Discovery Square
One Discovery Square / RochesterMN
Will building a new bioscience building retain medical talent?

Mayo Clinic was losing talent to other academic institutions. What they were searching for was a platform where they could partner alongside start-ups and home-grown talent and open the market to third-party collaborators, but it was an untested and unproven market.

The solution was a one-of-a-kind bioscience building – One Discovery Square – that offers start-up, early phase and established companies the opportunity to collaborate in the development of what's next in technologies and therapies.

One Discovery Square is the anchor of Discovery Square—one of six sub-districts making up the Destination Medical Center (DMC). It's the largest public-private economic development initiative in Minnesota history, with a 20-year plan to bring 2 million square feet of research, education, and product development to transform Rochester into a global destination for health and wellness, attracting developers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

As developer, design-builder Mortenson was a key partner alongside the Mayo Clinic, City of Rochester and the DMC Economic Development Authority. The Mortenson team collaborated with key stakeholders to advance the master plan, facilitated site selection and entitlements, conducted feasibility analysis, navigated complex site impacts and secured more than $4 million in DMC join funding. Mortenson also lead the selection of the consultant team that included the architect, broker, property manager, branding and programming.

Space flexibility is the hallmark of One Discovery Square, ensuring that a wide variety of needs were accommodated—from growing and established companies to educational uses. Ceiling heights between 14.5 feet and 16 feet make it easier to bring in specialty equipment, and an abundance of shaft spaces running up and down the building allows for robust HVAC units, air filtration systems, and other specialty equipment needed for labs.

Mortenson successfully recruited new tenants, some from as far away as China and others close to home in Wisconsin. When the building opened, Mortenson had 85% of the building accounted for, either through a lease or letter of intent agreement and was fully leased by April 2021.

To capture the momentum of the successful lease up of One Discovery Square led to the next phase in the Destination Medical Center – Two Discovery Square.

Facts And Figures

Part of Destination Medical Center (Largest Public-Private Partnership in Minnesota State History)

81,000 Square Feet

Completion: June 2019

Delivery Methods

Develop Design-Build

The Team