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Discovery Square

Concept Description   Discovery Square Design 

Discovery Square Related Status

Central Station

Concept Description

Central Station Related Status



LINK - Bus Rapid Transit

Plan Description

Link is a proposed 2.8 mile route along 2nd Street that will connect downtown Rochester, Mayo Civic Center, Mayo Clinic campuses, and the Downtown Waterfront Southeast area. Link will be operated by Rochester Public Transit and will be free for all users. Link buses are high amenity, 60-foot electric buses which will provide service to 7 stations across the city. Service intervals will be every 5 minutes on weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., and every 10 to 15 minutes at other times. Link will operate from 5 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and 8 a.m. to midnight on weekends.

Strategies (How)

Why is Link necessary?

The 2nd Street SW corridor is one of the most heavily-used corridors in the City of Rochester, carrying more than 21,800 vehicles and 13,000 transit riders each day. The corridor is already near capacity, and congestion causes significant delays for transit users, drivers, and others traveling through the area. Link Rapid Transit will:

  • Expand transportation options.
  • Reduce the need for expensive parking.
  • Alleviate future congestion.
  • Prepare for downtown growth and support sustainable development.
  • Improve quality of life for residents, employees, and visitors.


BRT was selected in 2019 as a result of the Alternatives Evaluation. The preferred route follows 2nd Street SW from the Mayo West Lot to downtown Rochester and will primarily operate in dedicated bus lanes. The current phase of work includes:

  • Environmental review.
  • Preliminary engineering.
  • Communication and public engagement.

Results (Work Products)

  1. Efficient, convenient and accessible transportation systems that provides favorable cost structure commuters, employers and the public sector
  2. More marketable downtown properties
  3. More efficient and effective use of existing and future parking supplies
  4. Better efficiencies in the use of land and reduced parking development costs (for both private and public sectors)
  5. Greater transit ridership
  6. Reduced traffic congestion
  7. A strong partnership between the public sector, Mayo Clinic and the downtown business community
  8. Measurable success based on consensus targets for access and growth

Indicators (How do we know we are achieving the results?)

  1. Organization that effectively supports and advocates the long-term economic vitality and livability of the downtown
  2. Downtown parking to support economic development goals
  3. Increased percentage of downtown employees commuting by transit from 10% (2008) to 23-30% by 2035
  4. Increased number and percentage of commuter bike trips to downtown Rochester from an existing bike/walk mode split of 7% (2008) to 13% by 2035
  5. Increased percentage of downtown employees commuting by carpool/vanpools to downtown Rochester from 12% (2008) to 14% (2035)
  6. Increased employee awareness of the Rochester Access Management Authority and alternative mode transportation options
  7. System-wide partnerships to support parking and TDM efforts/mission


Mobility Updates (December 08, 2023)
October 23, 2023 City Council Study Session 

May 2022; February 2022 and November 2021 Rapid Transit Updates and Upcoming milestones presented to DMCC. 

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SRF Consulting - Rochester Rapid Transit (September 08, 2021)
To achieve maximum results, the project team took a unique “co-design” approach to gather the input needed for shaping the Rochester Rapid Transit Project to reflect the community’s values. 

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DMC Transportation Plan - Circular (November 20, 2020)
DMCC Board Voted in favor of staff recommendations 2019

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DMC Mobility Presentations (October 30, 2020)

October 2020 Series of DMC Webinars - 5 Year Updates

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Rochester City Transit Development Seeking Co-designers (September 08, 2020)
Co-designers will be Rochester residents with strong connections to their communities and local knowledge of their neighborhood and the Rapid Transit Project area. 

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Plans for a pair of transit villages connected by a dedicated route are being scaled back. (May 18, 2020)

"The council opted to move forward with a modified plan for a single village at Mayo Clinic’s west parking lot along Second Street Southwest and a transit system traveling east and west with a loop around the city-county Government Center."

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DMC Transportation Plan Status (November 06, 2018)

Status reports and documentations presented to DMCC.

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SRF Status Reports on DMC Transportation and questions about MWO supply chain (June 24, 2016)
A number of DMC Transportation RFP questions were brought up by Susan Park Rani, DMC board member.

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DMCC Board raised concern about lack of transporation planning progress (May 29, 2016)

Frustration was raised about the lack of transportation stake-in-the-ground at the May 26, 2016 DMC Board meeting. In project management 101 parlance, there is a lack of a work-break-down-structure of the overall DMC development plan.

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Rochester, MN Transit Development Plan Update

Plan Description

The Rochester Transit Development Plan 2022 Update will provide recommendations for how Rochester’s transit system can improve and build upon Rochester’s 2017 Transit Development Plan. The plan will evaluate and make short- and long-term recommendations for:

Results (Work Products)

Same as DMC Transit? 


2022 Rochester, MN Transit Development Plan Updating (June 24, 2022)
May 5 2022 virtual open house: Presentation and Video Recording

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Rochester City Transit Development Plan - Transit Hub (January 14, 2020)

Will transit hub be on former Seneca site? And what is being proposed? 


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Rochester Transportation Plan References (January 02, 2019)
Found the following links on Rochester City Website.  The City of Rochester is conducting four integrated transit studies to refine the concepts identified in the DMC Plan.

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City Transit Plan ready for public review (February 23, 2017)

Bryan Law presented the latest Rochester city transit planning status to CNG's Feb. 2017 meeting.

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Rochester City Transit Development Plan Public Feedback Sessions (October 11, 2016)

Five public meetings are scheduled to discuss Transit Development Plan here in Rochester. The RPT is asking for people's input on how to make the new Transit Development Plan successful.

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Joseph Kapper, AICP Senior Transportation Planner SRF Consulting Group, Inc. Conducting Focus Groups (October 18, 2015)

Rochester Transit Development Plan – Focused Discussion Groups Date:Tuesday, October 27th Times:Option #1: 9:30a.m. – 11:00a.m. Option #2: 1:30p.m. – 3:00p.m. Location: Rochester City Hall, Conference Room #320 201 4th Street SE, Rochester, MN 55904

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Transportation: ROCOG Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)

Plan Description

The purpose of the Long Range Transportation Plan is: To identify major transportation investment needs in Olmsted County over the next 30-40 years To satisfy the federal mandate that all urban areas have a transportation plan that discusses the level in investment that can occur based on reasonably available funding To coordinate the actions of cities, counties, townships and MNDOT in developing major transportation facilities and services To provide updated system planning maps reflecting current thinking on community growth and land use development


Transportation: ROCOG Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) (September 07, 2022)
The Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments (ROCOG) has released a draft of the 2023-2026 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), for a 30-day public comment period. 

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Transportation: ROCOG Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) (December 25, 2016)

Per the following  the ROCOG LRTP has been rendered online for immediate consumption.

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Heart of the City

Concept Description  Heart of the City Design

Heart of the City Related Status

Water Front

Concept Description Per Original Plan

Waterfront Related Projects

Waterfront Related Status


Economic Development

Destination Medical Center (DMC)

Available Description

Intended to bring to Rochester, Olmsted County and Minnesota private investment in excess of $5.6 billion: • Seeks to create at least 35,000 new jobs in Minnesota and bring tax revenue in excess of $7 billion to the State • Intended to give prospective employees,patients and visitors substantial reason to consider Rochester their ‘destination’.

Strategies (How)

2020 Plan





1. Create a comprehensive strategic plan with a compelling vision that harnesses the energy and creativity of the entire community.

2: Leverage the public investment to attract more than $5 billion in private investment to Rochester and the region.

3. Create approximately 35,000 – 45,000 new jobs, with workforce development strategies that support that growth.

4. Generate approximately $7.5 - $8.0 billion in new net tax revenue over 35 year. 

5. Achieve the highest quality patient, companion, visitor, employee, and resident experience, now and in the future.

DMC 2019 Workplan

Per November 2018  DMCC Board Meeting: DMC 2019 Workplan  



2016 Work Plan

Click to view fullscreen

Drive subplans

DMC Heart of the City ; Discovery Square Feasibility Study   Transportation: DMC Transportation Framework 

Results (Work Products)

First Phase (2020) Summary of  Results  as reported per DMC Second Phase Forward report. 

New Jobs

Rochester added approximately 7,700 positions over the past five years, with growth concentrated in healthcare and additional jobs added in retail, hospitality, research and office segments. More than 80 percent of the new jobs paid more than Rochester’s Area Median Income of approximately $75,000. More local women and minority owned businesses are needed to fulfill the DMC vision and the project is on track to meet its 2035 jobs goal.

New Investment

Private investment during Phase 1 exceeded goal and totaled $963 million, which leveraged $98 million of public investment, including TIF funds. In all sectors except hotels, actual buildouts exceeded planned square footage. Projections indicate strong Phase 2 public funding while the impact of COVID-19 will influence how private investment occurs in 2020-2024.

New Tax Revenue

Phase 1 programs and investments delivered a tax revenue impact equal to roughly 12 percent of the goal, ahead of projections. New job creation has been the main driver of increased tax revenue. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on future tax revenue projections is being analyzed. DMC is working with the city and other collaborators to update the relevant economic models and projections.

Plans and Prototypes

To create the DMC Development Plan, DMC EDA recruited a group of the nation’s leading development and planning consultants to work in collaboration with the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Mayo Clinic and community stakeholders. More detailed planning exercises with numerous organizations have also occurred, focused particularly on public realm planning, mobility options, housing needs and downtown energy district planning.

Transforming Experiences

The DMC team forged new partnerships with a range of community stakeholders to advance DMC’s core goal of delivering the highest quality patient, visitor and community member experience now and in the future. The “When in Rochester” app and a new RDA Ambassadors program grew out of ongoing efforts to ease stress for visiting patients and their companions and improve their stay experience from arrival through shift from clinical care to free time and end-of-day activities.



September 26, 2019 Updates



Indicators (How do we know we are achieving the results?)

Economic-Fiscal Projections/Analysis 

  1. Increases in Jobs
  2. Increases in Visitation
  3. Increase in Income, Property, Sales, Hotel-Motel and Other Taxes  
  4. Estimated Indirect Benefits (e.g. jobs, tax base, etc

Other Economic Indicators:

  1. Increases in Median Income (Above Inflationary Rates)
  2. Increases in Work Force Population Living in City/County
  3. Increases of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) 
  4. Increases in Targeted Business/Industry Sector

Real Estate Indicators:

  1. Number of Building Permits
  2. Property Tax Collection
  3. Hotel Occupancy/ADR
  4. Commercial Rental/Sales Data (e.g. Occupancies, Rental Rates, etc.)
  5. Retail Rental/Sales Data (e.g. Occupancies, Rental Rates, etc.)
  6. Residential Home Sales Data §Residential Rental Data (e.g. Occupancies, Rental Rates, etc.

Other Indicators:

  1. Number/Attendance at Conventions, Exhibitions and Other Events at Mayo Civic Center
  2. Visitation to Downtown
  3. Transit Ridership


Note: above Information based on DMC Plan Draft Section 2.4 Metrics, Measurements and On-going reporting


1H 2024 Destination Medical Center (May 24, 2024)

May 2024 DMCC Board Meeting and City, County, DMC Joint Meeting

Feb 2024 DMCC Board Meeting

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Destination Medical Center (DMC) Investment Metrics Slow Down Trend (February 12, 2024)

Feb 1, 2024 DMCC Board Meeting

Private investment metrics Slide

Video Clip

PB Reporting

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2H 2023 Destination Medical Center (DMC) Meeting Informaiton (December 13, 2023)

November DMCC Meeting Info 

September DMCC Meeting Info

May DMCC Meeting Info 

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Destination Medical Center 3Q 2023 Reports (October 01, 2023)
1. September 2023 DMCC Board Meeting:

2. Meeting Package,

3. Meeting Slides,

4. Video Recording 

5. Breakouts

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1Q 2023 Destination Medical Center (DMC) Reports (March 23, 2023)

March 2023 Executive Committee Meeting;

Feb 9 2023 DMCC Board Meeting and City, County, DMC Collaborative Session

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Destination Medical Center (DMC) (November 12, 2022)
November 2022 DMCC Board Meeting: notable topics: Experience Metrics,  Soldier Fields, Equitable development, Discovery square, Heart of the City

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Destination Medical Center (DMC) (November 11, 2022)
November 2022 DMCC Meeting: Featuring Equity Development 

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DMC Information (September 13, 2022)
July 2022 Destination Medical Center Information Sheet.  

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Destination Medical Center (DMC) 2022 Reports (February 05, 2022)
February 3, 2022

DMCC Board Meeting

City, County, DMC Board Collaborative Session: Featuring Thomas Fisher


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Mayo Clinic Bold Forward Unbound

Plan Description

An initiative that invests $5 billion to reshape six downtown blocks by 2030. The plan includes the construction of five new buildings — including two clinical buildings — with architectural firms Foster + Partners and CannonDesign and construction manager Gilbane. Construction is anticipated to pick up in early 2024, beginning with the demolition of former hotels on West Center Street, the former Lourdes High School building, Damon parking ramp and the Ozmun building. The 2.4 million square feet of new space will be “infused with technology to improve care delivery,” said Dr. Amy Williams, Mayo Clinic executive dean of practice. Those clinical buildings will feature a flexible grid where rooms and floors can meet the structural specifications needed for operating suites, inpatient hospital beds and diagnostic imaging spaces. This opens the door to converting some operating rooms, for example, into inpatient rooms, or vice versa.


Mayo Clinic Bold Forward Unbound (February 21, 2024)
Bold Forward Announcements

Video Mayo CEO

Mayo News June 2023

Related News: Community Reactions ; City of Rochester Support of Bold (2/1/2024)

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Saint Marys Place

Concept Description Saint Marys Place Design

St Marys Place Related Status

UMR/Rec District

Concept Description

UMR and Recreation Related Status



Housing Alliance Coalition

Available Description

A continuing project to realize this purpose: “We are a cross-sector Alliance of organizations and individuals who seek to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing that meets community needs and priorities in the Rochester area, through shared information, coordination, and collaboration.”

Strategies (How)


Greater Minnesota Housing Funds (GMHF) Facilitating "Housing Action Plan"

Coordinated with all local planning efforts

Establish housing production goals

Identify financing tools, policy tools, best practices

Consult with State, Federal & Local Government & Foundations

Plan for increased local development capacity

Innovative policies, strategies & Public/Private Partnerships

Results (Work Products)

2021 Report


Indicators (How do we know we are achieving the results?)


Homeless rates reduction and demographics profile improvement

Reduced area Annual Rental Production Trend (2006-2012) and Annual Needs Projections (2014 - 2020) Gaps

Market Rate Rental

Affordable Workforce Rental


Market Rate SeniorAffordable Senior
Production Demand Production Demand Production Demand Production Demand
117 167 20 246 16 251 8 126


1. Rental affordability improvements from current statistics of 58.2% of area renters cannot

afford the average market rent of $957 / Month. Majority of renters are rent burdened.

2. Improved affordable workforce rental general occupancy from 1.2% to xx% and affordable

senior rental housing from 0.8% to yy%.



Minnesota Housing Profile Housing Statistics and Findings (May 17, 2024)

2023 Olmsted County Housing Profile

State of MN Profile and Findings

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City of Rochester Housing Actions (March 07, 2024)

Feb 26 City Council Study Session Housing Portion: Economic Development Incentives for Housing

Video Clip

Presentation Slides

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Contract Opportunity for Homeownership Mentor Program (February 01, 2024)

Get paid while helping others achieve their homeownership goals!

Referencing BIPOC Homeownership Co-design Report


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Housing Alliance Coalition (August 14, 2023)
1. Housing Coalition Report: 2023 Legislative Housing Policy & Funding Update.

2. Future Starts at Home: Constitution Amendment For Housing

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Accessory Dwelling Unit Pilot Program Open for Applications (March 29, 2023)
The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program supports and encourages property owners in the city of Rochester to develop ADUs on their properties.

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Housing Alliance Coalition BIPOC Co-designing (January 19, 2023)
Housing Alliance Coalition BIPOC Homeownership Co-designing Co-designing report

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Housing Alliance Coalition Senior Housing Report (August 10, 2022)
(A) Aug 2022 status: Request for Proposals for Senior Housing Development;  (B) Dec, 2021 status: (1) Senior Housing Community Co-Design Project Report;  (2) Project Background: Describing Senior Housing Project and Recruiting Co-Designing Team Members


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Olmsted County & Rochesster Joining House America (May 02, 2022)
 Olmsted County and the City of Rochester commit to federal housing solutions effort, House America


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Multi-Year Plan and $15M Commitment (December 02, 2021)
Mayo Clinic announced an additional $5 Million contribution to affordable housing bridge. 

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Housing Alliance Coalition (March 06, 2021)
 Work Products: 2021 Housing Profile and Coalition Report 2020

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