Destination Medical Center (DMC) is prototyping a kinder future for construction; one that considers patients, pedestrians, and business owners first. It’s called Business Forward.
“Every business owner will say that anytime they’ve had construction in front of their businesses, they’ve never felt like they’ve been a part of the plan,” says Jamie Rothe, Director of Community Engagement and Experience for DMC Economic Development Agency. “With this type of project, we felt like we needed to build it together. And that’s what we need to do; share information, get information back, then modify and adjust.”
Across the Destination Medical Center (DMC) District, a variety of development projects are underway, lending to an endlessly changing Rochester skyline. Now, with financing and approvals in place, construction of a new apartment community is underway at the intersection of 2nd Street SW and 14th Avenue SW in the St. Marys Place sub-district.
Alatus LLC, a Minneapolis-based company, will develop the $125 million mixed-use building on 2.77 acres across from Mayo Clinic’s St. Marys Hospital campus where The Brentwood (formerly The Blondell) and Ray-Mar Motel once stood.
The yet-to-be-named 13-story tower, with its 310 apartments and 37 townhomes, will be home to nearly 350 families in the historic Folwell neighborhood. The ground level of the building will include vibrant, pedestrian-friendly spaces including restaurants and retail, with office space and additional retail planned for the second floor. Amenities include a rooftop pool and indoor sauna, outdoor kitchen and grilling stations, fire pits, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a year-round dog spa. The site will also add additional parking to the sub-district.
In 2017, Rochester was ranked by ZipRecruiter.com as “One of the 10 Easiest Cities to Find a Job,” proof that the city is not only attracting new investment – it’s also the ideal place to build your career.
DMC planning estimates indicate that more than 30,000 jobs could be created in Rochester by 2035. Supporting this job growth will require sustained efforts from education, business, labor, and civic leaders.
While health care will account for many of the jobs, hospitality and construction will be important components in supporting the growth of America’s City for Health.
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.
DMC is changing the face of Rochester, and the state of Minnesota is taking notice.
The past few months have brought a new visibility to America’s City for Health as statewide publications have begun to share the story of Destination Medical Center.
In May, journalist Matt McKinney and photographer Glen Stubbe from the Star Tribune joined DMC Economic Development Agency executive director Lisa Clarke on the 189-foot Kraus-Anderson construction crane at the site of the future Titan Hilton Hotel to get a birds-eye view of the development taking place across the city of Rochester and discuss what’s to come for the burgeoning city.
The project is a public-private partnership and one of the first to receive DMC funding. Currently, there are up to 80 employees on-site daily and is expected to reach more than 250 per day as progress continues.
“It was great to see firsthand how far along the project has evolved,” says Lisa Clarke, DMC Economic Development Agency’s executive director, who took part in the tour. “Projects like this are important as DMC evolves.”
As the Destination Medical Center economic development initiative takes off, so has Rochester’s housing market.
Case in point: new mixed-use apartment complexes are under construction in or on the outskirts of the DMC district which include Flats on 4th, Lofts at Mayo Clinic, 501, and 1st Avenue Lofts.
DMC Executive Director Lisa Clarke said these projects demonstrate that investors and developers see promise in Rochester’s future.
“If you want to measure the DMC’s momentum, just look at how many construction trucks and hard hats you see around the city,” said Clarke. “Every groundbreaking represents progress toward our ultimate goal, which is to transform Rochester not only into a health and wellness destination for patients, but a place that attracts talented, diverse workers from all over the world.”