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Show of Support for Rochester’s Brewery Square Vision

March 9th, 2012

A view of what could one day be Rochester's Historic Brewery Square. The Brewery's visitor center (left), renovated 13 Cataract (center) and entrance to the GardenAerial trail (right).
Brewery CEO, Rich Lozyniak, said Thursday that those who want to save 13 Cataract Street are “a very small group of people standing in the way of progress.” I don’t believe tearing down a 120 year old brewing landmark for 27 parking spaces is progress… I’ve always supported the idea of a Brewery Visitor Center. But I also support the effort to save the 120 year old brewhouse across the street (13 Cataract external link). And I know I’m not alone…

Now you can send an email to the Brewery’s CEO and City Hall to show your support external link.

After the jump you’ll see the story from News 10 NBC’s Lynette Adams…

Here’s the story as seen on 10 NBC last night…

A local group is fighting to save an old Rochester building that Genesee Brewing Company wants to tear down in order to make room for a parking lot. It’s part of a plan to open a new ale house and museum, but the group says that plan shouldn’t have to include leveling the building.

They are architects, communications and marketing professionals and environmental experts, among others. They are representatives of a large local group working to save 13 Cataract Street.

“The parking lot is just a very expensive place to store cars for a few hours a day, the building can do much more than a parking lot…and there’s still plenty more land for parking. Its really not an either or situation,” says Carlos Mercado. He is one of many who want to save the building from demolition.

Genesee Brewing Company wants to open a brew house and museum at the brewery. It says it would attract visitors to the city. To make room for more parking, the company wants to take down the old, rundown building on Cataract Street. It had zoning board approval, but last night, the Preservation Board put on the brakes.

The CEO of North American Breweries, which owns Genesee Brewing, says he didn’t see this coming. “We are so disappointed that a group of five people we didn’t even know existed two weeks ago could turn around and unilaterally put this project in jeopardy,” says Rich Lozyniak.

The Preservation Board granted members of the group an opportunity to make their case for saving the building and designating it a local landmark.

Wayne Goodman is the Executive Director of The Landmark Society. He says the idea would be to rehab the building into a mixed retail, office and residential space. “Historic preservation is about economic vitality. It’s about neighborhood revitalization. You can look all over the city of Rochester and find areas in the city that have been completely revitalized by rehabbing some of our old buildings,” he says. “We just simply want to have some more time to work with potential developers and planners so that we can come up with a project that will satisfy the needs of Genesee Brewing, will help actually make the Brew house more successful as a venture and will also anchor the economic development of the area.”

The Brewery Square Development Group is working to secure a contractor who would take on a project of this magnitude before it makes it’s presentation to the Preservation Board. As for the parking issue, the group says there is plenty of city land that could be used for parking.

Members of the group estimate that to tear down the portion of the building that’s not salvageable, build and adjacent building, and redevelop it, would cost the same as it would cost to tear down and build a parking lot. Each of those projects would cost about $1-million.

CORRECTION: In the last paragraph this story incorrectly states it would cost $1-million to redevelop the buildings. The cost of redevelopment would actually be higher and would vary greatly depending on how it was redeveloped. What the group actually estimated is that it would cost roughly $1-million to make the building presentable from the outside (to do necessary roof repairs, masonry work, sealing up windows, removing ugly appendages, etc.). $1-million is roughly the same as it would cost to tear it down and building a parking lot.

See this story at 10 NBC here external link.

You can help…

If you support the effort to save 13 Cataract as well as the Brewery’s planned visitor center, you can send an email to show your support external link.

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 9:57 am and is filed under Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Show of Support for Rochester’s Brewery Square Vision”

  1. “The brewery had its choice of three buildings to convert to a brew house. After making its decision, it put the two other buildings on the market and received virtually no interest, Lozyniak told the Rochester Business Journal last November.”
    http://www.rbj.net/article.asp?aID=190582

    Uh, How Can They Say That They ABSOLUTELY NEED To Put Parking On 13 Cataract’s Site To Succeed AND At The Same Time Say That They Tried To Sell 13 Cat To A Developer For Reuse?

    If They Sold It For Reuse, Would That Not Have Eliminated Their Parking Lot Plan For 13 Cataract While The Reuse Of 13 Cat Would Have Required EVEN MORE PARKING SPOTS For Its Tenants?

  2. Wow. That’s a great point.

    Not only that, but they DID receive interest. And at least two offers that we know of.

    Not to mention the Lanmark Society and Friends of the GardenAerial each offered to take the building as a donation. No dice.

  3. Zack says:

    As a student and young resident of Rochester, I need to stand up for it’s future and try to convince NAB that they are making a long-term BUSINESS and public relations mistake!

    Insanity: repeating the same thing, expecting different results.

    Surface parking lots have done nothing for Downtown Rochester besides destroy it. NAB will be missing out on an incredibly great business opportunity. It shocks me to see that they can be so short-sighted and close-minded.

    Respectfully, an advocate for progress

  4. Danielle Kelly says:

    I would like to gratefully thank the Preservation Board for their decision to designate 13 Cataract as an historic landmark. It is a building of beautiful architecture, local history, and historic value. Thank you for standing up to stoic corporate interests whose leaders seem bent on a “my way or the highway” philosophy. I hope they will come up with a more empathic and wise plan without having to go through the court system. A compromise and collaboration that makes both sides rejoice would be gratefully welcomed!

  5. Anybody hear about this petition [to demolish 13 Cataract]? A friend of mine thought I would want to sign…I have no idea who he thinks I am!

  6. Renee says:

    Somehow, it seems that it has been portrayed that those that wish to explore all options before the building is demolished are against the idea of a visitors’ center/restaurant and against the brewery. This is very frustrating to me. I think it makes good sense to think before tearing down an old building like this. Those of us who want to see those options explored also support the brewery. It’s not an either or.

  7. twoeightnine says:

    Completely agreed, Renee. I know some of the people who are really “intensely campaigning for the tear down and I’ve heard “fire and brimestone is predicted if the building is going to be torn down.” “Anyone who wants the building gone hates jobs and progress and the only way for jobs and progress is to build this parking lot.” And most interestingly, “I don’t think the amount of parking downtown is a problem.”

  8. Rachel Barnhart has been following this story since RocSubway sounded the alarm in November. After the Brewery’s press statement last week she pointed out some pretty sly statements by the Brewey CEO. If you haven’t already seen her blog post check it out.

    The Brewery is campaigning VERY hard right now. They are calling their corporate buddies, other breweries, and everyone they know in City Hall. They want people to believe 13 Cataract must be demolished or their visitor center won’t happen. RocSubway readers know this is a ridiculous argument and the two needn’t be tied to each other. Unfortunately the general public is only getting half the story.

    Please talk to your friends and family. Ask them to go to http://SaveCataract.com and send an email. Ask them to share this story with their friends.

    Most importantly, be ready to attend the public hearing (probably on April 4 but could be sooner). Subscribe to our email list and you will be notified.


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