Will one of downtown Rochester’s largest projects driven by a Singapore billionaire working with Mayo Clinic start construction before the end of 2020?
Many developments have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it looks like that might apply to a dramatic plan to build an ultra-luxury hotel on top of Mayo’s Gonda Building in downtown Rochester.
In September 2018, Mayo Clinic announced a joint venture with the Singapore development firm, Pontiac Land Group, to build a seven-story hotel plus four floors for the clinic to use to treat patients.
The Pontiac Land Group is led by the Kwee family, whom Forbes magazine listed earlier this month as the ninth-richest family in Singapore, with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion. Despite the family’s investment in hotels, that net worth has remained steady throughout the pandemic.
In 2018, Mayo Clinic's announcement stated, "Preliminary plans are for construction to begin by the end of 2019 or early 2020, with the project being completed by the end of 2022."
A year later, Mayo Clinic tweaked that timeline.
"Project planning continues, though we don’t anticipate construction will begin until later in 2020. The project is not delayed and the planning remains on track," wrote Mayo Clinic's Kelley Luckstein.
Since then, Mayo Clinic and Pontiac Land have been quiet. Presumably, the pandemic has delayed the project.
Senior Corporate Communications Manager Orphelia Huang responded to questions this week with a note stating, “Once we have specific information ready to share, we will be reaching out to you directly.”
Beside the construction timeline, many things are still unknown about this project.
How many rooms will the hotel have? What will the hotel brand be? How much will this project cost?
Whenever the unprecedented project starts, it will be nothing like any other development the Med City has ever seen.
For Mayo Clinic, the partnership will result in an expansion to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and Outpatient Procedure Center.
In 2018, Mayo Clinic’s Executive Dean of Practice Dr. C. Michel Harper Jr. estimated it would not have been able to add the floors to the Gonda Building for a decade and "it would probably cost us four or five times as much."
Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to email@example.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 507-285-7798.