Mayo Confirms First Tenants at Discovery Square Project
A rendering of the first phase of Rochester's Discovery Square project. Set to open in 2019, "DS-1" will include 30,000 square feet for Mayo Clinic researchers.

Mayo Confirms First Tenants at Discovery Square Project

The 60,000-square-foot medtech office building is an early step in Destination Medical Center effort.

Mayo Clinic has confirmed that researchers from its regenerative medicine and genomics/individualized medicine programs will be among the first tenants of the initial Discovery Square medical office building in downtown Rochester.
Last June, Mayo Business Development Chairman Jim Rogers told TCB that medical specialists from the clinic’s three “transformational centers” were among the likeliest early occupants of Discovery Square’s first-phase building, which is seen as a key component in jump-starting Mayo’s ambitious Destination Medical Center effort.
 The trio of transformational centers include Center for Individualized Medicine, the Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.
Development plans for the 60,000-square-foot Discovery Square Phase I building were announced in April by Mortenson Construction, which will build and own the structure with Mayo signed on as lead tenant. The goal of Discovery Square is to place Mayo researchers into close collaboration with biotech and medtech companies seeking to commercialize their innovations, thus hopefully establishing Rochester as one of the country’s premier bio-business clusters while also getting new devices and therapies out to patients sooner. 
The clinic recently officially revealed that researchers concentrating in regenerative medicine and individualized medicine/genomics—along with a new Mayo/industry collaborative biotech incubator space—will indeed be among those who will be located within the 30,000 square feet leased by Mayo in the “DS-1” building when It opens in 2019.
“Our research presence in Discovery Square will serve as a catalyst for ideas and projects that transform medicine and accelerate the discovery, translation and application of life-changing therapies and technologies so our patients receive exactly the care they need when it’s needed,” Gregory Gores, M.D., Mayo’s executive dean of research, said in the announcement.
Gores described the three aspects of Mayo’s presence in the DS-1 Building:
Biotech incubator: Calling this space “a true science incubator,” Gores said its work “will concentrate on developing innovative ways to apply technologies” to be initially focused on ultrasound. It’s designed to be expanded into “other modalities and engineering technologies” as needed. The space “will enable interaction with industry partners to jointly enhance and develop new uses for biomedical devices.”
Advanced manufacturing of “regenerative products”: Mayo said this area will focus on creating products that can be used for therapeutic treatment, particularly products for regenerative therapies. It will be set up to “enable the development and potentially the production of these new therapies.”
Genomics-based diagnostics center: The clinic will use this space to “collaborate with outside groups on new medical tests that can better diagnose disease,” specifically using genomics and other tools to focus on conditions “that don’t yet have clinical diagnostic tests and develop better tests for those that do.”
Mortenson says groundbreaking on the DS-1 project is planned for late this year with a target completion date in 2019. Designed by Minneapolis-based RSP Architects, the facility will be built on what is now a Mayo employee parking lot at the corner of 4th Street S.W. and 2nd Avenue S.W., in the 16-block Discovery Square sub-district of the larger Destination Medical Center planning zone.
It features a unique, integrated design with flexible, open workspaces allowing Mayo researchers “to adapt to ever-changing needs in the life science industry,” while centralized common spaces within the building is designed to promote interaction among Mayo scientists and commercial collaborators also leasing space there. 
The 20-year DMC vision calls for an eventual office space build-out of 2 million square feet within the Discovery Square sub-district.