Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) has been awarded the “Marketing Partner of the Year,” presented by Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion agency at its annual conference in Saint Paul on February 5. DMC EDA was nominated by Experience Rochester.
The “Marketing Partner of the Year” award recognizes outstanding marketing or special projects executed by an individual business which enhances the overall visibility of a community and directly impacts visitor travel to the area.
In its nomination of DMC EDA, Experience Rochester noted:
The staff members of the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) work tirelessly to make Rochester, MN an exceptional place to work, live, and visit. Experience Rochester MN is nominating DMC EDA because of their dedication to always including Rochester’s 3.3 million annual visitors — many of whom are visiting Mayo Clinic — in their mission and vision for a vibrant, innovative community. A recognition of the importance of travel & tourism is integrated into everything the DMC EDA pursues.
The award judges felt this partnership is like no other; it’s an example of economic development at its finest. An innovative concept in an innovative destination.
“It’s a wonderful honor to receive this award,” said Lisa Clarke, DMC EDA executive director. “DMC is unwavering in its commitment to providing an exceptional experience for Rochester residents and visitors. We are proud to be a collaborator with Experience Rochester and many other organizations in promotion of this great destination.”
Experience Rochester also received some hardware at the conference, winning the “Special Projects” award for its website,minnesotasrochester.com.
“We’re honored to be recognized by our peers in the state tourism industry,” said Mary Gastner, Experience Rochester interim executive director. “Our website is the number one resource for visitors. Our partnership, with Simpleview, allowed us to focus on creating a data-driven and personalized website. The new site allows guests to easily find what they are searching for and inspires exploration of our locally-owned businesses and Only-in-Rochester experiences.”
INCubatoredu is a year-long course available to all RPS high school students in grades 11 and 12 (Century, John Marshall, Mayo, and RALC). Students have the opportunity to create and fully develop their own product or service. Real entrepreneurs and business experts serve as volunteer coaches and mentors guiding student teams through the processes of developing hypotheses about a business concept, testing those hypotheses, adapting, and continually learning and improving. This cycle of experimentation is combined with foundational business content such as marketing and finance. The course concludes with students pitching their ideas to investors to generate seed money to grow their operations.
“Entrepreneurship teaches to the heart of 21st Century skills: adaptability, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving,” says Superintendent Michael Muñoz. “We know this program will ignite passion among our students and community. It is critical for us to partner with our talented and supportive community because their contributions will immediately impact the lives of our students.”
The School District is working to establish volunteer mentors, a licensed teacher, and a downtown Rochester space for the INCubatoredu program in the coming months, recognizing that a downtown space is an ideal location for community experts and mentors, as well as offering a real-world business setting for students.
Growing and amplifying the entrepreneurial ecosystem is a priority for Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA). Chris Schad, DMC EDA’s director of business development for Discovery Square and a collaborator in Rochester’s startup community, is energized by this new program.
“The students of Rochester Public Schools have a history of going out into the world to positively impact communities near and far. This program will not only help students develop skills that most entrepreneurs have to learn on the fly, it will help develop new businesses and jobs and keep talent in our region,” notes Schad.
2019 will be a milestone year in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) district. From innovation to renovation, the growth happening in downtown Rochester is impressive. There are nine developments opening this year in the DMC district.
Among them are several DMC-supported projects, including:
This growth is energizing, bringing new living choices, hospitality and increased opportunities for startup businesses, and it’s just the beginning. With the increased density from new housing options in downtown Rochester, DMC will be collaborating with community partners to develop a retail, dining and entertainment strategy to ensure a robust and vibrant downtown for all to enjoy.
DMC is committed to a long-term transportation solution for downtown. This year, the DMCC Board and the Rochester City Council will move forward with selecting mobility hub locations and a circulator route to ensure fast, convenient and reliable transportation to and through downtown and assist in parking availability for residents, employees, students, patients and visitors in the future.
This is exciting, and we are less than five years into the implementation of the DMC development plan. We have learned a lot and look forward to what the next five years will bring.
We appreciate the support of the community and the many partners who have contributed time and talent in support of DMC’s vision. Thank you.
After celebrating two years in business, Pasquale’s has embodied the neighborhood pizzeria feel in downtown Rochester, ranking as the number one best restaurant on TripAdvisor and the number one best pizza on TripAdvisor and Yelp.
As a food entrepreneur located in the Destination Medical Center (DMC) Discovery Square subdistrict, restaurant owner Pasquale Presa aims to maintain a position at the forefront of the local culture.
Presa was trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and came to Rochester in 2011. Community has always been of high value to him. The number one aim of his New York-style pizzeria is to provide great service and delivering a quality product. But the experience people have in the restaurant, that feeling of home is of equal importance to Presa.
“We have a tradition. We exemplify how we were brought up and how we are a part of family and part of a community,” says Presa. “To me, it’s very important to be so involved, to embrace change and step out of our comfort zone.”
With new developments, including a mix of luxury apartment homes, commercial space, and direct access to recreational trails, Pasquale’s exemplifies the “live, work, and play” environment of Discovery Square.
Presa said he’s honored and thankful to be located in Discovery Square. He continues to do his part to stay educated and involved in DMC developments. He and his investment partners hope to grow with the neighborhood. His restaurant is across the street from the new apartments Urban on First, expected to open this summer, and one block south from the One Discovery Square Life Science Center, with a planned spring opening.
The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency are inviting developers to submit proposals for a potential affordable or mixed-income housing development to be constructed in the air rights above a new city parking ramp. This development project is the first of its kind for the City of Rochester.
The City is seeking an affordable or mixed-income housing development that provides for 50 percent or more of the units to be at rents affordable to persons at 60 percent of the area median income.
“The City of Rochester is especially proud of this parking ramp project given the opportunity to work with the development community to create more affordable housing in the downtown, says Terry Spaeth, Rochester Assistant City Administrator. “We look forward to the creative ways in which a developer may approach this project. We know that providing affordable housing is vitally important to the City’s success.”
A successful development project will promote the ideals of smart growth to create the following:
Provide affordable housing opportunities for persons at 60 percent area median income desiring to live close to employment, shopping, entertainment, without the necessity of relying on an automobile
Encourage the most efficient use of the downtown location
Establish a quality of sustainable design that will set a standard for future development in the area and integrates well with the current facility
Create a project that contributes to the goal of a walkable downtown
Implement innovative solutions/alternatives to address and reduce parking demand
“Workforce housing is a critical component of the Destination Medical Center (DMC) strategy as we continue to create a viable urban core for Rochester,” adds Lisa Clarke, executive director, Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency. “This parking ramp is a DMC-funded ramp and the potential to develop a mixed-use project is an excellent opportunity to meet multiple needs – parking and housing – in downtown Rochester.”
The deadline to submit proposals is June 14, 2019.
Sustainability is an increasingly hot topic in community development and construction, but it’s hardly a new concept. One of DMC’s guiding principles is for the initiative to be a model for sustainability that will strive to implement ecological urban design and building practices to improve and enhance the environment and quality of life.
To help achieve this goal, DMC and the City of Rochester hired Kevin Bright as a shared Sustainability Director to support the community’s efforts to go green. The position is funded by a two-year McKnight Foundation grant.
Cities at any stage of development can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with and learning from other communities.
For the second year in a row, more than 40 leaders from organizations in and around Rochester traveled to the Twin Cities for a DMC-organized site visit. This year’s trip focused on topics of transportation and public spaces and included discussions and presentations from key experts in those fields. Attendees included staff from the DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) staff, the City of Rochester, Mayo Clinic, Coen+Partners, RSP Architects, the University of Minnesota, the Rochester International Airport, and other local organizations.
At the heart of every destination city is a vibrant downtown, where signature spaces, diverse programming, and enticing events encourage residents and visitors to linger a little longer.
In downtown Rochester, the bold vision for the true Heart of the City is coming to life as designers unveil a new future for the Destination Medical Center (DMC) sub-district where residents and visitors come together to celebrate life, community, health, and wellness 365 days a year.
From Discover and Dream to Design and Do
The Heart of the City Design Team recently unveiled plans for the much-anticipated core of downtown. Their forward-thinking vision for this integral part of the DMC district was received with excitement and anticipation by the DMC Corporation Board of Directors, the Rochester City Council, and the community at-large as they learned of the new plans for 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.