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10 Responses to “Enhancing CityGate”

  1. Mike Bouwmeester says:

    Retraction: This site plan would repurpose one historic property, the ‘existing building’ adjacent East Henrietta Road.

  2. Matthew Denker says:

    Citygate-o-rama at RS. I continue to agree that this new plan is a bad idea (and certainly compared to the old one). Where I’m starting to pivot, as may be obvious from my prior comments, is that this might not be a good place for investment at all. If we are to pick winners, should this be one? I don’t know if it is close enough to the core that it should be. Although I must admit, a comprehensive regional transportation plan that would provided UofR with some sort of fixed guideway system servicing downtown in collaboration with greater student housing there could, in fact, multiplicatively benefit a dense, urban development here. This piece of land, built to Rochester’s current population density would be 507 new residents. At an average occupancy of 2, that’s about 250 new units here. Notably, this same piece of land built to Brooklyn’s average density would be 2863 new residents, or more than 1% of the entire city.

  3. Jason Haremza says:

    The question about whether or not this is a good place for investment is largely moot. The roads are already there. Water is there. Sewer is there. In such a setting, the only way to really prevent development is to zone land as Open Space. That was not considered as an option when the land was re-zoned to Planned Development (PD) district several years ago.

    Now, reasonable people can debate what KIND of development to have here, what mix of uses, how dense, auto-oriented versus pedestrian-oriented, etc.

    It’s interesting to note that while this site is at the edge of the City of Rochester, it’s near the geographic center of Monroe County. It has easy access to major expressways, as well as our “bike expressway,” the Erie Canal trail. It is reasonably well served by transit. It is located 1 mile (20 min walk) from MCC, 1.5 miles (30 min walk) from U of R River Campus, and 3.3 miles (slightly over an hour walk) from RIT’s Park Point. The site occupies what some might consider the “sweet spot” between more traditional walkable urban neighborhoods to the northwest and more auto-oriented areas to the south and east. In short, the opportunities are significant.

  4. Matthew Denker says:

    @Jason – I mean, yes, this is not a greenfield development or anything, but from other sites in the city (and throughout the country), having the necessities, and even friendly zoning does not a development make. I also think it’s just far enough from amenities to not really be walkable. I can’t imagine the necessary density that would provide allow for these amenities without too much parking would be palatable in this location. I imagine at best you’d rise to the townhouses across the st. This is only a mile from Tops as well, but because Westfall is not particularly pedestrian friendly, you’d need to walk well out of the way to get there.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see something like Regent’s Park etc. built here as in Vienna, VA, http://goo.gl/maps/Jfn2N, with offices, and retail and apartments. Sure there’s no Metro stop here, but you’re right, there is access to transportation, and we could always ACTUALLY apply the flexibility of buses to add real service here. I’m just not sure anyone would swallow it. That development is 550 apartments or so, and a pair of 12 story office towers (and a large garage), all in the same space as this. Would we build at twice the density of Rochester?

  5. Doug says:

    I agree in that the newer plan is too ‘road centered’ and will essentially create a big plaza that I know I wouldn’t want to live next to. However, it appears that this plan, in keeping with how the site it currently laid out, is reusing more of the existing buildings like the smokestack and Building 7 next to it. Although they could be planning brand new buildings in the same spot as the old ones. In terms of the reuse factor, I would love it. But after seeing the shape that some of these places are in (especially the main building) I think it would be more costly to fill in all the holes, smashed walls and all that other jazz. The reuse just isn’t a good idea but I would like to see similar architecture employed there.

    Back to the main point, yes the original plan is very similar to a neighborhood layout that is walkable. Original over the revised plan for sure. However with Costco jumping on, who knows.

  6. UPDATE: A meeting has been scheduled for AJ Costello & Sons to present their CityGate plans to the public…

    • The meeting will start 6PM, Tuesday June 4, at St. Anne Church Social Hall, 1600 Mt. Hope Avenue.

    • Representatives from the City of Rochester will be on hand along with the neighborhood and business associations to answer questions.

    • Daniel J. Hurley, President, Upper Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association, encourages you to send questions, concerns or suggestions to president@umhn.com. He will forward those on to the developer such that answers can be provided at the meeting. Information on public hearings and schedule will also be presented.

  7. John says:

    It seems like the new version, besides being hostile to bikes and pedestrians, also alters the canal frontage significantly. It replaces what appears to be public space and what appears to be buildings, with parking lots taking the space between the buildings and canal. It also seems every buildings is surrounded by asphalt and set back from existing streets.

  8. Stephen Karl says:

    Costello and Son developers have an established history of what I view as suburban style development. Auto accessibility, ease of enter and exit etc. nothing wrong with it. Most development over the last 25 years has been like this. City gate desires to be a more pedestrian area, the two versions need some work to blend the ideals and experience. Large retail anchors the site for the developer, long term, pedestrian use enhances city life and broader accessibility. I am going to side with hope for this project. A win win solution is within reach.

  9. Brian Magee says:

    To make this into a suburban style development would be a shame. We already have that. We need a good mix of pedestrian and automobile friendly development. But the city and community needs to develop the transit infrastructure as well. I am a huge fan of the street car/trolley idea. These things do take time to implement and develop but it makes coming to these areas very attractive. The city model developed after WWII destroyed this city. So many areas in the city are really a pain to get to and enjoy because of traffic and parking headaches. Also with rising gas prices and a general shift back to urban areas in this country, developing that brings young people back in will be a huge plus for the whole community.

  10. UPDATE:
    A petition has been created which asks for changes in the CityGate plans, including preservation of the historic buildings, and a more walkable layout. Sign on here…

    http://www.change.org/petitions/costello-son-development-pursue-smart-development-at-citygate


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