Destination Medical Center hosts summit on Rochester real estate market

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(ABC 6 News) – The Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency Real Estate Development and Investment Summit held an opportunity for real estate and development professionals to learn about investment and development opportunities in Rochester Wednesday

Speakers addressed a variety of topics including the city’s growing population and workforce, and how DMC, the city and investors can best manage affordable housing to accommodate growth in the Med City.

“We’re marketing Rochester to other communities and it might be worth just saying, based on the data, we’re younger, smarter, we’re growing, we’re more diverse and we love to work,” said Patrick Seeb, executive director of Destination Medical Center in his opening remarks.

Among the ideas and projects that were discussed during Wednesday’s summit was affordable housing. Rent prices in Rochester are high, partly because the city has a higher median income at just under $80,000 a year. The median income is higher than many other Minnesota cities including Duluth, Mankato and even Minneapolis.

“I used to be an educator teaching elementary and middle school,” said Abdullahi Adon, an educator at the Rochester Mosque and speaker at Wednesday’s summit. “Then I decided to pivot to healthcare after I saw my mortgage bill.”

The Coalition for Rochester Area Housing was part of Wednesday’s summit. They are currently working to create 1,000 affordable housing units in Rochester over the next four years for those who earn below the city’s median income.

“We’re working with developers are doing what’s called litech projects,” said JoMarie Morris, executive director of the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing. “They’re getting a lot of their funding through the state and federal government and we’re providing gap funding and those would be multi-family rental units for those that are 50 percent below AMI.”

The coalition is expanding these affordable units with housing units already constructed and new developments that are currently being pitched to investors.

“We’re doing home creation and preservation both. We’re helping build accessible, entry level, slab on grade homes for seniors. At the same time these seniors will be able to move out of their homes and their multi-level homes that they’ve been in at Elton Hills Drive or other places around the community, will be open for new, younger families that will be moving into neighborhoods.”

Mayo Clinic was also an attendee of DMC’s Summit, with Dr. Clark Otley, Chief Medical Officer of Mayo Clinic Platform speaking on behalf of the Clinic.

Otley gave an update on some of their projects including the Kellen Building in downtown Rochester. The cancer research facility is scheduled to be completed in early 2024 and bring somewhere between 500-700 employees into downtown Rochester when it opens.