Destination Medical Center – Rochester Real Estate Development & Investment Summit

Zumbro River in Rochester, MN

DESTINATION MEDICAL CENTER.  The sun was shining as we strolled along the Zumbro River in Rochester, MN on this beautiful day in May. I was part of a small group on walking tour hosted by the Rochester Destination Medical Center (DMC). Over 200 real estate and economic development professionals would come together within the next hour for the Real Estate Development & Investment Summit; however, I had the opportunity to start my day exploring the four DMC districts and learning about the businesses that were contributing to the growth of this vibrant city.

Each district (Downtown Waterfront, Discovery Square, Heart of the City and St. Mary’s Place) had its own unique characteristics with a common theme of community.  We learned of the new buildings that will be built and the historic ones that were being preserved and repurposed. 

Rochester continues to find ways to welcome its numerous visitors and entertain its residents.  Outdoor concerts are prevalent all year round and this evening would be no exception.  The festivities celebrating the opening of the newly renovated Mayo Civic Center would include live music and fireworks.

By their own definition, “DMC is a unique 20-year economic development initiative.  The $5.6 billion plan is the largest in Minnesota history.”  Innovation is one of the nine key attributes of the city and Discovery Square is the “first-of-its-kind urban research campus, fostering innovation in the life science industry.”

Rochester’s focus on innovation is creating competitive advantages for the city, region and state.   The Summit highlighted DMC’s role in driving the economic growth through 18+ identified development projects and the impact on industries such as construction and finance as well as on entrepreneurs.  Rochester has many assets and their ability to focus is cultivating opportunities for residents, industry, and entrepreneurs.



The Summit began with a warm welcome from Mayor Brede and the agenda included:

12:05 PM State and Regional Market Forces and the Impact on the Rochester Real Estate Community
Doug Holtan, Chair, Department of Facilities and Support Services, Mayo Clinic
• Why Mayo Clinic will continue to grow as a World Health care destination and what will the future real estate needs be to support this
• Mayo Clinic’s Major Infrastructure Updates recently completed and what other updates need to happen to help continue the growth in Rochester
• How Mayo Clinic has become a regional power for business and commerce
• How the increased number of Mayo Clinic visitors has impacted the real estate market in Rochester

12:45 PM Rochester Attributes: Understanding the Rochester environment
Brad Jones, Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Community Characteristics
• Community Profile
• Economic Profile
• Education/Transportation Profile

1:45 PM Destination Medical Center Plan: Game changer for Rochester
Lisa Clarke, Destination Medical Center, Economic Development Agency
• Why the emphasis on Destination Medical Center
• How did the market research inform the plan
• Land use plan and effects on downtown real estate market
• Financing tools for promoting growth
• Current State of the Market – Commercial & Residential Real Estate
• How will Discovery Square impact growth in Rochester

2:30 PM Destination Medical Center Progress and growing momentum
Jon Buggy, RSP Architects
Richard Freese, City of Rochester
Jeremy Jacobs, Mortenson
Patrick Seeb, Destination Medical Center, Economic Development Agency
• Case Study 1: How the plan is being used in private development and investment
• Case Study 2: How the plan is being used to redevelop key public spaces in the city
• Case Study 3: How the plan is being used to shape short- and long-term transit and transportation decisions

3:15 PM Rochester’s New Developments & Opportunities and the Impact to the community
• Developer Spotlights
• Construction Spotlights
• Organizational Partner Spotlights
• Entrepreneur Spotlights
• Capital/Finance Spotlights

4:00 PM Adjourn

4:00 – 5:30 PM Reception

5:30 PM Mayo Civic Center Ribbon Cutting

“The landscape of real estate and development in Rochester is changing,” says Patrick Seeb, DMC’s director of economic development and placemaking. “People from around the world are now seeing the city as a viable place to start, grow, and expand a business.”

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