Final plans for DMC introduced to DMCC Board - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Final plans for DMC introduced to DMCC Board

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The idea of transforming the city of Rochester into a global Destination Medical Center has been pretty much a dream until Wednesday afternoon. After months of planning, the first concrete development plan for the billion dollar DMC initiative was unveiled to the public.

The final plan includes projects that will make major changes to the heart of the city, including the creation of a science and technology hub, a new Discovery Square in downtown, thousands of new housing units, and a central station to serve as a transportation center. 

One major topic of discussion at Wednesday's meeting was Phase One of the DMC plan. This will include more than $204 million in projects like the construction of a waterfront district near the Zumbro River and a variety of transportation upgrades, like moving the city bus hub out of the downtown area.

These plans are set to be implemented within the next five years. 

A multi-step system of how DMC projects will be approved in the future was also established.

One of the project's lead architects said the proposed plan is crucial to the continued development of the city. 

"In our experience across the country, Rochester is a bit behind the 8-ball in terms of attracting that new best and brightest class of employees and building up the city to make it an attraction for people to come to," said architect Peter Cavaluzzi of Perkins Eastman. "It's really a call to step up the game, to take advantage of this very unique moment right now with this funding that will give the city the opportunity to realize the potential that it has." 

The DMCC board will wait until January to approve the plan after a 60-day public comment period where any suggestions can be made. Final approval by Rochester City Council is set for March.

These plans have been a long time coming. In April, the first in a series of public input meetings took off as residents packed the Mayo Civic Center for their chance to paint the picture of DMC-era Rochester. In July, the board reconvened, and planners revealed their big ideas for Rochester. In October, DMCC and EDA officials traveled to cities like Seattle and Cleveland to study urban planning that could be mirrored in Rochester. Finally in November, leaders presented refined plans showing the center of Rochester in the area that is now Peace Plaza.

The DMC plan is projected to create 35,000 to 45,000 thousand jobs over the next 20 years.

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