The Rochesterian has blogged several times about the need to create a link between Frontier Field and Sahlen’s Stadium… and how Rochester needs someone like Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula to invest in a Harbor Center type of development centered around Rochester’s sports arenas. I don’t disagree. Rochester’s stadiums (and the neighborhoods around them) could, and should be a much bigger draw.
Last April a local businessman named Jerry DeCarolis sent me a concept plan he put together called “Stadiumville.” I was impressed. But this plan was so ambitious, and so broad-sweeping, I wasn’t quite sure how seriously to take it. And so I ended up sitting on the document – until now…
When ever I see an urban infill development plan of this scale I take it with more than a few grains of salt. There are of course a lot of moving parts to consider; the existing community/neighbors, environmental impact, funding, *gasp* GENTRIFICATION, etc. etc. etc. But all realities aside for a moment, Stadiumville is VERY exciting.
Stadiumville would stretch across four existing neighborhoods surrounding Frontier Field and Sahlen’s Stadium . It would create fourteen distinct residential ‘micro-neighborhoods’ (with some retail mixed in). It would include a hotel, two new parking garages, a public ball field, and a massive new retail & entertainment district surrounding a new plaza which would create a connection between the two stadiums. DeCarolis compared the entertainment district portion of his plan to the equivalent of two Park Points in Henrietta.
DeCarolis says, “Although many parts of this community are nice, Rochester lacks an entertainment and tourist district that we can be proud of – Stadiumville is that district…This village-style development will provide the scale, amenities, and atmosphere needed to shift from a now contagious mediocrity mindset.”
Much of the new development fill existing surface parking lots including a few Kodak lots. So there’d have to be a lot of land acquisition and collaboration with the City of Rochester and others. But again, let’s suppress reality for the moment and consider the possibilities here. Imagine active streets lined with buildings instead of the urban desert we have here now.
DeCarolis circulated the idea between 2007-2010 and concedes it didn’t get much traction… maybe due to the recession, or his lack of connections in the development community. His goal was to get it into the hands of an architect or developer that could lead a group to execute something of this scale. He told me he sent copies to Mark IV, LeChase, Buckingham, Wilmorite, and pitched it to the Duffy Administration.
Perhaps with the increasing momentum of downtown development, combined with other small scale projects in the area (GardenAerial, JOSANA multi-use trail, etc.) this Stadiumville idea will catch on – one day.
Tags: Buckingham Properties, development plans, downtown Rochester, Frontier Field, infill development, Jerry DeCarolis, LeChase Construction, Mark IV Construction, Mayor Patrick Duffy, Rochester, Rochester NY, Sahlen’s Stadium, Stadiumville, urban development, Wilmorite
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 7:58 am and is filed under Rochester Destinations, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.