Possible parking lot for Mayo Clinic has supporters, detractors

Mayo Clinic employment is on the rise - to offer more employee parking, they are looking at the Kmart parking lot as a potential site. But it could impact Slatterly Park and many residents are not happy.

Posted: Oct 15, 2019 11:59 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2019 5:14 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Approximately 1,400 parking spaces could be created at the old Kmart lot for Mayo Clinic employees. A representative for the owner of the Kmart building says they've spent money to blacktop and stripe the parking lot. 

"If we do get it done the way we want, obviously in December, we can't blacktop, we had to take the chance, it's our dollar, we had to take the chance," Merl Groteboer said. 

But residents aren't shy about sharing their opinions on what this parking lot could do to their beloved neighborhood - they stress frustrations over the perceived lack of communication between developers and homeowners. 

"3,400-3,600 cars come through my neighborhood in a day, do I want more?" Doris Amundsen asked? "Increased traffic will compromise safety of neighbors, residents." 

City Councilmember Mark Bilderback - a former Mayo employee - thinks there could have been more communication. 

"I worked there for a long time, I take a lot of pride and had a lot of pride working for that corporation, I saw them do amazing things," Bilderback said. "Do I like everything they do and how they do it? No, and this is one of them." 

John Murphy with Mayo Clinic Public Affairs says the K-mart lot just makes sense. 

"The spot really was good because it's on that circulator route, that DMC city circulator route, it's right on that corridor, it ties into a larger plan," Murphy said. 

But as the project pushes ahead, Doris Amundsen is asking developers to remember what's at stake for the neighborhood. 

"The needs of the patient come first, the needs of the neighborhood should also come first," Amundsen said. 

This project will next hit the Planning and Zoning Commission in November.

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