The Destination Medical Center (DMC) project is on pace to reach a crucial investment goal within months that would unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in public taxpayer support, the organization said Thursday.
A pot of public money awarded to the project by the Legislature in 2013 can’t be tapped until private investments from the Mayo Clinic and others reach $200 million.
Now, thanks to robust investments totaling $87.6 million last year, that goal is within sight, said Mitchell Abeln, director of finance for the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency.
“We’re in a good spot,” he said.
The total private investment is now $152.4 million for the massive DMC project, which promises to remake Rochester into a global hub of health care, medical research and innovation while establishing the city as a destination in its own right.
Public funds totaling $585 million will pay for public infrastructure, while the Mayo Clinic estimates that it will invest $3.5 billion over the 20-year life span of the project, with an additional $2.1 billion in private investments.
It will be another year before the taxpayer money will start flowing: The DMC investments are certified once a year by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, so even if the $200 million investment goal is reached this summer, it won’t be recognized until next year.
Taxpayer funds will be available under a formula devised by the Legislature to spur further investment.
The formula awards state funds at 2.75 percent, while additional funds from the city of Rochester and Olmsted County will work with similar guidelines. For state funds, for example, a $50 million project would get $1,375,000 in public funds.
The investment news was supposed to be revealed at a meeting of the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board on Thursday morning in Rochester. But because of a snowstorm that hampered travel in southeast Minnesota and technical glitches with a remote broadcasting system, no meeting was held.