Minnesota’s tech and medical hub, Rochester, is among the fastest growing cities in the state. It has come a long way from its roots as a small town ripped up by a tornado in 1883. Over the last decade-and-a-half it has significantly outpaced the growth of Bloomington and Duluth to solidify its place as Minnesota’s third largest city (with a population of ~110,000). Now, along with it’s most notable edifice (the Mayo Clinic), Rochester hopes to keep its prolific momentum going with a new Destination Medical Center (DMC).
The holder of the third most populated city in Minnesota has been a bellwether of the times in recent decades. Until 1990, Duluth dominated the role with its industrial, mining and shipping focus. Then Bloomington briefly stole the show and managed to just inch above the shrinking Duluth in the 90s (that decade of travel and shopping). But now Rochester has eclipsed them both. Its answer? Science!
Both technology and medicine fields that have, for the most part, bypassed the recession; Rochester is a leader in both. And although much could be said about Rochester’s history with computers, the Mayo Clinic is clearly its most productive resource. Travelers (often wealthy ones) from across the globe flock to it and (for this reason) it doesn’t intend to run out of space or new facilities.
While the Twin Cities aim their efforts upon population density, efficient transit systems and a luxuriant stadium, Rochester has its eye on expanding its city limits, new single-family housing developments and a no-less luxuriant Destination Medical Center. The DMC is not a new concept to America, but rather represents a trend where, due to the accelerating cost of health care, patients are willing to forfeit the comparably small price of travel to get to the location they think they will receive the best care.
Biz Journal reports that one of the hottest up and coming architects, Peter Cavaluzzi (designer of Target Field Station, opening May 17th), is going to be the master planner for the DMC. Although Cavaluzzi was educated at the University of Minnesota, his projects extend far beyond the state; his work has been seen in Las Vegas, Baltimore and even Beijing.
With more buildings like the DMC and city-limits not confined by suburbs, maybe someday Rochester will try to take St. Paul’s rank of second most populated city in the state (although it’s a fun speculation, I can’t imagine it happening for a long time).
Photos via: Google