Our View: Future 'map' of DMC will go far beyond Rochester

We hope that readers devour every word of today's special section, "Destination Medical Center — Road Map To The Future."

Last week, we offered a 28-page examination of how a $6 billion idea got the go-ahead from the state in just a matter of months. This week, we're looking ahead, helping readers throughout the region understand what's already happening with DMC, what's about to happen and what might happen in the next 20 years.

Some readers, however, might not be interested in learning about how Destination Medical Center will affect Rochester's public transit system. Others won't be intrigued by how Pine Island, Austin, Chatfield, Lanesboro and other communities are hoping to share in the growth spurred by DMC, or how Rochester plans to make downtown more "livable" for visitors and residents.

But everyone, at the very least, should take a long look at the map that fills much of the second front in today's special section. Then think about how this map is likely to change in the next two decades.

Think about the "blanks" that will be filled in between Fourth Street and Sixth Street Southwest as the University of Minnesota Rochester campus expands. Perhaps there will be a new bridge over the Zumbro River, connecting southwest to southeast and allowing more foot traffic into downtown.


Think about what could be built once the Silver Creek Power Plant is gone. Or the former Lourdes High School. Or — dare we say it — at the Rosie Belle?

Then there are the facilities that will still be here 20 years from now but in vastly different forms. The government center will be bigger and more secure. Mayo Civic Center (assuming its long-delayed expansion finally happens) will not resemble its current size and layout. The Rochester Public Library will have to grow.

But the fact is, when the Post-Bulletin publishes its "10 Years of Destination Medical Center" edition, the map showing DMC's impact will need to encompass not just downtown but the entire city and perhaps the entire region. The new housing developments, apartment complexes, businesses and schools necessary to meet the needs of thousands of new workers will be scattered throughout southeastern Minnesota.

There will be growing pains. We expect that current and future members of the Rochester City Council will endure many long public meetings as Rochester residents resist projects that will bring temporary inconvenience and permanent changes to their neighborhoods. Change is seldom easy or comfortable, and DMC will be neither.

To that end, there's one more must-see page in today's special section. On Page A3, you'll find crucial information about how DMC's various leaders will collect public input before approving the overall DMC Development Plan. There will be multiple meetings and opportunities for public comment, and that process hasn't begun.

So be part of the conversation. It's worth noting that one of the biggest objections to how DMC came about is that in the early stages there wasn't enough transparency, not enough public awareness about what was in the works.

That's all changed now, but the City Council, Mayo Clinic, developers and DMC leaders can't act on ideas or concerns that people keep to themselves.

What To Read Next
Get Local