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Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

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DMC reports $262 million in private investment from 2018

DMC reports $262 million in private investment from 2018

Private investment related to Destination Medical Center totaled $262 million in 2018, according to a report being sent to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

That number — double the amount recorded in 2017 — includes $126.5 million from Mayo Clinic and $135.4 million in other private investment. Notable projects include the nearly-complete Hilton hotel ($50.4 million of the total $125 million investment counted toward the 2018 amount) along with upgrades to Mayo’s St. Marys campus.

DMC leaders said Thursday that the sum of private investment from last year will lead to the release of $13.5 million in state infrastructure aid.

As part of the initial DMC legislation, state funding only becomes available once certain thresholds of private investment are met. In total, the state plans to put $424 million into DMC over the span of 20 years.

“I think it is important in this moment to remember the state did not just hear a good idea and then write a big fat check, and hope everything worked,” said R.T. Rybak, chair of the DMC Corporation Board.

Rybak described the mechanism used for the release of public funds as a “put up or shut up” way of doing business. Fellow board member, County Commissioner Jim Bier, echoed that sentiment — noting the model used by DMC is much different than many other large-scale projects.

“The model that’s been used in many other places is, ‘give me some money and hopefully we will build it.’ This was a different model,” said Bier. “This is, ‘we’re going to build everything and then we would like to have a little bit of help as we prove… as we build these things.’”

With more state funding flowing in, Rybak said he anticipates more opportunities for investment in public projects, such as transit.

“We have also identified community uses, like affordable housing [and] workforce development,” said Rybak. “I think you will be seeing even more of our focus on the common good, as opposed to the individual good.”

Lisa Clarke, director of the DMC Economic Development Agency, said she is pleased with the pace of investment so far. However, noting that economic conditions could change, she said now is not the time to let off the gas.

There are nine grand openings scheduled this year within the DMC district, including the openings of the Hilton and One Discovery Square buildings.

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Cover photo: Construction inside One Discovery Square / Bryan Lund

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