Mayo Clinic plans to spend $190 million as part of a project to add 11 stories to the Gonda Building, a prominent building in Rochester that would become the city's tallest as a result.
The clinic would add four floors for patient care in the building, plus a seven-story hotel developed through a joint venture between Mayo and a company based in Singapore.
When the project is complete in 2022, the Gonda Building would stand 32 stories tall — growing from its current 305 feet to 490 feet, Mayo says.
"We are in dire need of additional clinical space," said Dr. C. Michel Harper Jr., executive dean of practice at Mayo Clinic. "This allows us to announce a strategic collaboration … so that we can have four additional floors on top of our existing Gonda Building and integrate that with seven floors of hospitality hotel space — a premier hotel space."
The Gonda Building serves as the Mayo Clinic's front door in Rochester. It features a large atrium where patients often start their visit to the Mayo Clinic, plus outpatient clinics, surgery centers and some space that is technically regarded as hospital space (even though the building is not a hospital).
The $190 million expense would add four floors of clinical space that would span about 200,000 square feet and would be used for cancer patients and outpatient procedures.
That's an expansion of more than 10 percent compared with the 1.5 million square feet overall in the Gonda Building, which was the biggest construction project in Mayo Clinic's history when it was completed in 2001.
Preliminary plans call for construction on the Gonda expansion to begin by the end of 2019 or early 2020, with completion by the end of 2022.
200 hotel rooms
While the joint venture will own the hotel, it will be operated by a major hotel group to be named later, officials said. Singapore-based Pontiac Land Group will develop the hotel space, which would include around 200 rooms. That's a "small percentage" of the roughly 6,000 hotel rooms in Rochester, said Jeffrey Bolton, the Mayo Clinic's chief administrative officer.
"We have heard from our patients the need for this type of hotel offering within the Rochester community," Bolton said. "If you look around the country at our top academic medical center competitors, most of them located in large cities, there are premier hotels — a number of them — very close and in many cases on the campus of those other organizations. So, we feel this type of offering is really critical in our efforts to compete for domestic and international patients that are willing to travel to Mayo Clinic to receive their care."
Pontiac Land Group is not asking for public funding for the project, said Lisa Clarke, executive director of the nonprofit Destination Medical Center (DMC) Economic Development Agency. Backed by $585 million in taxpayer money, the 20-year DMC initiative is supporting private development in the Rochester area near Mayo Clinic through investments in public infrastructure, Clarke said.
One of the DMC investments thus far supports a hotel being built near Broadway Plaza, an apartment building in downtown Rochester that Clarke said currently stands as the city's tallest.
"The Gonda Building is not the tallest today, but with this expansion of approximately 11 floors it will be the tallest building in Rochester to-date," she said. "It really complements the hospitality offerings that we have in this community right now. … Our initial research showed that we do have a need for hotel rooms."
Earlier this month, Mayo Clinic announced a $648 million expansion for its medical center in Arizona plus $144 million worth of capital projects at its hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mayo Clinic's operations in Rochester plus nearby clinics and hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin accounted for the largest share of the clinic's patient care service revenue during the first six months of the year at about $3.5 billion. The comparable patient care revenue figure in Arizona during the period was $755 million, and $630 million in Florida.
While operations in Arizona and Florida are becoming bigger parts of the whole, Bolton said, Mayo continues to invest in facilities that will allow for growth in Rochester and the Midwest.