Rochester Local

♡ The Heart of the City for Rochester Families ♡

This post is sponsored by Destination Medical CenterAs Rochester MN residents, most of us are familiar with the term Destination Medical Center or DMC. If you are new to the area or have not heard of DMC before this innovative, economic initiative is the long-term project and building blocks of Mayo Clinic’s future in Rochester. DMC seeks to transform the downtown area by creating economic and business growth as well as unique and creative experiences for patients, visitors, and Rochester residents.

One of the most exciting phases of the DMC plan is the Heart of the City project, a renovation of the existing downtown space that we have loved utilizing for so many years, into a more vibrant, transformative space that will offer an abundance of programming and event needs for our city’s future.

Heart of the City Phase 1

The Heart of the City will serve as the central engaging space for markets, public and private events, and daily use and we can’t wait for you to watch it come to life. This is the very ♡heart♡ of the Heart of the City…and it’s starting NOW!  That’s right! All of the meetings, planning, and dreaming that we’ve heard about for many years is coming to fruition and Rochester residents have a front-row seat to all of the excitement. Digging has started on Phase 1 of the Heart of the City to transform the area currently known as the Peace Plaza. If you’ve driven downtown anytime lately on Broadway or 2nd Street, you’ll have seen all sorts of construction happening…that’s the very beginning of the Heart of the City. We want YOU and your family to experience it!

Involving Your Family

Each week, Rochester Mom, in partnership with DMC will be publishing something fun for your family to do on our website, Facebook page, and Instagram to help your family learn more about this ongoing project. There will be a lot of variety!  Expect fun activities, videos, information, pictures, Q+A, and maybe even a behind-the-scenes look at some of the construction equipment. We want to share our excitement and help you learn and engage with the construction process and timeline as we watch Heart of the City start to take shape. Our deep hope is that you will truly feel connected to this special space in Rochester MN by the time the Heart of the City reaches completion.

We are going to archive all posts for easy access on our website throughout the summer and into the fall. You’ll be able to find all of the Heart of the City posts on our main navigation bar. From there you can scroll through the opportunities for your family to enjoy!

This week, we have an extra fun scavenger hunt for you to print (see below). There is really important work being done downtown right now on the infrastructure of the project…and that means the chance to see some extra fun construction equipment! Head downtown, look for all the items, and drop off your complete scavenger hunt in the construction office dropbox (116 1st Avenue SE between Eagle Drug and Cloud9) and you could be entered to win a MOKA gift card weekly!


Where to Park?

We have a helpful map that will show you just where to park. Ramp parking will be easier during the week, but on the weekend additional street parking may be available. Don’t forget…parking is FREE after 5 PM Monday through Friday and FREE on the weekends. Otherwise, you can find parking rates here for the Center Street Ramp and here for the 1st Street Ramp. The red squares on the map indicate the parking ramps and the purple lines are where the construction zone is located.

Center Street Parking Ramp – 11 Center Street

Head for the elevators, and then exit at ground level. You’ll see the construction signs and the pedestrian walkway right to the Heart of the City construction as you exit at Street Level. Follow the pedestrian walkways to view the construction.

1st Street Parking Ramp 13 2nd Street SE

Make your way to the elevators, and head to the skyway level, and follow the signs for The Galleria at University Square. Once there, take the elevators or escalators down to the ground level and exit between Chester’s Kitchen + Bar and the U of M Gear Store. You’ll be RIGHT in the heart of all the action! Follow the pedestrian walkways to view the construction.


What’s Next?

Make sure you check back weekly to follow along with all of updates we have for you and your family.  We have some cool stuff planned, so make sure to not miss any of it! Don’t forget that you can access all of our Heart of the City posts via the main navigation bar on our website. Have fun and we hope to see you in the Heart of the City!

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