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Mayo to add 2 million square feet of research space in downtown Rochester

Mayo to add 2 million square feet of research space in downtown Rochester

Mayo Clinic revealed plans on Tuesday to add 2 million square feet of research, commercial and product development space downtown in what will be the first major step toward the development of DMC's Discovery Square.

The announcement was made at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco, where thousands of people are gathering this week to learn about the latest biomedical advances, exchange ideas and do business.

 
 

"There is no better way to stimulate innovation than through collaboration, which has been part of the Mayo culture for over 150 years," said John Noseworthy, CEO and president of Mayo Clinic. "We’re looking forward to welcoming businesses, medical innovators and researchers from around the world to Discovery Square who will work together to accelerate advances in bioscience, research, education and technology for health and wellness.”

Mayo plans to use land it already owns, much of it now surface parking, to expand its downtown campus. The additional space will more than double its existing research footprint, which currently stands at 1.3 million square feet. 

In a statement, Lt. Governor Tina Smith, chair of the DMC Corporation Board, said Mayo's investment in Discovery Square will encourage additional national and international investment in the Med City.  

"It will spur job creation and diversify the economy in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota," she said. "This is exactly the kind of transformational project we created the DMC to accomplish, and it represents significant progress toward our goal of transforming Rochester and Minnesota into world-class destination for health and wellness.” 

 
 

Mayo has put out a request for proposals (RFPs) in an effort to find a developer to partner with on its ambitious plan, which will take place over the course of two decades. Construction on what will be the first of many Discovery Square buildings is expected to begin in 2017. The initial focus will be on some surface parking lots located near Mayo's Hilton Building.

Once a developer is selected, Mayo and the firm will work together to put forward a request for public assistance. According to Lisa Clarke, executive director of the DMC EDA, public funds will only be used for public infrastructure projects, such as transportation improvements or additional green space.

Speaking by phone from San Francisco, Clarke said Mayo's investment "really affirms all the hard work and planning" put into DMC over the past few years.

"It relays to the state, the nation and the world that Rochester is committed to being a global leader in life sciences," said Clarke. "DMC’s job now will be taking the lead in creating the physical and cultural environment that is necessary for Discovery Square to survive."

Graphic: DMC Development Plan

Mayo's announcement follows a string of high-profile developments related to DMC in recent weeks. Among them, two privately-funded projects: A projected $200 million development along the Zumbro River and a proposed $100 million multi-use project near St. Marys. Additionally, Mayo was recently named the recipient of a $142 million federal grant to establish a biobank for the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program.

And just for fun, here are some interesting facts about Mayo from 2015:

  • Mayo started 2,723 new human studies.
  • Mayo research was published in 7,305 peer-reviewed journals.
  • Mayo Clinic’s total research budget in 2015 was more than $662 million. That total includes $281 million of Mayo-based funding and $381 million of external funding.

To learn more about DMC, check out this special report from December.


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(Cover graphic: DMC Development Plan)

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