MINNEAPOLIS -- The Mayo Clinic laid out plans Wednesday for an ambitious $6 billion, 20-year initiative that would support its effort to turn its Rochester, Minn.-based hospital complex into one of the world's top medical centers.
Mayo Clinic officials announced the proposal Wednesday with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, touting it as the largest economic development initiative in the state and one of the largest in the nation. The Mayo Clinic, the state's largest private employer with 32,000 employees, draws patients from all 50 states and more than 130 countries each year.
Under the initiative, known as Destination Medical Center, Mayo will invest $3.5 billion in the next two decades on projects directly related to medical care, including hospital and clinic facilities, lab space and biomedical sites. Mayo has been working with local leaders for several years on the effort.
Now, Mayo is seeking $585 million from the state and a more concentrated push to help transform Rochester and the surrounding southeast Minnesota area into a vibrant city that can support and entertain an influx of thousands more patients and their families, as well as draw top-notch workers, to the area.
"While Mayo Clinic is also evaluating plans for additional expansion outside Minnesota in future years, 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," Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy said in a statement.
The project requires legislative approval to create a special taxing district around the existing Mayo Clinic campus and to draw taxpayer dollars for such infrastructure needs as parking and transportation, demolition and cleanup of building sites and land acquisition. Mayo is seeking tax-increment financing to capture a portion of the tax dollars generated by Mayo's capital improvements, and will use the revenue to pay for public infrastructure and attract private development efforts in Rochester.
The measure has bipartisan support and backing of labor and business leaders, Mr. Noseworthy said. In addition to Mayo's commitment, the project is projected to draw $2.1 billion from the private sector for hotels, retail, dining and entertainment as well as housing, sports and other arts and cultural facilities.
Mr. Noseworthy said that for every $1 in public financing, the project would leverage $10 in private investment.
Rochester voters in November approved a half-cent tax increase, which included $20 million earmarked for the Mayo Global Destination Medical Center initiative. The project is projected to bring $2.5 billion to $3 billion in tax revenue to the state through personal income, state and other sales taxes over the next 20 years. Another $300 million in additional local and tax revenue will be generated, according to Mayo.