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Mayo Clinic tops off its new futuristic research building in downtown Rochester

Mayo Clinic executives and city officials signed the final steel beam of the under-construction Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building on Monday. The new 11-story research center is being built on the corner of Third Street and Fourth Avenue Southwest.

Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Topping Off
Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, signs a beam during a "topping off" ceremony for the Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Mayo Clinic leaders celebrated the “topping off” of its futuristic 11-story research center under construction in downtown Rochester to bring together “the right people” and “the right technology” to advance medical science.

Mayo Clinic executives and city officials signed the final steel beam of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building then watched as it was swung into place.

The new research center is being built on the corner of Third Street and Fourth Avenue Southwest. That’s just north of the Opus Imaging Research Building.

“Groundbreaking research does not happen in a vacuum. It's the right people, the right space, the right technology, and the right market disciplinary collaboration,” stated Mayo Clinic CEO and President Gianrico Farrugia prior to the installation of the beam.

Mayo Clinic Executive Dean of Research Dr. Gregory Gores told the small crowd attending the ceremonial event that six lead researchers will be based on each of the building's 10 floors of research labs and offices. Those 60 scientists will work with research teams, which will result in an estimated 500 to 700 people working the Kellen Building.

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When asked if those scientists and staff will be new Mayo Clinic employees or current ones moved from other Rochester labs, he said it will involve both adding new people and moving current staff to the Kellen Building.

“The growth will be incremental,” he said.

Gores did add that much of the work in the Kellen Building will focus on cancer and it represents an expansion of Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Topping Off
A signed beam is hoisted to the top of the Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building construction site during a "topping off" ceremony Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Mayo Clinic originally announced a much smaller version of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building in 2019. By 2021, the plan had almost tripled in size. What was originally a four-story building grew to 11 stories with 176,000 square feet of space.

The dramatic and different look of the new research building with sweeping and random opaque shapes covering parts of it was designed to represent the innovative work Mayo Clinic leaders expect to be accomplished in the center.

Both Farrugia and Gores told the crowd that it is expected the research teams in the Kellen Building will collaborate and partner with medical companies and people based in the nearby One and Two Discovery Square centers as well as the planned Three Discovery Square.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Rendering
A rendering of Mayo Clinic's Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building.
Contributed / Mayo Clinic

The Discovery buildings are part of the 16-block “hub for bio-medicine, research and technology innovation." The sub-district is part of the Destination Medical Center initiative.

Mayo Clinic leases 30,000-square-feet of space in One Discovery Square, which also houses a number of Mayo Clinic corporate partners including Boston Scientific, Exact Sciences, Royal Philips and WuXi Diagnostics.

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As the first announced tenant, Mayo Clinic is also leasing "a minimum of 8,000 square feet" in Two Discovery Square as part of a “strategic collaboration” with La Jolla, California,-based biomanufacturer, National Resilience Inc.

Kellen Building Timelapse.gif
A timelapse of the construction of Mayo Clinic's Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building.
Contributed / Knutson Construction / Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Topping Off
A signed beam is hoisted to the top of the Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building construction site during a "topping off" ceremony Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Rendering
A rendering of Mayo Clinic's Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building.
Contributed / Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Topping Off
Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, speaks during a "topping off" ceremony for the Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building Topping Off
Dr. Gregory Gores, Kinney executive dean of research with Mayo Clinic, speaks during a "topping off" ceremony for the Mayo Clinic Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in downtown Rochester.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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