A $32 million donation from a family foundation opens the door for Mayo Clinic to build a new research center in downtown Rochester.

Mayo Clinic announced Tuesday morning that it will build a four-story, 64,000-square-foot research center, thanks to a $32 million gift from the New York-based Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

It will be called the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building in honor of the late couple.

The gift was presented by the Kellens’ children, Michael M. Kellen and Marina Kellen French.

"Our family’s history with Mayo Clinic spans more than four decades, and the physicians and staff at Mayo have become like family to us," Marina Kellen French said in the announcement.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Their parents received care at Mayo Clinic for many years. Stephen M. Kellen was president and CEO of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Inc., an international investment firm based in New York, now known as First Eagle Investment Management LLC.

While planning is in the very early stages, the new center is slated to be built on the corner of Third Street Southwest and Fourth Avenue Southwest. That’s just north of the Opus Imaging Research Building.

Mayo Clinic’s 9,683-square-foot Connolly Building at 410 Third St. SW would be demolished to clear the way for the project.

That locates it within the Destination Medical Center initiative’s Discovery Square subdistrict.

"This new research facility will be a great new addition and complement the development activity already taking place in DMC’s Discovery Square," stated DMC Economic Development Agency executive director Lisa Clarke in a release. "Access and proximity to Mayo Clinic’s experts is important. The new Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building will bring even more of that expertise to the front door of Discovery Square."

This will be the second complex to be developed in the 16-block subdistrict. One Discovery Square, on the nearby corner of Fourth Street and Second Avenue Southwest, is expected to open soon.

A groundbreaking for the the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building is anticipated in 2020, with an opening in 2022.

Mayo Clinic CEO and President Gianrico Farrugia was quoted in the announcement as stating, "Research is critical to infusing new knowledge into patient care. It paves the way to solve serious or complex medical challenges for our patients at Mayo as well as patients around the world. This remarkable gift will allow us to meet a critical need for research space on our Rochester campus."