Mayo Clinic 5-year plans highlight potential work that has been considered for decades

Other work has been completed alongside Destination Medical Center efforts, fueling the release of public funds.

01 Discovery Square Parking Ramp
Construction continues on the Discovery Square parking ramp on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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The majority of the 83 potential projects listed in Mayo Clinic’s 2016 five-year plan update remain incomplete or haven’t been started.

They’ve been shifted to the list of 82 projects on the recently released plan update.

It’s the nature of the report, which is required under Rochester city ordinances that cover special districts created 30 years ago for Mayo Clinic development.

“Some of these are very conceptual at this point,” Tim Siegfried, Mayo Clinic’s division chairman of facilities told the Rochester City Council earlier this year as the 2021 update was being prepared.

While Mayo Clinic has budgets and preliminary designs in place for some projects, Siegfried said others are simply things that could happen in the future.


“Some of them may get approved (by Mayo Clinic officials), and some may never be approved,” he said.

The plan, which was posted by Rochester’s Community Development department, will be reviewed by Rochester’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Jan. 26 and by the Rochester City Council on Feb. 23. In both cases, a public hearing will be held, and the bodies will be asked to determine whether the plan should be approved.

Among projects that moved from the 2016 plan to the 2021 version are the possible expansion of the Eisenberg Building on the Methodist Hospital campus, expansions of the Harwick and Baldwin buildings and partial or full enclosure of the Edith Graham Courtyard on the Saint Marys Hospital campus.

They are all projects that have been on Mayo Clinic plans since at least 2006.

As a result, the five-year plans don't look at what’s intended to be done in that time period, but are a look at what Mayo Clinic considers possible in the future, with the list updated every five years.

Prior to the creation of districts to support Mayo Clinic construction and continued growth, projects underwent a process that became cumbersome for the unique nature of medical facilities, according to Desmond McGeough, a planner with the city’s Community Development Department.

“This led to some inefficiencies from Mayo’s perspective and also the city’s perspective,” he said of an estimated 20 years of creating individual variances for projects.

With the creation of the special districts, projects must now be in Mayo Clinic’s five-year plan to be permitted under the special zoning regulations.


Siegfried said the intent is to improve communication between Mayo Clinic and the city.

“It’s been a great partnership,” he said.

Patrick Seeb, executive director of the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency, said it’s also a unique partnership.

“Mayo’s commitment to continuing to grow and communicate that growth as best as possible is remarkably important for the city,” he said. “To understand and have a view over the horizon about the future growth of a major corporate citizen is quite unusual.”

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While the five-year plans don’t include the city’s DMC projects, which are largely funded with state and other public funds, Mayo Clinic has added its private efforts connected to Discovery Square and the city’s planned rapid-transit project to the list.

Additionally, comparing the 2016 and 2021 plans shows work that has been completed and helped drive the release of DMC state funds in recent years.

Among the completed work were at least four projects to expand the Saint Marys Hospital campus, which built on efforts started before the DMC plan was developed.

In 2019 alone, Mayo Clinic reported spending $48.1 million on hospital-related growth, which contributed to a combined $519.5 million in investment between the start of 2016 and the end of 2020.


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Cranes marked the St. Marys Hospital campus as expansion work was underway.
File photo

Seeb said that growth serves as an engine for other local growth, as well as statewide growth, and spurred the release of nearly $43.4 million in state funds for public projects by the start of 2021.

The public projects include new downtown sewer and street infrastructure, work in the Heart of the City subdistrict and planned efforts along Second Avenue Southwest, also known as Discovery Walk.

Mayo Clinic’s completed privately funded projects didn’t stop with hospital expansion in the past five years.

The Herman House psychiatric transitional care facility on 14th Avenue Southwest, the installation of a 7-Tesla MRI scanner in the Charlton Building and new parking facilities are among projects completed.

Seeb said it all brings benefits by attracting more patients and visitors, while also increasing local employment opportunities.

“The continued growth of Mayo is not only important for DMC, it is super important for Rochester, Olmsted County and the state of Minnesota,” he said.

What’s in the plan?

The development of Mayo Clinic’s five-year plans started in 1991 with the creation of a special Medical Institutional Campus Special District, which was divided into two subdistricts — the central subdistrict, including the downtown core buildings, and the west subdistrict, centering on Saint Marys Hospital.

In 2003, a second district was added in Northwest Rochester, which includes a variety of support facilities.

The plan also includes a list of potential projects outside the defined districts.

2021 Mayo 5 Year Plan pic.jpg
Rochester's special Medical Institutional Campus Special District and its two subdistricts are seen in the 2021 Mayo Clinic five-year plan, with markers for potential development projects.
2021 Mayo Clinic five-year plan

Here are the potential projects as listed in the 2021 five-year plan, with the most recent additions to the list marked with an asterisk.

Central subdistrict

  • C-101 Possible hospital facility expansion east of the Eisenberg Building.
  • C-102 Continued expansions/renovations in Charlton, Eisenberg, Colonial & Jacobson Buildings.
  • C-103 Vertical / horizontal expansion of the Jacobson Building.
  • C-104 Renovation/replacement of Charlton North Building.
  • C-105 Continued renovations of the Gonda Building.
  • C-106 Phase Three vertical expansion of Gonda Building.
  • C-107 Continued phased renovations of all downtown campus buildings.
  • C-108 West horizontal expansion of Baldwin Building.
  • C-109 Vertical expansion of Harwick Building.
  • C-110 Major expansion of clinical laboratory, research and education space on Blocks 7 & 12, south of Hilton/Guggenheim. Initial phases as well as future expansion
  • C-111 Vertical / horizontal expansion of Opus Building.
  • C-112 Heavy Charged Particle therapy facility – North of Charlton and Eisenberg, with potential of a new bed tower and entrance lobby on the West.
  • C-113 Renovation of the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center.
  • C-114 Potential Radiology (cyclotron) and/or hyperbaric facility on Block 54, North of Graham Ramp, or Block 44.
  • C-115 Kellen Building Fit up *
  • C-116 Discovery Square 1, 2 and 3 Tenant Space Fit Ups *
  • C-201 Expand Parking on Block 5, North of West Employee Ramp
  • C-202 New multi-use building and/or expansion of parking on Block 11, North of former Lourdes High School.
  • C-203 Provision for a mixed-use project for patient/staff parking ramp, possibly including education administrative and utility support – South of Baldwin Building on Block 2.
  • C-204 Expanded parking ramp/loading dock facility on Block 41 (Parking Lot 10) located east of Employee West Ramp or North of St. John’s Church.
  • C-205 Expand parking on Block 12.
  • C-206 Discovery Square Parking Ramp *
  • C-207 East Lot Parking Structure *
  • C-301 Addition to Prospect Utility Plant.
  • C-302 New Support Building adjacent to Franklin Station.
  • C-303 Subway connection from Baldwin Building to Ozmun East Building.
  • C-304 Ongoing remodels to Mayo, Gonda, Baldwin, and Plummer buildings.
  • C-305 Subway connection from Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center to Ozmun Building.
  • C-306 Infrastructure / support for Blocks 7 and 12 (subway, parking and utilities).
  • C-307 Development of former Lourdes High School site for support activities (blocks 10 and 11).
  • C-308 Chilled water storage facility – near distribution location - East Employee Lot, Graham Parking Ramp or South of Baldwin Building (blocks 2 and 14).
  • C-309 Subway at Hilton *
  • C-310 Subway at Ozmun *
  • C-309 Downtown Campus utilities expansion/replacement.
  • C-310 Potential building, chiller & utilities on Block 12.
  • C-311 New South Utility and Plant (blocks 2, 14 or 6).
  • C-312 201 Site, mixed use structure *
  • C-313 Block 37 Loading Dock and Mixed Use Project *

West subdistrict

  • W-101 Inpatient expansion Second St. SW and 11th Avenue SW
  • W-102 Continued phased renovation of all Saint Marys Campus buildings.
  • W-103 Horizontal expansion of the Generose Building.
  • W-104 Bed tower expansion of East of Nasseff Tower *
  • W-105 Partial or full enclosure of Edith Graham Courtyard for patient and family functions. Upgrade landscape treatment of Francis Courtyard.
  • W-106 Vertical expansion above the Mary Brigh Underground Visitor/Staff Parking Ramp, South of the entry plaza.
  • W-107 Continued campus planning, renovation and regeneration for medical uses.
  • W-201 Administrative support and parking facility on 11th Avenue SW and Second Street SW.
  • W-202 Parking Ramp expansion East of the Generose Employee Ramp.
  • W-301 Administration building with parking ramp (W-201), or north across Second Street SW.
  • W-302 Extension of circulation spine from East Mary Brigh to the Chapel.
  • W-303 Skyway/subway connections north across Second Street and/or west across 14th Avenue SW.
  • W-304 Expansion of Saint Marys Power Plant & utility distribution.
  • W-305 Campus Entrance at 11th Avenue and Second Street SW.
  • W-306 Consolidation of docks.
  • W-307 Renovation of Saint Marys Convent.
  • W-308 Skyway from Old Marian Hall to Alfred Building
2021 support district map.jpg
Northwest Rochester's support center subdistrict for Mayo Clinic development is shown with potential projects marked. <br/>
2021 Mayo Clinic five-year plan

Northwest support center subdistrict

  • S-101 Northwest Primary Care
  • S-201 Parking ramp at South.
  • S-202 Parking ramp at North.
  • S-301 Administration office and support buildings.
  • S-302 Underground utilities loop.
  • S-303 Phased renovation of all buildings in district.

Potential projects outside the subdistricts
1. Underground subway connections to Bus Rapid Transit at Saint Marys Campus, Sixth Avenue, and Second Ave. *
2. Support for construction of a Downtown Transportation Center.
3. Support for medical-hospital housing, medically related retail, and service functions along Second Street SW properties.
4. Potential vertical expansion of Archive Warehouse.
5. Expansion of Facilities Warehouse.
6. Construction of an Employee Parking Ramp and Support Building at East Lot. *
7. Construction of off-campus utility plant.
8. Expansion of Waste Management Facility.
9. Institute Hills Farm research support facilities renovation & expansion.
10. Development of South or Southwest property for Primary Care.
11. Expansion / renovation of Northwest warehouse facilities for clinical, administration and/or research activities.
12. Provision of freezer storage warehouse (2915 Warehouse).
13. Expansion of Technology Drive Warehouse or creation of additional office space in NW.
14. Replacement of materials transport, utility and pneumatic tube connections between Central and West Subdistricts (to be coordinated with reconstruction of 1st Avenue SW).
15. Expansion of Mayo Family Clinic Northeast.
16. Expansion / renovation of Superior Drive Support Center.
17. Lab Expansion (SDSC Phase II Building).
18. Lab Expansion (SDSC Phase IV Parking Ramp).
19. Building renovation of 41st Street Building.
20. Cell therapy lab/GMP facility (potential locations- DMC district, NW Warehouse, 41st Street Building).
21. Phased renovation of all buildings in district.
22. Relocation of Recycling Center from East Parking Lot, with location to be determined. *
23. Consolidated Service Center, with location to be determined. *

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or
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