Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Rochester

The Future of City Development

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Rochester: The Future of City Development
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Rochester mayor-elect Lovely Warren is attending a leadership conference at Harvard University with other newly elected mayors. Warren has tweeted from Harvard about the new era of economic development that includes a collaboration between colleges, government and private industry. YNN's Mike Hedeen talked with some business leaders regarding Warren's vision for city.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The area around the former Midtown Plaza has been a construction zone for quite some time. Only one parcel is complete with other projects on the horizon.

Larry Glazer of Buckingham Properties is involved in much of the development downtown with projects that are in various stages, most notably the Midtown Tower. Glazer says his firm is also doing work on designing and developing new projects.

There has been some concern about future downtown development since mayor-elect Lovely Warren has put a lot of emphasis on rebuilding neighborhoods.

"I'm not really concerned. I think Lovely Warren is going to do an excellent job, nobody's out to derail any projects. I think, if anything, she will be very supportive of projects that make sense," Glazer said.

Organizations, like the Joseph Avenue Business Association, say they're excited about Warren's plan to invest more resources into improving city neighborhoods.

Bringing new businesses to those neighborhoods is part of that plan. Joseph Avenue has witnessed some recent progress. Providence House just opened a brand new facility there this week and Dynamite Dollar is a new place for groceries in that neighborhood. Business leaders say Warren played a role in much that is new along Joseph Avenue.

"I've worked closely with our incoming mayor on a few projects, Lexington Federal Credit Union being one. We established them. They came in after First Niagara took over HSBC and they were going to close that branch on Joseph and Wilkins. We were very instrumental in developing another financial institution to come in," said Sherman Dickerson, Joseph Avenue Business Association.

Glazer says he's set to close on Midtown Tower December 17th. Plans are being finalized now that include a supermarket at ground level. That news comes at a time when Tops Friendly Markets has expressed interest in moving into downtown Rochester.

Glazer said, "We've talked to Tops, we've talked to several other people, too. We are going down to the Shopping Center Show in New York this week and we are going to be presenting to other people also."

Sherman Dickerson of the Joseph Avenue Business Association believes Warren can keep her promise to improve neighborhoods, as well as follow up on outgoing mayor Tom Richards' vision for downtown.

"It'll be good to build downtown up, but what type of business are going to come? Are they going to be businesses that are going to stay? Are they going to bring jobs into the community or are they going to outsource the jobs? As long as people from around here get the jobs, then I'm all for whatever developments taking place downtown," Dickerson said.

Dickerson and Glazer both agree successful downtown redevelopment and improved neighborhoods are needed to make Rochester a more vibrant city.

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