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34 Responses to “Dollar Store Developer: “Not one preservationist stepped forward””

  1. ELF says:

    By now most of you know that this building has sat for years and when it came on the market not one “preservationist” stepped forward to advance any plan.

    The building has been referred to as a designated building of historic value.

    There are over 4,000 such properties in the city. We cannot keep track of them all.

    This building will employ nearly 40 minority construction workers and about 20 store staffers, jobs much needed in the area.

    Those construction jobs are temporary. The retail jobs he promises are likely part-time minimum wage positions. You can probably make more money living off government assistance.

    In conclusion what we have here is people who are passionate about preservation with no money yet feel entitled to determine how people in this area will live according to their image.

    A huge part of the opposition comes from the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association, which is made up of neighborhood residents. Many have lived there for years and worked hard to bring the area to where it is now. Mr. Walker seems to think the opposition is purely an outside force that doesn’t understand the needs of the neighborhood. That is completely untrue.

    Look, I am not a preservationist hardliner. If a responsible developer like Buckingham Properties or Traikos (who are currently working on the Lofts at the Carriage Factory on Litchfield Street) had a great idea, I would be all ears. But Marvin Maye has a bad history in the city. He neglects his properties. Ask the Plymouth-Exchange Neighborhood Association about the plaza he owns on South Plymouth near the roundabout. It is a seedy-looking eyesore and he does nothing to clean it up, despite PLEXNA’s efforts to work with him.

  2. ELF says:

    BTW, if you’re going to make this about “outsiders who don’t know what this neighborhood needs,” then it’s worth noting that Marvin Maye does not live in the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood and I’m guessing never has. He does not even live in the city. I believe he lives in Spencerport.

  3. Joe says:

    in all fairness, the house next door bought a house that was between a church and a commercial property. They didn’t buy sandwiched between two commercial properties. Its a little unfair to fault them for not being able to foresee the future of a piece of property.

  4. Rick says:

    Joe- I agree, how many would buy a house next to a church and think that it’ll be torn down and turned into a dollar store… :/

  5. I read this with genuine interest in the city’s position and with hope that there would be sensible explanation for this odd decision to destroy neighborhood resources. Instead, Walker offers nothing but snarky distortions and smug dismissals. Really? A dollar store would provide real resources to a community hungry for real food, clothing and household supplies? Give me a break! Wondering, too, if this the same Craig Walker who threatened to punch a protester in the face at a city council meeting? He seems to be busting at the seams with rage and ugly superiority, putting down the neighbors for not understanding zoning games, for wanting a real neighborhood and not dollar store trash. I’d be quite curious, knowing now that he works as a partner with Marvin Maye, how his properties are bolstered by his position.

  6. Matthew Denker says:

    I know I wrote a whole long comment on this already, but I guess I’m torn. It’s not so much the loss of the church that bothers me, than its replacement with a Dollar General. So much money has been flowing into this area. I’ve definitely considered starting to invest in the area myself, and I just don’t feel like a dollar store is the direction that I want to see the neighborhood go. It just feels like there are better things that we could be doing for the neighborhood. Maybe not? I don’t know.

  7. ACW says:

    Here’s a Google Map of the Dollar Generals and Family Dollars in Rochester. http://goo.gl/maps/oYg3l

  8. twoeightnine says:

    “I returned back to the area about 2 years ago and am building my brand here, my home town.”

    And you’re tying your brand to a Dollar F’ing General?

  9. Jimmy says:

    If the old church is structurely sound, and there is room for parking, why not just plop the Dollar Store inside the Church? It would be like THE Dollar Store in Rochester to visit.

  10. 644 W. Main St. says:

    Mr. Walker says – “You should know that this is a BS argument. Mr. Maye has record by email of the owner seeking to sell way before he bought the building. Further more while we all may have sympathy for the owners plight can Mr. Maye be held to account for her buying a home in a commercial zone? This owner had the gall to tell city council that “Mr. Maye should have done his homework before he purchased the church”. Funny how this does not apply to her.”

    As to Mr. Walkers personal attacks on me, you were not I think, present for my phone conversation with Mr. Maye regarding this topic. If you follow the conversation through, you would find that I was feeling him out for his long term intentions. It went more like – if you build that thing are you going to buy my house so I don’t have to live next to it? Mr. Maye told me that he would love to buy my house, it is so beautiful, what a nice office it would make, but he didn’t think he could afford it. I never believed this. I have since heard rumors of his wishing to turn my house into a Tim Hortons. I’m sure that he would like to back me into a corner so he can buy my house cheap and expand his little West Main St. Empire. I never ask anyone to do me any special commercial zone variance flavored favors. I have simply used the system in my own defense. I did do my homework before I bought my house, which is why I bought it. I counted specifically on the current neighborhood improvements and expected to participate in them. So now I am participating in them. I am opposed to a Dollar General.

  11. First: when quoting the number of jobs you create, you’re being disingenuous. The image that pops into peoples minds when you say “a job was created” is that of a person making a livable wage, and able to take care of themselves and their family through the money earned through their hard work. As it takes a minimum of about $40k to meet those goals, I have to ask: are all of the jobs you created paying $40k/year or more? Providing benefits? If not, you haven’t created a job, you’ve purchased a slave on an installment plan.

    Second, this will be a local “food store”? Really? The majority of the products I’ve seen in Dollar General are knock-off brands that may or may not actually qualify as actual food. You’re not adding value to the neighborhood by adding a Dollar General. You’re adding to the obesity epidemic.

  12. Joel Helfrich says:

    Can anyone locate reports online or elsewhere regarding the economic impact of Dollar General stores that are built in smaller cities like Rochester?

    http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Dollar-General-Salaries-E1342.htm

    http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Family-Dollar-Stores-Salaries-E243.htm

  13. Charles says:

    Great hard work again.

    Now This is from the CITY OF ROCHESTER MASTER PLAN CHARTER:

    : We, the citizens of Rochester, recognize that a decline in public and private investment in cities, an acceptance of placeless urban and suburban sprawl, unplanned destruction of the “old” in favor of the “new”, a separation of races and incomes, a decline in environmental stewardship and a general decay in our built “heritage” are all symptoms of one larger, interrelated, community-building problem that will challenge our Center City in the future.

    Now This is from the CITY OF ROCHESTER MASTER PLAN regarding the Susan B. Anthony District:

    (f) Development of facade and other building improvements in the area to reinforce the historic character of the district and its relationship to the Susan B. Anthony House.

    Thanks again

  14. Matthew Denker says:

    Are you suggesting that Dollar Stores are not completely in character with the historic nature of the Susan B Neighborhood? For shame!

  15. Joel Helfrich says:

    It appears to me that the best use of this location and space would be for the Frederick Douglass Museum that so many people have been working on since at least 1997, when the plan was put forward to create anchors on Madison Street — with the Susan B. Anthony House at one end and the Frederick Douglass Museum at the other in the now demolished Madison Hotel. The use of the church as the permanent home of the Frederick Douglass Museum would be a perfect Main Street proposal that could amass large amounts of local, state, and federal dollars — especially at the state level if the neighborhood put together a solid proposal to the Regional Economic Development Council. The creation of the museum was also the goal of the 2002 Center City Master Plan, albeit next to the SBA Square (p. 57).

  16. UPDATE: The Zoning Director’s original decision was been upheld today. The building IS, and remains, a Designated Building of Historic Value.

  17. 644 W. Main St. says:

    Rochester Subway,
    where are you getting this information from? We were told it would be a couple of days…

  18. Directly from Zina Lagonegro in the Bureau of Planning and Zoning.

  19. 644 W. Main St. says:

    sweet. thank you.

  20. ELF says:

    Boo-yah!

  21. craig walker says:

    Hi folks. First off the report that the church is a DBHV is true as the ZB ruled in favor of the City’s position. While Mr. Maye evaluates his position I would like to take exception with the comments posted by Tony and Katherine above. First as these things go we all can get pretty uptight given our respective positions. I would just like to say that under no circumstances have I ever threatened anyone who has protested our position nor would I punch somebody in the face over this matter. Its just not my style nor would Mr. Maye have anyone around him who would do so.

    Tony remarks are gall me the most. Not his opposition to Dollar General but the pall he cast upon the people who live there. This demographic is largely African-American. The unemployment rate is nearing 18% and rising and way to many are on govt assistance. First Tony talks about the “temporary jobs” construction would bring. While that may be true I thought I would inform him that the Voters Block Project had virtually no minorities on it at all. These jobs were union jobs and with the exception of about 8-10 minorities on a $20M that is a shame since 32 houses were built in and around the Church for those who receive some form of govt assistance as in Section 8 etc. There were no minority vendors or subcontractors. When I brought this matter to the attention of the councilman and the City I was told since the City only had about $150K into the project there was nothing they could do.

    Wait there is more. Jefferson ave was just redone last year. nice project. When I raised the issue with the City and the prime contractor Sealand Construction the union added 2 laborers and a black female flag person. Now lets review. Great efforts were made to fix up this part of town after years of neglect yet the very people whom are to benefit can’t get a job on the very projects in question. Don’t get me wrong, I am a conservative so I will not and do not play the race card.

    People like myself and Mr. Maye get up every day and work hard to make something happen for our families. Our project did not seek 1 penny from the city. So when Tony says that a clerks job at Dollar general is purchasing a slave on the installment plan perhaps he should get into the market place and show us how its done in this community. Clerks and staff at this store average about $12-14hr. Ok its not $40K a year but for that young black college student its tuition, to that single mom its a second part time job, and maybe the store managers can afford one of the empty apts in the Frederick Douglass Apts. In addition there would have been maintenance staff who in all likely hood would have been a senior citizen trying to supplement his social security. In addition Mr. Maye was adamant that the store carry food and fresh produce as well so that we were in compliance with the city’s new ordinances for stores of this type. The over all point is this. If the City is going to move forward we can’t have one group control the destiny of another. We can debate a church vs a Dollar General all day but if we have people who can’t gain a foothold to the American dream what have we gained. The rising tide tide of W.Main street corridor must lift all ships both big and small.

  22. Craig, I was very impressed with the quality of your testimony today. I don’t know you personally, but from what I saw today, I can’t imagine you making any kind of physical threat toward anyone.

  23. I do sincerly apologize to anyone who mistook what I was said. In my zeal I failed to take the demographics of the neighborhood into account and had actually meant “wage slave” in my statement.

    That being said, feel free to remain galled about the rest of it. You got your chance to state your untenable position, and it didn’t change any minds. Your boss still purchased a building that he couldn’t tear down, with the intentions of tearing it down, so that he could then capitalize on the desperation of the community’s reduced financial ability and open a junk store that sells, at best, substandard food. Defend the food all you want, I used to shop at the Brooks-Chili Wegmans. They sold “fresh fruits and vegetables”, too, but I wouldn’t eat them. If Wegmans wouldn’t sell good veggies to depressed areas, I have even less faith in your Mr. Mayes. I am glad to hear, though, that he was adamant his store carry these products since the local code required it. Similarly, I’m adamant I’ll never steal a car or murder anyone.

    And then there’s the wages….I know exactly how it’s done in this, and every community like it. Conservatives such as yourself are redistributing the wealth in this country right into your pockets, while real hard-working Americans are thrown pittances. We then have to listen to the beneficent wealthy talk about the “good” they’re doing for the community by tearing down our history to put in crappy chain stores, while decrying how they can’t make ends meet and won’t you please think about THEIR children?

    This isn’t one group controlling another. This is Americans taking their country back. We watched last summer as the Brewery destroyed a piece of history, just so they could maximize the sale of the place (before the dust even settled)…all the while telling everyone how involved they were with “their” community before they ran from it with a pocket full of our cash.

    We’re done. 30 years of tinkled on economics is proof enough that rising tides only raise those with yachts.

    Oh, and BTW, You really didn’t need to tell us you were conservative. You’d already told us what “news’ channel you watch when you said the unemployment rate was 18% and rising. It’s actually less than 8% and been falling for a few years. There’s a reason people who watch Faux News know less about what’s going on in the world than those who don’t watch any at all.

  24. craig walker says:

    Tony, below are numbers from the Fiscal Policy Institute. The first number after each race show the pct of that race that are working. If 65% of the demographic is working, you can add another 20% or so for seniors, kids etc. That leaves a big number left including those who have stopped looking.

    FIGURE 11
    Although the state’s unemployment rate might be overstated by a percent or so, it was still much
    higher during the first half of 2012 than during the first half of 2008, before the recession hit
    New York. Correspondingly, the percent of the working age population that is employed—the
    employment-to-population ratio, or employment rate—is also well below its pre-recession level.
    The Great Recession and weak recovery have taken a greater toll on men than women even
    though the employment rate for men remains well above that for women. The unemployment
    rate for black New Yorkers was nearly twice that for white non-Hispanics, and the
    unemployment rate for blacks rose twice as much as for whites over the past four years.
    As one would expect, the unemployment rate for those with less than a high school education is
    much higher than for better educated workers, and in the first half of 2012 was two-and-a-half
    times the unemployment for those with a four-year college degree or better. Unemployment is
    higher for the youngest group of workers—those ages 18-24—but over the past four years,
    unemployment rose the most, and the employment rate declined the most, for workers in the 25-
    34 age group, boding ill for these young workers’ future employment and income prospects.
    1H of 2008 1H of 2012 Change in
    pct. point 1H of 2008 1H of 2012 Change in
    pct. point
    ALL 58.8% 55.8% -3.0% 4.9% 8.5% 3.7%
    Gender
    Males 64.8% 61.6% -3.2% 5.2% 9.2% 3.9%
    Females 53.3% 50.5% -2.8% 4.4% 7.8% 3.4%
    Race and Ethnicity
    White non-Hispanics 60.1% 58.1% -2.0% 4.1% 7.1% 3.0%
    Black non-Hispanics 56.4% 50.7% -5.7% 7.2% 13.5% 6.2%
    Hispanics 56.1% 52.8% -3.3% 6.1% 11.9% 5.8%
    Asians & others 57.7% 54.1% -3.7% 4.7% 5.2% 0.5%
    Education Attainment Level
    Less than High School 37.6% 33.1% -4.5% 6.9% 12.4% 5.5%
    High school or equiv. 55.0% 52.8% -2.2% 5.3% 8.8% 3.5%
    Some college 67.9% 63.3% -4.6% 3.1% 8.0% 4.9%
    College and higher 76.1% 73.5% -2.6% 2.1% 4.9% 2.8%
    Selected Age Groups
    18-24 49.3% 44.0% -5.3% 12.3% 16.0% 3.8%
    25-34 78.6% 72.5% -6.1% 4.0% 8.7% 4.8%
    35-44 76.8% 74.2% -2.6% 3.7% 7.5% 3.7%
    45-54 76.8% 74.5% -2.3% 3.2% 6.5% 3.3%
    55 and older 36.2% 37.4% 1.1% 3.7% 6.6% 2.9%
    Note: Education breakouts for those 25 and older only.
    Source: FPI analysis of CPS and NYS DOL LAUS Labor Force Statistics for NYC

  25. Why are you limiting the number to 20% for seniors and kids? Is that because it gets you closer to your made up number of 18%. BTW, I’ll help you with the math: 65 + 20 = 85, leaving 15%. But, rather than guess why not just go with the real numbers? Because they prove me right instead of you?

    http://labor.ny.gov/stats/pressreleases/pruistat.shtm

    Well, ok. I was stating national averages, you were correct to go with NYS numbers. Those show we’re at the same percentage compared to last year. So I retract the “and rising” part of my statement. Regardless, adding a few jobs to that mix that don’t pay above the poverty level really doesn’t make things better…except for your beloved Mr. Mayes.

  26. ELF says:

    Hey, what about that white house next to it on the left? You want to talk about a rundown eyesore. . .

  27. @ELF, the white house is part of the same property. Mr. Maye owns both.

  28. Malcolm says:

    Why, when a new owner (especially a developer) comes along, does the City not inspect and fine the new owner for not cleaning and securing the property, for not maintaining the property, et cetera? Marvin Maye purchased this property in late 2011. Code enforcement is clearly a problem in the City, unless it has to do with private homeowners. This is just another deadbeat developer, sadly.

  29. Scott K says:

    While I hate to see that nice old church destroyed, I have to ask, where will the money come from to bring it up to code, and make it a viable business? We all want to preserve our heritage and history, but, like the Cataract Brew House, no one seems to know how to pay for any of it. Make no mistake, either. It makes me sick to travel around the city, and see the blight, and know how much has been lost. Do I want to see a Dollar General there, no, but again, who’s going to pay to save the church.

    Also, how many of the people here have ever set foot in a DG? I have to shop at my local one, as well as the local Family Dollar. For one thing, neither is a dollar store, despite their names. Dollar Tree is a dollar store, DG and FD aren’t. Do they have “knockoff brands”? Yes. Do I buy them? Yes. Why, they’re CHEAPER. Are they crap, as has been implied? NO, not all. A couple of years ago, I was put on a salt and sugar restricted diet, prior to surgery. The bargain brand equivalent of a national brand cereal was actually healthier than the big name, a fact I was surpirsed by. I’ve also found a number of other DG, specific items, that are also better than their name brand competition. But that’s just my opinion. I don’t go there expecting fresh produce, either. I wish they had it, but, on my dwindling budget, I can’t afford much anyway. Finally, my condolences to 644 W. Main St. if the church does come down. Despite my support for stores like DG, I don’t like them so much that I’d want to live next to one.

    Unemployment numbers make me sick also. I am most definitely NOT a member of any minority, supposedly, but I’ve been out of work for a year and a half now, despite being highly qualified in a number of fields. Both sides can massage the numbers to show anything they like. my eyes rolled up into the back of my head before I got even half way through the numbers quoted above. Incidentlally, one of those minimum wage part time jobs would do me some good, a little money coming is is much better than no money, and I really don’t want to go on welfare.

    Sorry for the rant, I’ve had a bad weekend. My unemployment just ran out, I have multiple bills I can’t pay, and I just had to deal with getting an old news story corrected that has damaged my reputation, and helped keep me from becoming employed again. A name very close to mine was misspelled, and a news item about an accused child molester comes up as the first result when my full name is searched on google. The paper has kindly corrected the article, but the search engines still show it wrong on their results pages. I’m still trying to get that fixed.

    Best of luck to all involved here, maybe a satisfactory resolution could still be possible.

  30. craig walker says:

    Not to beat a dead horse but hey “Tony” if you do not believe a black man who wants to become a millionaire then how about a few words from a Black Billionaire on black unemployment. The jobs we had hoped to create are gone. We are planning nonetheless to move forward to create jobs or perhaps the “brothers” can get a job from Tony!

    http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/bet-founder-country-would-never-tolerate-white-unemployment-14-or-15-percent

  31. You are beating a dead horse, and the crappy jobs you promised don’t pay any more than public assistance. At least on public assistance those human beings (I know it’s a surprise, but there are differently colored people living in the neighborhood) wouldn’t be subject to the soul-sucking, draconian rules he would have imposed on their every day. Beyond that, they never existed and never would have. Perhaps if Mr. Mayes was already a millionaire he could’ve bribed that church out of existence. But, the fact that he bought a building he knew he couldn’t tear down, with expectations he would tear it down, just shows that being in business for himself might just not have been the best plan. Fortunately, the community saw it and stopped him.

    At least you admit your beloved Mr. Mayes wanted to become rich by making sure those who are doing the actual work can’t get ahead. Perhaps if he had more reasonable expectations for himself he could’ve paid his employees a livable wage and I’d be on your side. But, turns out he’s just another leech who wants to come in, Hoover what limited resources remain in the neighborhood while dropping pennies around in an attempt to keep the populace quiet. The positives to the community from your loss just continue to mount.

  32. Joel Helfrich says:

    I spent a great amount of time driving around Mr. Mayes’ buildings yesterday. He is not doing himself any favors. Why the City has not begun a campaign to fine and require Mayes to clean up his properties, especially the white-colored house next to the church, is beyond me. Why can anyone buy a historic property in this city — industrial or commercial, especially — and do little or nothing to maintain or secure it. The Cataract Brewery buildings and the buildings that Wegmans demolished along East Ave all were left to rot, without penalties. The Iola Tubersulosis Sanitarium campus is rotting more each day. The Academy Building bought by Traikos sat rotting until the taxpayers helped to bail him out. The only person I know that has been fined by the city to secure her building is the owner of the Eastman Dental Dispensary.

  33. Perhaps she hasn’t “donated” enough to City officials?


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    Questions + Comments

    For questions about the Rochester Subway Poster or about your order, please email info@rochestersubway.com.

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    About the Rochester Subway Poster...

    ¤ Parkleigh [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Poster Art [ ...map it ]
    ¤ Rochester Public Library Store [ ...map it ]
    ¤ The Center at High Falls gift shop [ ...map it ]

    ¤ Rochester Subway Poster Press Release
    ¤ Article by Otto M. Vondrak
    ¤ Design by Mike Governale

    More About The Rochester Subway

    Help Support...

    ¤ Rochester Subway (Wikipedia)
    ¤ The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway, DVD
    ¤ Abandoned Subway Photos (Opacity.us)
    ¤ Walking the Rails (YouTube Video)

    Our Partners

    ¤ See a full listing of all Partners + Friends of RochesterSubway.com