Rochester (MN) proposes a 20-year, $6.5 billion revitalization partnership

An audacious 20-year plan by the City of Rochester, the Minnesota state government, the Mayo Clinic, and their private partners to spend more than $6.5 billion on a kind of real-life version of SimCity, designed to turn Rochester into a global biotech hub, and double its population in the process.

Lisa Clarke, the DMC’s executive director, speaks bluntly about what the DMC would offer. “It’s between 25,000 and 45,000 jobs over 20 years, with the accompanying growth in tax revenue,” Clarke tells Fast Company. And that’s before the seven new neighborhoods they plan to construct around the city.

Peter Cavaluzzi, principal and board member with Perkins Eastman, the architects behind the DMC development, previously worked on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, New York’s new Moynihan Penn Station, and Las Vegas’s CityCenter.

He compared the changes in Rochester to Robert Moses’ construction projects in New York for the World’s Fair, which included a drastic remaking of the borough of Queens.

While Rochester wants to renovate, the costs aren’t cheap. As of this writing, the project is expected to be paid through a combination of a $6 billion of investment from the private sector and $585 million from state and local government.

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