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I’m wondering why Winn Development and the City of Rochester haven’t launched a full court press to woo Monroe Community College and the public.

Kodak took the media on a tour of its complex. There’s been no such tour at the Sibley Building.

Mayor Tom Richards, Sibley’s champion, doesn’t want us to focus on fights at the Liberty Pole and the destruction of Midtown. He wants us to focus on what Sibley will be in the future.

What is that exactly? And how much will it cost?

For the first time today, Winn Development shared its vision of the Sibley Building. The renderings are impressive and exciting. The plan calls for reconfiguring the Liberty Pole area and a rooftop garden. The company says it will spend $200 million on Sibley, with or without MCC. Having MCC probably moves along financing much more quickly. Not having MCC may drag out the development, further delaying the point when Sibley can get back on the tax rolls.

Winn also dropped a minor bomb today, saying it can upgrade Sibley for MCC for only $20 million. That would be the bare-bones option, but Winn’s point is that there is flexibility.

MCC is understandably outraged at having its rent substantially raised. The college also doesn’t like its lease options. But I can see the Winn’s side – to close on this purchase and plan for the future, the developer needs to lock in a tenant or figure something else out.

I’d like to learn more about Winn Development, its plans for Sibley and the costs involved.

About the Liberty Pole…

Two hundred teenagers brawled at the Liberty Pole today. Some will say this supports the college’s decision to move out of Sibley. I’m thinking it may also support the overhaul of the Sibley building.

The decline of the Liberty Pole rests on the administration of former Mayor Bob Duffy. The area was not a teenage hangout before Midtown closed. When it became a problem, former Chief David Moore said there was little police could do, because teenagers have the right to congregate. The city’s solution was to up a police trailer and portable toilets. The city simply couldn’t get a handle on the mayhem – and it is having major consequences in terms of ongoing violence and development of Main Street.

8 Responses to Selling Sibley

  1. third rails run deep in this town. she who hesitates is lost. wuda mess.

  2. I would love more information on the fights. Trouble between East and West side? I’m sure it’s kid stuff but we need to know what these students are thinking about, what kind of posts they make and what is going on? Won’t stop until it’s public and out there.

  3. January 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm Sean A. Flesch responds:

    If $90 million includes a rooftop, gotta wonder what $20 million “buys”…How much of that is to actually buy the building and how much more is needed to actually meet MCC’s needs?
    It sound like they are just making more vague promises to make themselves look better in the public eye.

  4. March 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm carl binger responds:

    Did you notice how winstream is facing away from the Damon Center?

    I definitely appreciate all your coverage on this Rachel. I think that yes, mcc should work with the city but it is too little too late. I remember MCC was trying to land it’s campus in one of those office towers not too long ago but no one was trying to hear them. Now that they are moving out Richards and winn is trying to woo them back. I don’t blame MCC

    • March 26, 2013 at 8:15 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      The plot of land between Windstream and Main Street has yet to be developed, thus why Windstream is not facing Main. Pike has an option to buy.

      • March 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm carl binger responds:

        Ah that makes sense. Do you know why there are not any windows on the backside of the building?

        • March 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm sflesch responds:

          The City and Winn have really burned some bridges with MCC. First, the City essentially bludgeoned Ren Square to death by refusing to allow RTS to build according to the Federal guidelines that were already approved. This meant architectural plans and all the other time and money MCC spent on Ren Square was for naught.

          Then they fought (rather poorly if I may say) MCC on moving to Kodak. Runor is there’s some underhanded things they did to force MCC to sign their current lease with Winn when MCC was ready to move out due to a large rent increase.

          Even now Winn (not sure if the city is involved) has said they will fight it on the state level. If this were a relationship, I’m pretty sure an Order of Protection would be warranted.

          As I understand it, Windstream was planning (not sure if they did)to put a clause in their purchase that would basically allow them to bar MCC from that side of Main St.

          I was also told the window less walls are so that they can butt more buildings up to them.

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