Saying they intend to position Minnesota as a world destination for health care services, Mayo Clinic announced Wednesday it would invest more than $3 billion in what will become the state's largest economic development project.
In a release, May Clinic announced it plans for Destination Medical Center, a $5 billion economic development initiative that follows a three-year study by the clinic to chart its future business strategy in a global economy.
Mayo is expected to pour $3.5 billion into its Rochester campus over the next two decades, and an additional $2.1 billion in private investments will also fund the project, which is expected to create between 35,000 and 45,000 new jobs.
Not only is the development plan the largest in Minnesota, but it is also one of the largest in the nation. Officials estimate it could generate more than $3 billion in tax revenues for the state.
"This bold economic development initiative is driven on the proof of growth in the private sector and not the promise of growth," said John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. "Ten years from now, there will emerge just a few medical centers with the reputation for health care excellence and patient-focused outcomes that will attract patients from all over the world to their flagship medical center."
Mayo is already the largest employer in the state, employing more than 32,000. The headquarters in Rochester attracts patients from across the world, but Noseworthy said other U.S. cities and foreign countries have considered Mayo to expand there.
"Various medical centers are evaluating major cities in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as possible locations for significant expansion," said Noseworthy.
Noseworthy confirmed Mayo Clinic is evaluating plans for additional expansion outside the state in the future; however, he said they are certain they will not uproot.
"We believe Rochester can and should remain Mayo's global headquarters and a premier destination for medical care well into the future, assuming we can attract the additional private business investments and finance the necessary public infrastructure needed to support an expansion of this scale," he said.
The plan estimates $585 million in public infrastructure costs would be required to support the expansion over the 20-year timeline, and that between 1,800-2,200 construction workers would be needed each year.
ECONOMIC IMPACT FORECAST
WHAT IS PLANNED
There are three major elements of the DMC plan. One is, of course, physical expansion of facilities and services. The others involve courting more private businesses while addressing a "satisfaction gap" among patients, employees and Rochester residents.
Nearly $3.5 billion will be invested in improvements at Mayo facilities in Minnesota and other states.
The plan also seeks to support entrepreneurs licensing Mayo technologies in order to advance medicine and then make those technologies and developments available to patients.
Mayo Clinic plans to offer short-term leases to bio-businesses quickly and affordably through a specifically-designated start up site that promotes collaboration and access to resources.
In 2012, Mayo Clinic and the city of Rochester -- along with Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. -- announced an accelerator project that is expected to streamline that process.
COURTING PRIVATE BUSINESSES
Market research conducted by Mayo Clinic uncovered gaps in patient and visitor satisfaction between the experience on the Mayo campus and the experience in Rochester.
While the experiences on the campus were rated very highly, officials say new lodging, hospitality, entertainment, retail and visitor attractions are necessary to fully realize their vision of becoming a destination medical center.
Furthermore, Mayo Clinic says the "satisfaction gap" is also pronounced in employees and other residents seeking better housing options and quality of life enhancements in the community. In fact, Mayo described the issue as an "impediment" when trying to hire new physicians who would need to relocate.
To realize the DMC plan, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of new visitors to Rochester annually, Mayo Clinic says significant investments must be made to public infrastructure, including:
While the plan estimates $585 million will be needed, Mayo Clinic says it is clear that the city of Rochester does not have the capacity to finance beyond $500 million.
While a portion of the proposed infrastructure developments would be financed locally through city tax revenues and potential revenue bonds, Mayo Clinic plans to ask state legislatures to create a statute establishing a public body governed by state and local employees to review the plans and recommend projects to the state for funding.
The project also seeks about $500 million from a state appropriation bond that could be drawn upon incrementally during the duration of the project as approved by the state.