DMCC Board Endorses Two Projects—City Purchase of Chateau Theatre and 23-story, Mixed-use Tower

The Destination Medical Center Corporation Board of Directors endorsed last week two projects within the DMC District boundaries—the city's purchase of the historic Chateau Theatre and construction of a 23-story mixed-use tower.

The Chateau Theatre (pictured above) was an iconic fixture of downtown Rochester for nearly 90 years until December of last year, when its latest occupant, a Barnes & Noble bookstore, closed. The downtown landmark has been vacant and unused in the 5 months since.

Exactly what would become of the iconic theater has remained uncertain since the bookstore's departure, although many city leaders had pledged to ensure it remained a public space for all to enjoy. Last week, the city received strong support and encouragement from the DMCC Board to complete the purchase the Chateau.

The $6 million purchase price will be split between cost shifting in the city's 2015 budget and a $500,000 gift from Mayo Clinic. The Rochester City Council already has approved the amount.

Details on the purchase are available from the DMC Blog.


A 23-story, mixed-use tower called “Broadway at Center” has a green light to break ground, after the DMC Corporation Board of Directors approved the $140 million project at its April meeting.

Developer Titan Ventures described the project as “shovel ready”, although no start date has been set. Once underway, Titan expects construction to last two years.

The Hilton hotel portion of the tower is designed to accommodate the unique needs and expectations of a medical clientele, including places for in-building blood draws, accessibility to Mayo Clinic, and rooms with special amenities.

Read more about this project on the DMC Blog.


Save the Date—Comprehensive Plan Workshops

On May 6 and 7, the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department is hosting several comprehensive plan workshops. These workshops will include presentations from the Planning Department and public input on progress in preparing the plan.

When complete, the city’s new comprehensive plan will encompass the entire City of Rochester, including the downtown DMC District. DMC-related projects will complement the citywide plan, as DMC, the Rochester City Council, and the Olmsted County Board work together to ensure sustainable and economically viable growth throughout southeastern Minnesota.

Agendas will be identical for each of these meetings, so no need to attend all three.

The goal is to afford multiple opportunities for the public to attend and provide input. Meeting times and locations are:

Date Time Location
5/6 6:30 pm Olmsted County Public Health
2100 Campus View Dr. SE
5/7 3:00 pm City Council Chambers
201 4th St. SE
5/7 6:30 pm City Council Chambers
201 4th St. SE

Please contact the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department at 328-7100 with questions.


Mayo Clinic Pledges Additional Dollars for Discovery Square Feasibility Study, EDA Support

Mayo Clinic has pledged $1.5 million to conduct a feasibility study for Discovery Square, a proposed biobusiness hub that would diversify and anchor Rochester's medical and scientific economy, and $585,000 annually for operational support of DMC's Economic Development Agency.

Discovery Square would serve as one of the largest drivers for job growth as it positions Rochester to attract medical innovators and researchers with the ultimate goal of commercializing new medical discovery and businesses throughout the city and the state.

(A conceptual rendering of Discovery Square is pictured above.)

In addition to the $1.5 million set aside Discovery Square, Mayo Clinic has committed $585,000 a year to help fund operational and staffing costs for DMC's Economic Development Agency.

The EDA is moving quickly to formalize its operations, including recruitment of key full-time positions and occupation of downtown office space, following last month's adoption of the DMC Development Plan by the DMCC Board.

At last week's DMCC Board meeting, the EDA announced four important developments: Lisa Clarke has been appointed the agency's first executive director; it is actively recruiting four key staff positions; it will be moving into new office space in downtown Rochester.