and Heart of the City.
At the end of 2016, private investment in the DMC district surpassed $200 million, the threshold required to trigger the release of State dollars to support Rochester’s infrastructure needs. It was reported at the meeting that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) certified the report and has authorized the release of $2.6 million of the state money for local infrastructure improvements by September.
“This is the reason we’ve been doing this for the past several years,” says DMCC board vice-chair R.T. Rybak. “I encourage the staff to take time to celebrate this achievement.”
Discovery Square Developments
One of six DMC sub-districts, Discovery Square will be a live-work environment organized around attracting and retaining the best and brightest to our community. While there is progress taking place in all of six sub-districts, Discovery Square is a board-identified priority for DMC, as are Heart of the City and transportation.
From Discover to Dream, the Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City public space design team is taking their direction from you.
On March 9, the design team invited community members to take part in the second phase of the design process at a Community Workshop at the Rochester Art Center. More than 130 people attended the 2 ½ hour interactive event.
“The turnout was great,” says Adam Ferrari, owner of the Rochester-based architecture and design firm 9.SQUARE and a member of the design team. But what struck Ferrari was the engagement by the group. “With events like this, it usually goes one of two ways,” he says. “People either react negatively – or they roll up their sleeves and get to work.” This group, according to Ferrari, did the latter.
The Discover Report was the result of 17 days of interviews, surveys, and pop-ups conducted by the Heart of the City public space design team and the culmination of their first phase of design work. During this process, the design team met with hundreds of people – visitors, patients, and community members alike – recognizing that they must understand the community well because “solutions for Heart of the City need to be authentic to Rochester.”
Progress continued in the Heart of the City today as the Community Advisory Committee made its recommendation for the team charged with designing the DMC sub-district’s public space.
That recommendation is RSP Architects, a Minneapolis-based architectural firm with offices in Rochester, Phoenix, and other locations, and includes Coen Partners (Twin Cities), which will serve as lead landscape architect; 9.Square (Rochester), which will provide urban design, architecture, planning, and community engagement; HR&A Advisors (New York), which will provide open space development, management, and strategy services; and Kimley-Horn (St. Paul and Rochester), which will provide civil engineering, transportation, and DMC plan continuity.
The Community Advisory Committee charged with guiding the public realm design for Heart of the City, the DMC sub-district that serves as the soul of Rochester’s downtown, selected six consulting teams this week from the eleven who applied.