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Construction jobs aplenty in southeast Minnesota

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There are new signs of growth in Rochester this spring, partly spurred by the Mayo Clinic's plans for a new $5 billion flagship campus makeover.

The Mayo project calls for doubling the size of its existing Minnesota campus.

According to Mayo, the clinic already employs 40,600 Minnesotans, 33,400 of whom work in Rochester.

And as MPR News reports, the clinic's makeover plan includes $327 million in state aid, largely to fund improvements to public facilities in the city.

Rochester is predicted to gain 32,000 residents over the next two decades.

Housing is already booming.

"Last couple years, we might have been lucky to get three houses a year," construction worker Shaun Sloan says. "Now, it's probably 20 houses a year. So a lot better than the past few years."

Permits for single-family homes increased 71 percent from 191 permits in 2011, to 326 permits in 2013. Builders expect the city's housing market to fully recover by 2015, MPR News reports.

"When spring comes, my builder members are saying it's just going to get crazy," Eischen said. "A lot of pent up demand and people are just waiting for the ground to thaw before they start building."

A recent builders' association survey found the strongest demand for homes in the $250,000 to $300,000 range, Eischen said.

The hotel industry is also revving up, with developers building or planning a slew of hotels in Rochester.

“We’ve got developers coming out of the woodwork,” Mayor Ardell Brede told the Star Tribune.

“Not only locally, but statewide, nationally and even internationally.”

The building boom is expected to add 979 hotel rooms to Rochester’s current market of 5,400 by the end of 2015, according to the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rochester officials hope the additional rooms and new services will help Mayo attract more patients to its so-called Destination Medical Center and help Rochester compete with bigger cities with comparable medical centers, such as Baltimore, home to Johns Hopkins.

"Ten years from now, there will emerge just a few medical centers with the reputation for health care excellence and patient-focused outcomes that will attract patients from all over the world," says John H. Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. "Mayo Clinic intends to be one of them.

"We plan not only to protect our current status as the world's premier medical institution," says Dr. Noseworthy, "but to expand our highly effective practice model and medical assets to be recognized as a global destination medical center for decades to come."

Mayo currently serves more than 1,650,000 patients from around the world.

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