September 20, 2016

Three proposals advance for Inner Loop

More than 360 apartments, retail and office space, a hotel and museum expansion make up the development proposals that Mayor Lovely Warren announced Friday she would recommend to City Council.

Those projects are:

► A 49-unit affordable housing development with 45 apartments and four townhouses aimed at households making between 50 percent and 90 percent of the area median income...

► A mixed-use development with 117 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, retail/office space and underground parking...

► An expansion of The Strong National Museum of Play to include a 120-room hotel with an indoor water feature as part of its pool and spa, 201 units of housing, "urban retail spaces" and a 1,200-space parking garage, all extending from Broad Street south. The preliminary project price tag is $105 million. The project would be done in partnership with Indus Hospitality Group and Konar Properties.

The remaining parcel, between Broad Street and East Avenue, would remain green space until other projects develop and a best use is determined.

“These projects are about reconnecting downtown with the neighborhoods surrounding it," Warren said in a news release, "creating much needed construction jobs, bringing long-term jobs to our residents and contributing to the energy and vibrancy that is returning to our Center City."

Proposals were received May 13. Only one, that from local developer DHD Ventures, was rejected. Details on that proposal were not released.

The sunken highway is being raised to an at-grade boulevard, creating acres of shovel-ready sites. The $22 million fill project should be completed by the end of next year. The city divided the property, roughly between Monroe Avenue and East Main Street, into five parcels totaling roughly 5.5 acres and ranging in size from a half acre to 2 acres.

“We are pleased and honored to have this opportunity," Strong CEO G. Rollie Adams said in a statement. "We are grateful for the City’s recognition of the museum’s role in the community, and we appreciate the confidence this shows in our ability to contribute even further to the vibrancy and economic well-being of Rochester and the region.”

The city continues to review the projects and talk with developers on issues including verifying project costs, timelines, design and layout, according to the city, as well as technical site studies. City Council must approve any land sale.

 Original article published in the Democrat & Chronicle

Three proposals advance for Inner Loop