The former Midtown Plaza site in downtown Rochester is getting a boost thanks to investment from some high-profile developers. Details of the deal were laid out at a Rotary Club luncheon.
"We're not the same city we were 30 or 20 or 10 years ago, and we're not going back."
Mayor Tom Richards' comments to an afternoon lunch crowd covered a lot of projects; but really, one, in particular.
"Today I have some other good news for Midtown. I have some really good news for Midtown Tower."
The mayor introduced two high profile developers: Morgan Management and Buckingham Properties, as developers of the old Midtown Tower. They'll buy and develop the tower; a $55 million project that's seen as a key in the site's redevelopment.
"Now, we've had a few fits and starts at Midtown and we'll have a few more before we're done. They can shape the challenge, but what they can't be is an excuse for inaction," Richards said.
"I think it's a great project at the right time and the right place, and there's a terrific amount of opportunity and momentum right now," said Larry Glazer.
Buckingham's Larry Glazer says his plan includes between 160 and 182 rental apartments, and three to five floors of office space; different from previous plans for the tower, which included two dozen luxury condos.
"We looked at it very carefully as a matter of fact and we determined condos wouldn't be as successful or even work as well as they'd need to, so we've gone with rental and offices," Glazer said.
The Midtown news came as the mayor discussed a larger "Rochester Transformation," as he called it, highlighting major projects all over the city.
"Let's face it, we had to get Midtown Tower solved. It's the biggest piece of the property down there. We preserved the frame which has a lot of value," said Richards.
Evidence of progress at the site of what was America's first indoor shopping mall is well underway with the Windstream building.
The Midtown Tower project is slated for completion by the end of 2014.
"You will see an entirely new place down there within a year or two."