Construction Begins on First Building in Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square


Anchored by Mayo Clinic, the 90,000-sq.-ft. bioscience building will be complete in 2019 

A groundbreaking ceremony took place today on the first of several new buildings planned to make up the 16-block Destination Medical Center (DMC) Discovery Square sub-district near the historic Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mortenson is the developer and builder for phase one in Discovery Square, a densely populated and highly connected urban life science hub that is part of the DMC—the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota’s history.

Designed by RSP Architects and HOK to support life science research and innovation, the four-story, 90,000-sq.-ft. building will help tenants accelerate the translation of promising health-related therapies and technologies to provide solutions that create better health outcomes for patients. The design creates a tenant-focused, amenity-rich environment. Flexible, open workspaces and central common spaces will enable tenants to adapt to the fast-changing life science industry.

Discovery Square will provide a bridge to the mission of the nearby Mayo Clinic, which, as the anchor tenant of this new building, will occupy 30,000 square feet across three floors when it opens in 2019.

“Inside and out, our design is guided by a vision for forward-thinking research to create an extension of Mayo Clinic’s collaborative culture and brand,” said HOK design principal Eli Hoisington. “In addition to enhancing science-driven collaboration, the design creates a sustained sense of community by including public amenities and event space on the ground level. This building will be a catalyst for the new live-work-play district in Rochester.”

“The DNA of this building and Discovery Square is the innovation, collaboration, and translation of science and discovery,” said David Mortenson, chairman, Mortenson. “A complementary tenant mix will have the opportunity to work alongside the best and brightest in Rochester on real-world, life-changing solutions. It will enhance connectivity and enable high-level collaboration to share ideas and test and deliver new products. We are truly excited about the purpose of this facility, its programming and its role within the greater Destination Medical Center vision.”

“Discovery Square will be the place where Minnesota’s next generation of medical start-ups will want to be,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith, chair of the DMC Corporation board of directors. “It will create new opportunity for jobs, innovation and economic growth, and represents a major step toward fulfilling our mission of building America’s City for Health. I thank Mortenson, Mayo Clinic, and the Rochester community for their work on the Discovery Square project. This is great news for Rochester and our state.”

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota’s history. The 20-year plan to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness will attract developers, investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to live, work, and play in America’s City for Health. For more information, visit

Mortenson is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction and real estate development company. As one of the nation’s top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of development and construction services, including site acquisition, financing, planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey delivery. Mortenson has operations across North America with offices in Chicago, Denver, Fargo, Iowa City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and in Canada. For more information, visit

HOK is a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Through a network of 23 offices worldwide, HOK provides design excellence and innovation to create places that enrich people’s lives and help clients succeed. DesignIntelligence consistently ranks HOK as a leader in sustainable, high-performance design and technology innovation.

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