NEW YORK, N.Y. –Destination Medical Center Corporation, Rochester, Minnesota, recently adopted Perkins Eastman’s development plan. The largest economic development initiative in the state’s history, the DMC vision aims to secure Rochester’s status as a global destination by creating more than $5.6 billion in public and private investment to support the continued growth of the city and Mayo Clinic.
DMC will comprise six distinct districts spread across approximately 550 acres, all working together to support a diversity of mixed-use programming which will complement Mayo Clinic’s world-class healthcare facilities. The vision for DMC began with creating iconic places throughout the destination city, designed to attract the best and the brightest, not only in the healthcare industry but in all sectors that contribute to a vibrant urban fabric.
The initial phase of development will occur, somewhat fittingly, at the intersection of 1st Street and 1st Avenue (“First and First”) in the middle of Peace Plaza, in the area of Rochester known as The Heart of City. First and First will introduce a grand dining terrace that spans the aAvenue and connects to the historic Chateau Theatre, making this landmark a key part of the cultural experience and design of DMC. Other new spaces will include the sunken Ice Pavilion, which will feature dining in the warmer months and ice skating in the winter, connected to the subway with views out to the Plummer Building. First and First will be further enhanced on all four corners by the arched Light Pavilion canopy suspended high above the intersection, which will create an iconic place of arrival and become a must-see attraction.
“The Heart of the City is really the most critical and will have the biggest impact early on,” says Peter Cavaluzzi, FAIA, principal and board member of Perkins Eastman, and the project’s design lead. “The first phase of every large-scale project has to be large enough and bold enough to have an impact, but at the same time be small enough that it can be achieved.”
The six distinct environments presented in the DMC development plan include:
- The Heart of the City: The heart of downtown and the DMC plan; a place of connected urban experiences that builds off the convenient and walkable attributes of the city, with enhanced public areas and new mixed-use development
- Discovery Square: The new address for the expansion of science, tech and entrepreneurialism in Rochester; center of innovation and research; steps from the Gonda Building and Mayo Medical School
- Downtown Waterfront: Located at the intersection of the Zumbro River and Second Street; the heart of culture and history, and providing a healthy living and working environment in an iconic waterfront setting
- Central Station: The new nexus of transportation and arrival in the downtown area; environment is envisioned to incorporate mixed-use development and a grand new intermodal transit station
- UMR and Recreation area: Southern edge of downtown, encompassing a new University of Minnesota-Rochester building and Soldier’s Memorial Field
- St. Marys Place: A new public space at the western threshold of downtown, serving as a warm welcome for those arriving to the city via Second Street