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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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UMR signs lease for Discovery Square space

UMR signs lease for Discovery Square space

University of Minnesota Rochester has signed a lease to become an anchor tenant of Destination Medical Center's first Discovery Square building.

The university will utilize around 9,400 square feet of space for "hooded laboratories, learning laboratories and collaborative space for faculty, students and other building tenants," according to an announcement made Thursday by Mortenson, the developer of the project.

UMR will join Mayo Clinic as an anchor tenant of One Discovery Square, the name given to the building now under construction at the corner of 4th Street SW and 2nd Avenue SW. The 90,000 square-foot building aims to serve as a catalyst for Discovery Square, a 16-block area that Mayo and local officials want to develop as a life science research campus.

In announcing the move, UMR Chancellor Lori Carrell said the proximity to downtown Rochester and the university's existing campus was a "significant factor" in choosing the site. The school, which welcomed it largest incoming class in history this past fall, already has space in the nearby 318 Commons building, as well as the University Square shopping plaza. It has also outlined future plans to expand its campus to the south side of downtown.

“Our mission as an innovative undergraduate health sciences university is greatly enhanced by our immersion in the Rochester community," said Dr. Carroll. "UMR students are in the heart of the medical world and are able to learn and work alongside some of the foremost practitioners and leaders in health care research. Our presence in Discovery Square will enrich our students’ experience.”

 Rendering of Discovery Square One

Rendering of Discovery Square One

The university's presence in One Discovery Square will be strategically distributed among two floors, allowing for students to work in close proximity to Mayo researchers and other professionals. Jeremy Jacobs, director of development for Mortenson, said the students will "add an energy and vitality that will enhance the collaborative culture of the building."

“Youth, energy and the beginner’s mind are foundational elements of innovation," said Jacobs. "UMR brings plenty of each, creating a culture of intellectual curiosity within One Discovery Square, which will accelerate commercialization and ensure that what’s here is what’s next."

In addition to UMR, Mayo Clinic has detailed its own plans to take up 30,000 square feet, or about a third, of the building's space. Researchers from its regenerative medicine and individualized medicine programs will be among the first tenants of One Discovery Square, which is set to open in 2019. The goal is to also house startups looking for the opportunity to collaborate.

As part of the larger vision for Discovery Square, Mayo is partnering with Minneapolis-based Mortenson to expand its research, commercial and product development space by more than 2 million square feet.

Cover photo by Med City Beat

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