Rochester is growing up


Elijah Hart, Staff Writer

Rochester, a town of 115,733 people, is about to get a whole lot bigger. Rochester has been growing at a steady pace over the last 15 years, but that’s all about to change. The city of Rochester revolves around the Mayo Clinic; it’s what draws millions of visitors to Rochester every year and is one of the top rated hospitals in the world. Recently, the Mayo Clinic has revealed a 20 year, 6.5 billion dollar plan to transform our city.

That plan is named Destination Medical Center (DMC), a huge expansion of Mayo Clinic’s two campuses and the city of Rochester itself. DMC is set to double the population and create approximately 35,000 new jobs in our community. With this huge influx of people, many changes are bound to happen. Many retail stores, restaurants, and housing complexes are already being built across the city. One can already notice a huge transformation, especially on the south side of Rochester. Within only this past year, enormous neighborhoods have been constructed in preparation for the rise in population, and existing buildings are being removed next to Walmart for a strip mall to be made. The downtown area has also experienced some minor changes, with two five-star hotels being built. The changes DMC has planned to make downtown include refurbishing the public library with reflecting mirrors, adding a new performing arts center, new parking garages, winterizing the whole downtown, and putting up many more new amenities. Winterizing downtown would include putting in additional skywalks, heated sidewalks, and underground passageways, making Rochester’s downtown unlike anything seen before. These are only some of the changes DMC has outlined for Rochester, and the plans will continue to be adjusted every five years in response to market conditions.

With this being said, many people are concerned because they are unsure
what their taxpayer money is being used for. Many also hold concerns regarding the issues surrounding the transportation of all these new people, affordable housing, and a loss of Rochester’s original identity. Only one of these problems really concerns me, and that would be the loss of identity. Rochester currently has a beautiful, calm medium sized city feel to it. With the changes proposed by DMC, we may lose some of our identity and will have to make a new one, which is not necessarily bad. This is a 20 year plan and only time will tell what DMC truly does for Rochester, but one thing is certain: change is on its way.

If you would like to read more about the changes coming to our city, visit this Post Bulletin link: