How Rochester Will Continue to Grow With Mayo

Posted at: 01/31/2013 7:07 PM
Updated at: 01/31/2013 7:10 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- More and more people are now reacting to Mayo Clinic's $5 billion dollar plan to transform Rochester into a destination medical center.

Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest private employer with more than 32,000 employees. With this initiative they plan to increase that number.

The investments would create an additional 40,000 plus jobs in Minnesota and would basically double the size of downtown Rochester.

Growth in Rochester is nothing new

"I've seen the differences every year," said Chris Witten.

But with Mayo Clinic promising to invest billions in its destination medical center initiative, the city’s growth may be faster and bigger than ever before.

"I think it's great for the Rochester community, but it's also great for the surrounding area," said Larry Balufuss.

But it would come with a price.

"Parking definitely, it's an issue now what's parking going to be like in the future," said Witten.

"We would keep our values and really what built the city, but infrastructure would change drastically," said Brad Jones.

Jones is with Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau, he says the growth would take lots of planning from the city.

"We have to make sure we manage the growth in the right ways and really brace ourselves," said Jones.

But the city's past growth may make it the perfect fit.

"It's the fastest growing city in the state of Minnesota, it is really the place for opportunity and economic growth," said Julie Fiesel.

Julie Fiesel is with the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, she says there is still a lot of decision making to be done. Mayo Clinic is hoping the state will help with the public infrastructure needed with a $500 million dollar bond.

"It's never a sure bet when it's with the legislature, it just isn't no matter how good the legislation is we still have to go through the house and the senate," said Fiesel.

But many already say it’s a good investment.

"We're very excited about the growth potential downtown," said Eckhoff.

A Destination Medical Center would bring millions of visitors to Rochester.

"We need to support those visitors with parks and trails other things like that, that are good for visitors but also good for residents," said Eckhoff.

With billions of dollars in local investments it seems overall  many are excited by the possibilities.

"For me it's very welcome," said Witten.

"To have a facility like this and to know they are going to make it better, I think what the state is asked for is reasonable," said Balufuss.

The total economic impact of the initiative could exceed more than $45 billion for the state of Minnesota, including $2.5 billion in additional tax revenues for the state.