Soon after the project’s inception, an article by Fast Company explored the motivation behind this massive undertaking:

“The Mayo Clinic is located in the small city of Rochester (pop. 111,000), about a two-hour drive from Minneapolis, Minnesota. And it is, right this minute, competing fiercely for a small-but-lucrative slice of the global medical tourism industry. But that may be changing — and the reason, if not the construction, is simple: Destination Medical Center.”

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is a robust, 20-year $5.6 billion economic development initiative. The largest in Minnesota’s history, DMC will position Rochester as a global center for the highest quality medical care, generating high-value jobs, new tax revenue, and new businesses.

Here, we break down this massive megaproject by the numbers.

1 partnership between DMC and the NAMC

The National Association of Minority Contractors-Upper Midwest Chapter will be working with Destination Medical Center leadership to ensure minority contractors play a significant role in its construction.

“Minority firms that are qualified can participate in these major developments, and being that the DMC economic growth strategy is about $8 million over the course of 20 years, that gives all these companies the opportunity to participate,” said Walter L. Smith III, who serves as the Rochester Division Director.

5 years into a 20-year project schedule

Destination Medical Center in the fifth year of an anticipated 20-year project schedule, and it’s now moving from mostly planning to implementation. Because of this, construction activity in Rochester is now at its highest level since the great recession.

“The cranes, the cones, the digging — it’s all progress. We started in earnest about four years ago after our plan was completed in 2015. We’ve had 10 openings already this year: everything from Discovery Square to housing,” said executive director Lisa Clarke in a May 2019 interview with Minnesota Public Radio.

6 new subdistricts created in Rochester

This massive development initiative not only means more resources for Mayo Clinic but also represents a complete transformation of Rochester, including the creation of six brand new subdistricts.

  • The Heart of the City 

The heart of downtown, this subdistrict will create a true center of the city: a crossroads where Mayo Clinic, commercial, hospitality, retail, and residential spaces meet.

  • Discovery Square 

A new address for the future of biomedical, research, and technology innovation,  Discovery Square is a keystone to the DMC economic development strategy.

  • Downtown Waterfront

The downtown waterfront will transform the perception of Rochester as a medical campus into a vibrant destination city.

  • Central Station

Central Station is envisioned to become a regional transit hub, connecting Rochester with the surrounding region — including the Twin Cities.

  • St. Mary’s Place

Located on 2nd Avenue, St. Mary’s Place will establish a civic square and monumental gateway at one of the primary entry points to Rochester.

  • UMR and Recreation Area 

This subdistrict will integrate an urban college campus and recreational uses into the area.

89,000 square-foot One Discovery Square complex

Minneapolis-based Mortenson developed the One Discovery Square center, one of the first top-offs of the DMC project. The building houses medical and technology business startups and was built with sustainability in mind, earning a LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

One Discovery Square represents the first effort in the what Mayo Clinic leaders envision as a 16-block hub for bio-medicine, research, and technology innovation.

1,000,000 square feet in new medical research space

Project research determined that a new research cluster of 650,000 to 1,000,000 square feet, in addition to current research facilities at Mayo Clinic, would be appropriately scaled development. The research cluster will average about 250,000 to 300,000 square feet per five-year phase over a 20-year development program horizon.

$5.6 billion in public and private investments

The DMC initiative serves as a public-private partnership, combining private development by Mayo Clinic and other developers, as well as public funding from the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the State of Minnesota to facilitate and support public infrastructure.

Expected investment totals include:

Mayo Clinic: $3.5 billion over 20 years
Additional Private Investments: $2.1 billion over 20 years
State of Minnesota: $585 million over 20 years

Wrap up

With the potential to transform the medical community — and the Midwest — in a big way, this project is certainly one to watch. Learn more and see updates on the Destination Medical Center website.

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