Tag: downtown

A Message from Lisa Clarke

Rochester – A City on the Move

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:

In addition, Residence at Discovery Square apartments and the Ronald McDonald House expansion will debut.

Plus, a community treasure will experience a rebirth. Chateau Theatre, a Rochester institution, will re-open so residents and visitors to Rochester can experience new entertainment offerings in the Heart of the City. The Destination Medical Center Corporate (DMCC) Board and the Rochester City Council committed $1.1 million for this renovation.

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.

Lisa Clarke, DMC EDA Executive Director

 

Downtown Rochester Experience: Profile on Pasquale Presa

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.

“This is a good place to be,” adds Presa.

City of Rochester Opens RFP for First-of-Its-Kind Mixed Income Housing

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.

Reaching new heights through collaboration

Rendering of Gonda Building upon completion of additional floors

Mayo Clinic has announced plans to collaborate with Singapore-based real estate developer Pontiac Land Group to expand the clinic’s Gonda Building. The collaboration will advance Mayo Clinic’s expansion plans by nearly a decade. The 11-floor vertical expansion will include four floors dedicated to new clinical space and seven floors that will house a premier hotel.

“The expansion of the Gonda Building on Mayo Clinic’s downtown Rochester campus to accommodate new clinical space and a new hotel are wonderful additions to Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City,” says Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke. “This unique collaboration – and Pontiac Land Group investing here – also continues to prove that Rochester is an attractive market for investors and developers from around the globe.”

While details are still being finalized, preliminary plans indicate construction will begin in late 2019 or early 2020.

Click here to learn more about this exciting new downtown Rochester, Minnesota development.

Opportunity Zones add to Rochester’s economic development toolbox

A new program added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides Rochester, Minnesota with new economic development opportunities.

An “Opportunity Zone” is an economically-distressed community where under certain conditions new investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Areas qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury through his delegation authority to the Internal Revenue Service.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton identified the Minnesota Opportunity Zones approved by the federal government. Two of those are in Rochester. A portion of the Opportunity Zones overlaps within the Destination Medical Center (DMC) district in downtown Rochester.

Chateau Memories — a third-generation Rochesterite reflects on her family’s role in construction and maintenance of the historic theater

Lifelong Rochester resident and Mayo Clinic employee Rebecca Peterson's family has unique ties to the Chateau Theater on Peace Plaza--her grandfather plastered the original cityscape inside the auditorium, and her father worked on a mid-century restoration.
Lifelong Rochester resident and Mayo Clinic employee Rebecca Peterson has unique ties to the Chateau Theater on Peace Plaza: Her grandfather plastered the original cityscape inside the auditorium, and her father worked on a mid-century restoration.

Rebecca Peterson reflects fondly on the one-of-a-kind auditorium inside the Chateau Dodge Theatre, wading into childhood memories of stars twinkling overhead as she and her siblings settled in for a Disney triple feature. That was about 40 years ago, when First Street was still open to downtown traffic and the Chateau Theatre was in the regular business of showing movies.

“I remember just sitting there looking up at the stars,” Peterson said. “I probably didn’t get much out of the movie at all.”

Community members nominated to new Mayo Civic Center Commission

Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede has submitted a list of seven people to serve on a newly created Mayo Civic Center Commission, reports the Rochester Post Bulletin on Dec. 13, 2013.

Mayo Civic Center
Mayo Civic Center

The story says, “the commission will replace the dual governing responsibilities of the Rochester City Council and city Park Board, and will oversee the Civic Center’s executive director, budget, marketing strategy, financial statements and audits and goal-setting.

“In addition, the group will oversee a planned, $80 million Civic Center expansion, for which local legislators and advocates hope to receive $37 million in state bonding money.”

The City Council must approve the nominees. They are:

Arts Community

Marv Mitchell, division chair, media support at Mayo Clinic and president of the Riverside Concerts Advisory Board

Hotel Industry

John Beltz, vice president, brand management and development, Titan Development and Investments; and Dan Nelson, general manager, Hampton Inn

Downtown business community

Jerrie Hayes, attorney and shareholder, Wendland Utz law firm, Rochester

Mayo Clinic employee

Heidi Mestad, Destination Medical Center manager, Mayo Clinic

Community At-Large

John Eischen, executive director, Rochester Area Builders Inc.

Event Industry

Shannon Knoepke, general manager, KROC radio

 

This group will work to attract more events and convention business to Rochester. What are your ideas to help with this important job?

 

A holiday tradition revived: Seasonal lights on Plummer Building

What other holiday traditions – new or old – would add vibrancy in and around downtown Rochester? Share your ideas here!    

In recognition of Mayo Clinic’s sesquicentennial, a holiday tradition will be revived: the seasonal lighting of the historic Plummer Building in Rochester.

Plummer Building, circa 1952
Plummer Building, circa 1952

Every December from 1950 to 1956, Mayo Clinic displayed a Christmas tree in lights on the south wall of the Plummer Building, facing Second Street Southwest. Mayo electrician Fred Reed and his colleagues planned the annual designs. Night watchmen, as Security personnel were called, manually turned on lights to create the tree pattern each night. From year to year, the tree design varied: all-white, red and green, and white with colored accents. This description from 1950 suggests the extent of the project:

Formed by 60 lighted windows, the tree stands 128 feet high and 131 feet wide. On top of the tree, which extends from the fourth floor through the twelfth, is a five-pointed star of plywood with a light on each point and one in the center.

In 1957, the Mayo Clinic staff publication Mayovox announced the end of this popular tradition: “Not for lack of effort by Engineering Maintenance and the Electrical Department, but because remodeling on many floors has so changed the pattern of lights that it just isn’t possible anymore.”

In the 1960s and early 1970s, an illuminated star was placed in the Plummer Building bell tower. Amid the oil crises of the 1970s, Mayo Clinic ended this custom.

The 2013 illumination will use energy-efficient, LED technology and restore a long-lost glow to the Rochester campus. Once again, the lighting will appear on the Plummer South wall facing Second Street Southwest and will shine daily from 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. CST through Dec. 31. Also, while displays in the 1950s lasted for only a few days around Dec. 25, this illumination will cover nearly four weeks during the holiday season.

-Reprinted from This Week at Mayo Clinic

Plethora of pumpkins on the plaza!

It took just 20 minutes for 300 free pumpkins to be distributed to children at the Pumpkin Festival on the Plaza in downtown Rochester.

Families galore enjoyed pumpkin crafts.
Families galore enjoyed pumpkin crafts.
Sekapp Orchard brought 800 pumpkins to the plaza in downtown Rochester.
Sekapp Orchard brought 800 pumpkins to the plaza in downtown Rochester.

The family-friendly event, on Saturday, Oct. 12, drew thousands who enjoyed arts, crafts, pop-up restaurants and yes, pumpkins. There were impromptu meet and greets with Captain Jack Sparrow, Cinderella, Cruella de Vil and Miss Pumpkin.

Thank you to Destination Medical Center Ambassador (and high school student) Gabriel Yeager. The Pumpkin Festival was his brainchild, and he was involved in the groundwork to make it happen.

Next year, he says, more pumpkins!