'Wellness solutions' company considers Biobusiness Center

A startup company offering "wellness solutions" for seniors is working with the city of Rochester to base its headquarters in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center .

The Rochester City Council will vote on a lease with iMORTAL for 1,189 square feet of space on the first floor of the eight-story downtown building.

"Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for older adults using some amazing advanced technology and combined with education and communication for a complete solution," says Zara McDonald.

McDonald, who lives in San Francisco, is the CEO of the company, which formed at the end of 2009. She says the plan is to base the company in Rochester.

McDonald said that she could not offer many details about her company yet.


"We are in the process of some discussions, so I can't really say a lot more right now," McDonald says. "The long and short of it is that we are a health and wellness solution company."

She did estimate that the office would open with a relatively small staff of three to five people.

Center lease

The proposed lease that was negotiated with the city staff is for five years at a rate of $16 per square foot plus a share of the building's operating and maintenance costs.

As part of the lease agreement, the city is offering iMORTAL $10 per square foot allowance – $11,890 – for fit up costs. The proposed lease also includes an offer by the city of an interest-free $38,060 loan to cover the rest of the fix up costs.

The deal would allow iMORTAL to repay the loan from the city's economic development account in monthly installments over 10 years.

Other tenants in the building, which opened in May, include Mayo Clinic Health Solutions and Kardia Health Systems.

Though the street level of the building has always been described as being targeted for restaurant and retail businesses, Development Administrator Doug Knott said it was deemed to be the best place for iMORTAL at this time.


"We wanted to put them in a space where they could stay," he said.

More interest

Knott says at least two biobusiness companies are interested in leasing possibly large spaces in the building.

He also confirmed that Rochester is still working with Martell Biosystems about leasing 4,500 square feet on the second floor for a breast cancer testing laboratory.

In a street level space beneath the parking ramp attached to the Biobusiness Center, a bar and grill called Dooley's plans to open in the spring.

Knott says two retail businesses are interested in leasing space in the Biobusiness Center.

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