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Rochester’s First Parklet

November 3rd, 2014

Next spring construction will begin on Rochester's first parklet in front of Joe Bean Coffee Roasters. [IMAGE: Staach]
By Mike Governale
Story updated October 12, 2015.

Next spring construction will begin on Rochester’s first parklet—a mini public space—in front of Joe Bean Coffee Roasters external link. Parklets are a relatively new urban feature you may have seen popping up in metros across the country. These makeshift public spaces typically extend out from the sidewalk into adjacent parking spaces offering people a place to stop, to sit, and to rest while taking in the activities of the street…

[UPDATE: Help fund this project on Kickstarter external link]

This particular parklet was designed by the brilliant team at Staach and will make use of a strip of a former fire lane. [IMAGE: Staach]
This particular parklet—designed by the brilliant team at Staach—will make use of a former fire lane external link. Staach external link is a local company that designs and crafts sustainable, affordable, and beautiful home & commercial furnishings. But they don’t just make furniture. They take spaces, and they transform them into enjoyable and inspiring environments; as evidenced here.

This first parklet may serve as a model for similar projects across town. [IMAGE: Staach]
Seth Eshelman, principal designer & founder at Staach, hopes this first parklet will serve as a model for similar projects across town in the near future. His team is actively engaged with City officials and working to encourage other property owners and residents to roll out more parklets in areas that have the space and could benefit from the increased pedestrian activity.

Parklets come in all different forms and may include seating, bike parking, greenery, and/or art. [IMAGE: Staach]
In other cities, parklets external link have come in many different forms. They sometimes provide seating, bicycle parking, greenery, art, or other visual elements. Though they look like permanent structures, parklets must be designed for quick and easy removal for emergencies or other reasons such as snow removal.

I personally cannot wait to climb up inside this thing with my Mochi-atta-latte-chino and people-watch all day. – Ok, I don’t drink coffee – I’ll just take a warm chocolate milk, please.

At the unveiling party last week at Joe Beans. From left to right: Nicole Howley, Nancy Johns-Price, Christopher Calabro (Building Owner), Madelaine Britt, Kathy Turiano, Seth Eshelman, Erik Frisch, Brandon Colaprete. [PHOTO: Alex Freeman]

Credit to the team that worked on this…

Kathy Turiano
Joe Bean, Owner (Project Advocate)

Seth Eshelman
Staach, Principal Designer & Founder (Design, Graphics)

Brandon Colaprete, Assoc. AIA
Staach, Architectural Designer (Design, 3D Modeling, Rendering)

Anton Siekmann
Staach, Junior Designer (Design, 3D Modeling)

Nancy Johns-Price
City of Rochester, Southeast Quadrant Administrator (Community Engagement)

Erik Frisch
City of Rochester, DES (Transportation)

Madelaine Britt
City of Rochester, Intern (Research)

Mary Turner
City of Rochester, Intern (Research)

Nicole Howley
City of Rochester, Intern (Research)

You Can Help…

A Kickstarter campaign external link has just launched to help fund the construction of this parklet. Give what you can by November 11, and let’s get Rochester’s first parklet up off the drawing board!

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 pm and is filed under Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, 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.

18 Responses to “Rochester’s First Parklet”

  1. abr says:

    Ok, but there’s very little foot traffic here. Something in the space next to 585 Monroe ave would make more sense.

  2. @Abr, there is some foot traffic going in and out of this building throughout the day, as there are several businesses here. But that’s sort of the point; to draw attention to the space and give people a reason to approach, explore, sit and relax.

    And I agree, parklets would be great to see along Monroe.

  3. Martin Edic says:

    While I’m not a huge fan of their overly esoteric approach to coffee, I love this concept and the execution looks beautiful. Who pays for it?
    BTW, I don’t think you can get any milk products there! Purists…;-)

  4. I thought I saw Cappuccino on the menu? That’s got to have milk, no?

  5. Few things:

    1.) My understanding is that Joe Bean is paying for it.
    2.) These guys are fantastic (both Joe Bean and Staach). They were incredibly supportive of the Smugtown Open Park(ing) Day event as a precursor to this, and I am excited to work with them again next year.
    3.) This spot does suffer from a slight lack of foot traffic. It would be better if, instead of a Volvo Dealership and the butt end of all the East Ave density this area were better built out. Then again, propose an apartment building for University and watch NIMBYs come out of the woodwork like termites.
    4.) Get the Ploughman’s Lunch from Joe Bean, it’s totally worth it.
    5.) Staach is also responsible for the incredible new facade design at 88 Elm. It makes my ideas for the space downright sad.

  6. Martin Edic says:

    Matthew, is there somewhere we can see the design work for 88 Elm?
    That University apartment complex is definitely getting built. And there is a little bit of a design district forming in that stretch of University near Joe Bean. Kind of ad hoc but there are several businesses related to architectural furniture, fixtures, design, etc. It just doesn’t have much residential density. They are redoing the commercial building across from PriceRite and it looks pretty good.
    This is a cool thing. It would be awesome to see one downtown, perhaps in front of the coffee cafe they want for Woodbury Place.

  7. Martin Edic says:

    Never mind- I found it on the Staach website. Pretty cool.

  8. Here’s the link for the benefit of the other readers: http://staach.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/7_More-than-furniture_2.jpg

    I would definitely like to see more parklets in more high-traffic areas.

    I have heard good things about that redo as well. The specific stretch of University I am referencing is slightly east of here, I admit: https://goo.gl/maps/7sKpS

  9. This area has a great deal of potential as it sits directly adjacent to some of the City’s nicest neighborhoods (North Winton, East Ave, Park Ave), with a main conduit running through its center, providing connectivity between the east-side suburbs and downtown. The success of excellent establishments, like Joe Bean and Revelry for example, indicates the area’s viability for further development. Those opportunities will only improve as the quality and walkability of the streetscape improve; the parklet is just one way to raise the bar.

    The City is has been very supportive of the Parklet concept, but since each project needs to be privately funded and maintained, the word needs to be spread so more property owners and businesses, like Kathy Turiano of Joe Bean, invest in the idea. The hope is that Parklet idea will catch on, and we can enjoy several of them as we walk to our favorite establishments in all the neighborhoods around Rochester.

    Martin, you can see more about the 88 Elm project here: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/08/16/developer-looking-midtown-momentum/14170409/

  10. James TABBI says:

    There is a terrific transformation happening in what was once a “dead zone” on University. Joe Bean, Revelry, MB Studio, Rochester Parkor, Saba, and Real Life Food & Fitness, and others have all taking a risk on this stretch of University and I for one love it. Now if Martin and I could just get a cup of coffee to go in less than 15 minutes, we would be very happy. 😉 Great work Seth, Brandon and team!!

  11. Bob says:

    Next step, building them into the parking lane so they don’t take up as much of the sidewalk.

    Voila: http://tvanouvelles.ca/archives/lcn/infos/regional/montreal/media/2013/04/20130428-165321-g.jpg

  12. It’s hard to tell from the renderings, but most of this is built in the mostly-unused fire lane. It’s unfortunate there was no pic of the extant condition, but here you go: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.150332,-77.5665105,3a,75y,321.3h,77.02t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1soEfBEfNR1MVBjHE4z1PrOg!2e0

    There’s not much sidewalk to take up.

  13. Bob says:

    Well that firelane is inside the curb anyway…

    Anyway, here’s an example where three different versions are actually codified.

    http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=7357,106607604&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

    Sorry that I don’t believe there’s an English version, but check out C: Sur la chaussée (on the roadway) and a decent photo example: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/1/79346073.JPG

    THAT will have much more serious traffic speed impacts.

  14. This is true. I love the ones in Montreal, they’re splendid. Here’s one in NYC that is broadly similar to the Montreal ones that are so good: http://blog.downtownny.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/popupcafe1-682×1024.jpg.

    And hell, here’s golf for Park(ing) Day in Rochester, just for good measure: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2942/15354804845_11aabe6004_b.jpg

    Note the safety first attitude locally.

  15. Beverly says:

    This needs more plants before it is even remotely comfy and relaxing. Lots of possibilities for potted plants, including smallish trees in pots.

  16. DAHLIMAMA says:

    A good number of years ago I visited Holland Michigan and was so impressed with the parklettes on each corner of main street. They also had a nice mix of high end boutiques and specialty shops and all levels of restaurants. I came home thinking that would draw me back to downtown if we had such a charming area we are not even close yet but this could be a start. Without affordable parking no matter what you do it will not succeed. I just had jury duty and it cost me over $100 to park for my service(I had a badly broken leg and permanent damage) and cannot walk far from the least expensive lots.

  17. How many days was your jury duty? You must have parked in the MC civic building garage. Don’t they reimburse you? Anyone coming downtown for a hours to shop, eat or take in a show would not be paying anywhere near $100. …actually, if it’s after 6pm or on a weekend they’d be parking for free.

  18. Jason Haremza says:

    “Charming area” and “affordable parking” almost never go together.


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