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Posts Tagged ‘urban revitalization’...

72 Conkey Avenue: Lost

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

72 Conkey Avenue has been demolished. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
By Mike Governale

Here’s a quick update on a story we brought attention to exactly five years ago. On this empty lot (shown above) once stood 72 Conkey Avenue. The old 19th century Victorian storefront had been the subject of a demolition-vs-rehabilitation debate—one between the City of Rochester and neighborhood resident, Jim Fraser, who has restored a handful of neglected homes in the area. Jim saw 72 Conkey as a diamond in the rough…

(more…)

Sunday, October 25th, 2015
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 8 Comments »

Filling In: Midtown… Parcel 5

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Let's take a look the City's RFP for Midtown Parcel 5...
By Matthew Denker

As some of you may or may not know, the city recently released a Request For Proposals (RFP) external link for the redevelopment of another piece of the Midtown site. Parcel 5 external link, the site in question, is the very long block from Main St to Elm St and between the Windstream building to the west and 1 East Avenue (Bank of America) to the east. Let’s go back to our trusty Midtown site plan for a visual…

(more…)

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
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Posted in Urban Development | 21 Comments »

Sneak Peek Inside the Future ‘Woodbury Place’

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Merkel Donahue building, Oct 2014. Development Update on 210 South Avenue, Rochester NY. [PHOTO: Steve Vogt]
By Steve Vogt

RocSubway is excited to share with you some exclusive pictures of an exciting downtown development. 210 South Avenue external link is currently being transformed into future commercial and residential space in the heart of downtown Rochester. The building currently known as the Merkel Donohue building—and its connected buildings—will be transformed into a mix of commercial & residential space and will go by the name of Woodbury Place…

(more…)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 11 Comments »

Rochester Center City Master Plan: Q&A

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Rochester Center City [PHOTO: RocPx.com]
The City of Rochester Bureau of Planning and Zoning is in the process of updating Center City Master Plan. From the City’s website, “The intent is for this document to be a strategic plan [to] help the city measure and celebrate downtown progress, prioritize further research and analysis, prioritize projects, and help secure funding.”

A draft plan can be viewed online external link, and in a series of open houses the City is now gathering public input on that draft. The last open house is this Wednesday evening (details at the end of this story).

I had a chance to catch up with Jason Haremza, senior planner with the City of Rochester, to ask a few questions about the update…

(more…)

Monday, December 9th, 2013
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »

RochesterSubway.com Talks at TEDxRochester

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Mike Governale at TEDxRochester. Mike is a designer, blogger, and founder of a local public transit advocacy group, Reconnect Rochester. [PHOTO: Jeffrey Hamson]
Last November I had the ridiculously huge privilege to give a talk at TEDxRochester. The gravity of the honor may have been too much for my little brain to comprehend. In fact, when they initially asked me to do it I said “no thanks” – twice. Long story short, I gave in. And I’m glad I did, because the experience was one of those “once in a lifetime” things.

Since much of my talk was influenced by you, RocSubway readers and participants, I thought you’d like to watch (and share) the official video which has just been released. A word of caution: I’m not the most riveting public speaker, but there is lots of good stuff buried within this 12-minute presentation, so watch thru to the end if you can…

(more…)

Monday, January 21st, 2013
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester History, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 4 Comments »

Rust Belt Cities: Rather Than Patronizing Young People, Give Them What They Ask For

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Cyclist on the sidewalk across the street from the Midtown development, Rochester, NY. [PHOTO: Rick U, RocPX.com]
I want to share with you an opinion piece from RustWire.comexternal link last week. The article was reposted on BuffaloRising.com external link and it’s now made its way down I-90 to RochesterSubway.com. Angie Schmitt begins by blasting attempts to market cities to young people. Angie cites an example from Columbus, Ohio where leaders spent a $30,000 grant to hire a so-called “Gen Y” expert to tell them how they could retain and attract the widely-coveted demographic. “Why didn’t they just ask the young people that live there what they want, and maybe put the $30,000 toward that?” she asks…

(more…)

Monday, December 17th, 2012
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Posted in Opinion, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 17 Comments »

Johnny Knoxville Uncovers Detroit’s Beautiful Ugly Side

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Knoxville takes us inside some beautiful ugly parts of Detroit such as Eastown Theater.

Johnny Knoxville may be a jackassexternal link but today he shows us that even ugly can be beautiful. In what is actually a 30 minute advertisement for Palladium Bootsexternal link, Knoxville turns urban explorer and takes for an eye-opening ride through some of the hardest hit areas of Detroit…

(more…)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 6 Comments »

72 Conkey: The Tide May Be Turning

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

In a sudden change of events this week, the City sent a crew out to 72 Conkey to cover the holes in the roof.I can’t put my finger on it but for some reason this little building in an all-but-forgotten part of our city has claimed a big spot in my heart. Maybe because it’s human nature to root for the underdog? Maybe I see the story of Rochester being played out as some sort of metaphor—it’s storied past and it’s uncertain future? And so we fight—with everything we’ve got—to turn the tide.

(more…)

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

See What’s Possible at 72 Conkey

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

With a little help from Photoshop, I've taken a shot at illustrating how the storefront at 72 Conkey Avenue could look if the City gave local resident Jim Fraser a chance to apply his skills and vision to the property. [Illustration: Mike Governale]As an artist, I think I maybe I see things in the world around me that other people can’t or just don’t want to. I find myself squinting all the time; trying to imagine what could be. I can’t look at a paper cup without imagining what it might become if Jonathan Iveexternal link had his way with it. I know there are a lot of people who probably see 72 Conkey Avenue as nothing more than an eyesoreexternal link; and then there are people like me who see something different. And that boys and girls, is why there’s Photoshop…

(more…)

Sunday, October 24th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 5 Comments »

Help Save 72 Conkey — Part III

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

13 WHAM News picked up the story of Jim Fraser and 72 Conkey Ave.Yesterday the little boarded up Victorian house on Conkey Avenue caught the attention of Rachel Barnhart, reporter for WHAM 13 News. And for all of my ranting and raving on this site, I could never have told the story as eloquently as she…

(more…)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development, Video | No Comments »

Help Save 72 Conkey — Part II

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The Rochester Fire Dept. put these gaping holes in the roof of 72 Conkey 5 days after RochesterSubway.com readers emailed the City asking to please save this historic building. [PHOTO: Jim Fraser]
If you responded to my plea last week and sent an email to Bret Garwood asking him to stop the demolition of 72 Conkey Avenue, I offer you my sincerest appreciation. As “coincidence” would have it, less than a week after that post on RochesterSubway.com the City Fire Department used the 1879 Victorian building to hold a training session. The photo above was taken on October 18. Now there are great big gaping holes where there was once a roof.

Is this really happening? I know Mr. Garwood received dozens of emails from RocSubway readers, members of Reconnect Rochester, and myself. I can’t help but ask myself is this act in response to those letters? Is the City reading our letters and giggling to themselves? Come to think of it, I didn’t receive a response to the email I sent last week… did you?

(more…)

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »

You Can Help Save 72 Conkey Avenue

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Jim and Jo are in the process of saving and restoring 6 abandoned Rochester properties. They want to save this storefront on Conkey and Clifford Avenue. The City wants to tear it down. You can help. [PHOTO: heckeranddecker.wordpress.com]
Jo and Jim are quite a remarkable pair. She is a retired school teacher. He works for a company that makes all kinds of machine parts, gauges, and valves. Together they represent nothing short of divine intervention for the City of Rochester.

See, Rochester has a ‘list’. On that list are 200 properties, residential and commercial, that have been given the death sentence. These buildings are on the City’s Demolition Listexternal link—a list that is only growing. There are some 2,800 vacant structures in Rochester today. If they were all torn down not a single neighborhood would be untouched—though some neighborhoods have more than their share of deteriorating buildings. I myself pass through the northern section of Saint Paul Street everyday on my way to work. Not a day goes by that I don’t think to myself, “gosh darn I wish I could save that old building.” Or “golly gee I wish I could buy that old house and fix it up.”

(more…)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 14 Comments »

Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Photo simulation of a new Rochester streetcar on Main Street.

America seems to have taken a renewed interest in mobility. Maybe due to President Obama’s recent commitment to high speed rail—or perhaps the positive results seen in towns like Portland and Denver have caught our collective attention. Whatever the reason, from the top down, people are rethinking our automobile-oriented culture—and getting excited about the possibilities.

There’s also good reason to focus on transportation as a way of jump-starting economic development. Industry requires access to people. And people need to have easy access to centers of employment. Continually improving access makes further development possible. Interrupting access will have the opposite effect. Likewise, doing nothing or simply maintaining existing infrastructure for an extended period of time will also hinder development.

For 30+ years Rochester has relied on the infrastructure choices it made in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. At that time we made development choices that encouraged our population to emigrate from the downtown core. We scrapped our extensive streetcar system, choked off downtown with the construction of the inner-loop, and paved super highways to take us from the city to the NY State Thruway and beyond. Since then that’s exactly where our money, our workforce, and our future have gone—down I-490 and out of state.

(more…)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Video | 38 Comments »

The Rochester Public Market to Get More Parking and a Shuttle

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

The Rochester Public Market will get additional parking and a new rubber-tire tram to carry shoppers to and from their cars. Construction is expected to begin Fall 2010.
My family has a Saturday morning tradition. We all grab our eco-friendly shopping bags and pile into our not-so-eco-friendly family car. But that’s alright. Even if my car is a clunker I usually feel a lot better about myself after a trip to the Rochester Public Market. I can’t explain it—this place just makes me feel good. So how do you improve on a good thing?

I recently heard a rumor that the cool people down at Rochester’s very cool Public Market were considering buying a trolley. Yup, that’d be an improvement! Is the rumor true? I asked James Farr, Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Rochester.

(more…)

Saturday, December 19th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

Maggie on Ren Square, “This is no fast ferry”

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Monroe County Executive, Maggie BrooksIn a recent post I implored our readers to send Maggie Brooks an email and request that she listen to Mayor Duffy’s concerns about the Renaissance Square project. It took a while but I actually did receive a response from Ms. Brooks. There no big surprises in it. As expected she defends the project citing the federal dollars, potential new jobs, and the 11 years it’s taken the project to get off the ground (11 years and still counting). But there are a few points that seem rather curious to me—one of which is a “full return on investment [for taxpayers] within seven years. Sure sounds dreamy. Here’s Maggies full response…

(more…)

Sunday, July 5th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

It May Be High Times for High Falls

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

High Falls, Rochester NY.

For a little more than 4 years I’ve worked in the High Falls districtexternal link of Rochester. Last Thursday afternoon I took my lunch (which I usually eat over my computer keyboard) and I walked down Mill Street to Granite Mills Parkexternal link. Of course you’ve never heard of it. It’s nothing more than a 50 foot square patch of concrete, a few trees, and 3 or 4 benches—not quite a full fledged “park” in the traditional sense. But on this sunny afternoon Granite Mills Park had transformed into a real urban plaza abuzz with music, laughter, people clapping, and even dancing.

Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series Poster. A series of midday concerts presented by Hochstein Music School and WXXI called Hochstein at High Fallsexternal link had kicked off with music provided by the Po Boy’s Brass Bandexternal link. I don’t know if it was the glorious weather, the site of the surprisingly huge lunch-time crowd, or the sound of those trombones, but think I caught a glimpse of what the future might be like for that neighborhood by the falls…

(more…)

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »

Mayor Duffy Awakening

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Anti-RenSquare banners hang over the neglected storefronts at Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Photo taken May 2009.

The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square external link. In it Duffy explains his recent coming out against the project as it is currently proposed. He cites recent changes in the business and development landscape downtown, new transportation stimulus funding, and sort of a personal awakening for his change of heart. Let’s show the Mayor we support him…

(more…)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
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Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »

Jacky Grimshaw to Give Lecture on Transit-Oriented Development

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Transportation, and Community Development  at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in ChicagoJacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Transportation, and Community Development at the Center for Neighborhood Technology external link in Chicago will be in Rochester this Wednesday, May 13, to discuss neighborhood revitalization and the importance of transit-oriented development. RocSubway followers do not want to miss this event. It’s also the final lecture in this series entitled Reshaping Rochester hosted by the Rochester Regional Community Design Center external link.

UPDATE: Listen to the lecture here…

(more…)

Friday, May 8th, 2009
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Posted in Events, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »

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