What is a Development Plan, Anyway?

Let it snow! The holidays are over, which means we're now gearing up for DMC season in Minnesota. The first draft of the development plan is under review from the DMC Corporation Board of Directors, and things are ramping up in Rochester. With all this talk of development plans, we thought it begged the question, "What is a development plan, anyway?"

For starters, it's extensive. The proposed development plan includes not only a master plan for various zones and land uses, but also hundreds of pages of financial analysis and market research, in addition to communications plans and community outreach strategies.

The Development Plan is a comprehensive planning document, akin to a strategic business plan that addresses land use, transportation, infrastructure, finance, business development, marketing and operations strategies. Additionally, the plan sets an implementation framework. A financial framework and rigorous application process and underwriting (evaluation) criteria are incorporated. 

The plan is carved into three volumes, each of which has several sub-sections.

     1. Executive Summary & Phase I Strategies 
     2. Planning Documents 
     3. Appendices

Volume 2 (Planning Documents) contains the meat of the plan, including proposals for how to develop each of five sub-districts within the DMC boundary. Volume 1, on the other hand, might be the best read for someone looking to get the most out of their time. The Executive Summary & Phase 1 Strategies portion of the plan lays out an overview of the 20-year plan and focuses on revenue and expenses for the priority projects that are proposed to begin during the first 5 years of implementation.

Those early projects include a redesign of the intersection at First Ave. and First St., improved infrastructure, and a shared parking service that alleviates congestion and centralizes parking throughout Downtown Rochester.

Click on the document icon to the right to download a copy of the draft development plan. (Please note that it's 108 MB.) The file is also available for download.


Capital Investment Plan -- Strategic Priorities

The DMC Development Plan is, at its core, an economic development strategy to benefit patients, visitors and community members of Rochester along with the State of Minnesota. To support sustained and responsible growth during Phase I (the first 5 years), the plan proposes four key priorities.

Create a Catalyst. Support a dynamic city-center (Heart of the City) and other Phase I strategies. Create reserves to support catalytic, long-term investments. 

Drive Investment in the Bio-Medical-Technology Sector. Identify early phase projects. Create reserves to support anchor uses and businesses. 

Early Phase Improvements to Support Strategic Growth and Enhance Quality of life. Identify projects that support growth. Utilize DMC funds for extraordinary costs (use as gap funds not replacement funds). And support “early wins” with impact. 

Initiate Detailed Planning, Strategic Investments for Long-lead Phase II Strategies. Invest in transit/transportation planning. Invest in other planning to support the advancement of large-scale strategies.

As Rochester prepares to implement the DMC development plan, keep these priorities in mind while development projects get underway. These priorities will help guide implementation of the DMC development plan.

Next up for DMC

Many skilled and experienced planning consultants researched, envisioned, and composed the DMC development plan. And in December, after more than a year of hard work and collaboration, the team handed over the compiled DMC development plan to the DMC Corporation Board of Directors.

So what happens now? For the next few weeks, the DMCC Board is reviewing the plan. At the end of this month, on January 29, the board is expected to transfer review to the Rochester City Council. Council members and other city officials then have 60 days to review the plan. After that 60-day review period and approval from the City Council the plan goes back to the DMCC Board for final approval in early April.