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RocLinks 8/27/16

August 28th, 2016

Never built Voyager Towers at the site of the award-winning RTS Bus Terminal [PHOTO: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 8/15/1965]
By Matthew Denker

From local development to just plain news of the weird, here are your RocLinks for this past week…

Art!

I’m a huge and unabashed Wendell Castleexternal link fan, and you should be too. I’ve never recovered from the first time I saw his ‘Ghost Clock’external link at the Renwick in DC. He has great work at the MAG too, if DC is too far to travel.

Get Saucy

We’re nearly there.external link Hopefully just a few more weeks until brunch can be the booze-filled release of our dreams. For people waking up before noon, that is. Anyone who sleeps in already got there years ago.

Made it this time

And finally, let it be known that I don’t inform you of everything after the fact. Why here’sexternal link a festival happening in 2 weeks on 9/10. Last one of the season, so hop to it.

• • •

As always, use the comments below as open discussion for anything in these links – or let us know if there’s a topic you’d like to see us hit more aggressively in future RocLinks. Have a great weekend!

• • •

PS –

Demolition of the old RKO Palace Theater property to make way for a 22-story apartment-motel-theater project is expected to get under way “in the next couple of weeks.”

And, says Milton R Berfer Brighton, president of Voyager Tower Development Co., Inc., the building will be ready for occupancy “about two years from now.”
Berger says construction will start as soon as the old building has been razed — “we hope to be working on the foundations by the end of the year.’*

THE 22-STORY building actually will have 24 floors —two below-ground parking levels, a street level garage, a two-story mezzanine section, and twin 19-story towers.

One tower, at the Clinton Avenue end of the building, will contain 96 apartments: Studios and one- and two-bedroom units.

The other tower will house a 240-room motel with restaurant and cocktail lounge. The building also will include a health club with swimming pool and sauna (steam) baths; service shops for residents, and some office space.

The mezzanine level will include a plush 900-seat theater, which RKO will lease. A shopping arcade also is planned for the mezzanine level. A convention hall, capable of seating 1,200 persons at dinner, and smaller meeting rooms are planned.

COST of the project has been estimated at $6 million, including about $1 million for property acquisition and demolition of the old theater building.
Voyager Towers will be built on an L-shaped site in Clinton Avenue North, between Mortimer and Pleasant Streets.

Berger, head of the development company, also is president of Rochester Refrigerating Corp. Vice president and treasurer is Stephen C. Baytos, Youngstown, Ohio, motel and real estate man.

A small office building just north of the theater site is being used as an office by the development corporation during construction of the new building, and will be expanded and remodeled to blend with Voyager Towers.

(1965, August 15). 22-Floor Towers for Downtown Voyager Building. Democrat and Chronicle, p. H1.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. 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.

6 Responses to “RocLinks 8/27/16”

  1. Ben says:

    Is that where the parking garage is now? Why did this project never come to fruition?

  2. It’s where the RTS Downtown Transit Center is now : https://goo.gl/maps/h97P9bqedgE2 (almost the exact angle of it, if your browser does Google Earth). I don’t know exactly why, but a little research shows the development company behind the project filing for bankruptcy on 6/23/1967. In August of the same year, Community Savings Bank bought the unfinished 79 N. Clinton with intent to finish it. Apparently some backers had pulled out of Voyager Towers, and they were looking to reduce the size of the project. The developers went bankrupt for good in 1968 and the land forcibly sold undeveloped to John J. Petrossi. I honestly can’t remember if a parking garage got built here before RTS, or if it was just surface parking. I probably should.

  3. The photograph in this post shows a banner announcing the Twin Towers $10,000,000 project just before the RKO Palace was demo’d. The theater was demolished in 1965 and the lot remained surface parking until the RTS transit center was built.

  4. Isaac says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Castle a few years ago. My father works for him at his Leroy location. I never really knew how much of a hugely influential person he was until after I met him. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Ben says:

    In regards to Matthew Denker’s last comment, it was surface parking. If you go into Google Street View at the Transit Center and crank it back to 2007 using the “time machine” option, you can see the parking lot.

  6. Nick says:

    They could not wait to tear down the RKO. The Paramount Theater across the street was town down at about the same time. So much retail, small businesses, restaurants, were driven out of downtown and it was left with vast open spaces serving no one. Things that made downtown alive and vibrant, were bulldozed by uncontrolled developers and urban renewal free-flowing cash. This is what we have as a result.


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