In 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…
Posts Tagged ‘NY’...
Tags: Center City, city planning, downtown Rochester, economic development, high speed rail, highspeed rail, infrastructure, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, mass transit, Mayor Duffy, Monroe County, New York, NY, public transportation, Renaissance Square, Rochester, transportation center, urban revitalization
Posted in Interviews, Opinion, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | No Comments »
For a little more than 4 years I’ve worked in the High Falls district 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 Park. 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.
A series of midday concerts presented by Hochstein Music School and WXXI called Hochstein at High Falls had kicked off with music provided by the Po Boy’s Brass Band. 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…
Tags: Bru, business district, Center at High Falls, Creator's Hands, downtown Rochester, Empire Brewing Co., entertainment district, ESL, flour mill, Granite Mills Park, High Falls, Hochstein Music School, Jillians, Jimmy Mac's, Keys Martini & Piano Bar, Kodak, laser light show, McFadden's, mixed-use, New York, nightlife, Nothnagle, NY, Parazin Building, Parry Building, Partners Building, plaza, Redwings, Rochester, Rochester Railway, Rochester Subway Poster, Saddle Ridge, Spin Cafe, streetcar powerhouse, The Mills at High Falls, Tiki Bob's, Tribeca, trolley, Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corp., urban renewal, urban revitalization, WXXI
Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »
The City Newspaper this week published an interview with Mayor Duffy, ‘It’s not too late to change’: Duffy on Ren Square . 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…
Tags: city planning, downtown Rochester, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, mass transit, Mayor Duffy, Monroe County, New York, NY, Renaissance Square, Rochester, Rochester City Newspaper, transportation, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 1 Comment »
The intersection at State and Main Streets in downtown Rochester, known as the Four Corners, was once the epicenter of the city. I’m going to let these two photos do most of the talking for me in this article. The photo below is of the Four Corners, looking north toward State Street.
The postcard I’m holding in my hand is from the early 1900’s (maybe 1912-ish). Holding it up in front of the same location in 2009, it becomes a tiny window onto the past.
Tags: architecture, city, downtown Rochester, Elwood Building, Four Corners, Gothic, Grand-Union, Main Street, Neoclassical, New York, NY, old photos, photo, photography, pictures, Powers Building, railroad, Rochester, Rochester history, Rochester Trust & Safe Deposit Company, Romanesque, trolley, Victorian, views, vintage, vintage postcard, vintage views, Wilder Building
Posted in Rochester History, Rochester Images, Urban Development | 12 Comments »
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Rochester Regional Community Design Center . The RRCDC is a group of design professionals, planners, and citizens who donate their time to the purpose of designing Rochester’s public spaces. They offer their design guidance and recommendations to the city through public lectures, design charrettes , and an open-to-the-public design gallery/resource library at their studio on East Main Street. For anyone remotely interested in how cities are planned or issues surrounding urban renewal as they apply to the city of Rochester, the RRCDC is a must-see.
Tags: architecture, Center City, city planning, design, design charrette, downtown Rochester, environment, neighborhoods, New York, NY, public spaces, Rochester, Rochester Regional Community Design Center, sustainability, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »
With the latest wave of federal stimulus , suddenly a storm of ideas and proposals are pouring down on downtown. In one corner, Governor David Paterson and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter are reigniting a movement in support of a new high-speed rail line from Niagara Falls to New York City. Slaughter wants to see Renaissance Square funds reallocated toward building a new train/bus station built where the old Amtrak station is now on Central Avenue . In the opposite corner, County Exec Maggie Brooks and Senator Charles Schumer are pushing ahead with demolition plans in preparation for Ren Square. Poor Mayor Duffy doesn’t know whether to take sides or run for cover.*
Tags: Amtrak, bus, Central Avenue, Clinton Avenue, County Executive Maggie Brooks, downtown Rochester, federal stimulus money, Governor Paterson, Greyhound, high speed rail, intermodal, Main Street, Mayor Patrick Duffy, New York, NY, Renaissance Square, Rep. Louise Slaughter, RTS, Sen. Charles Schumer, taxi, Trailways
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | 6 Comments »
Okay, I haven’t put the time or effort into crafting my own vision for the old Midtown Tower, so Im not going to be overly critical here. But Im going to show you two concepts for Midtown that were sent to the city this week for review (and 1 wildcard concept). The first drawing (shown on the left) is from local developers Patrick Dutton and Shane Bartholf. It includes 158 for-sale condominiums with large window openings, common or public use of the former restaurant space on the 14th floor, and mixed-use office and retail on the first three floors. As you can see they’ve also added some shiny (albeit blurry) people to their drawing, as well as a lovely solar-flare effect to make the building look extra shiny…
Tags: architecture, city, concept drawings, design, development plans, downtown Rochester, Harmony Group, Midtown Plaza, Midtown Tower, mixed-use, New York, NY, Patrick Dutton, real-estate, Shane Bartholf, sidewalks, skyscraper, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization, vision
Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »
I asked Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks if our current transportation infrastructure (highways, bus routes, etc.) are adequate to serve the needs and growth of our community moving into the future. I also asked what she thought Rochester mass-transit should look like by the year 2020 and if there was anything she’d like to see changed or improved. Read her response, then please let me know what YOU think…
Tags: bus routes, commute, highways, infrastructure, Maggie Brooks, mass transit, Monroe County, New York, NY, public transportation, Rochester, traffic, transportation center
Posted in Interviews, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 6 Comments »
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer and County Exec. Maggie Brooks announced that the Renaissance Square project will be moving ahead, with or without the performing arts center. $45 million would still need to be raised to build the theater, and at this point it looks like that money would need to be raised entirely with private donations — HIGHLY unlikely. So what exactly are we building? A new bus station (essentially a covered parking lot for buses). New classrooms for Monroe Community College. Oh, and a big grassy area where the performing arts center would have been.
Pricetag? $230 MILLION and 10 years of planning!?
Tags: architecture, bus, bus station, bus terminal, city, Clinton Ave, design, downtown, Greenwich Village, Hell's Kitchen, Maggie Brooks, Main Street, MCC, mixed-use, Monroe County, Neil Bauman, New York, NY, performing arts, real-estate, Renaissance Square, Rochester, Senator Schumer, sidewalks, storefronts, street, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization
Posted in Opinion, Urban Development | 6 Comments »