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Rochester is updating its Center City Master plan, last revised in 2002. That plan called for an Erie Canal Port on Exchange St. and a performing arts center. No one envisioned the demolition of Midtown Plaza and the continued deterioration of Sibley. Over the last decade, there have also been a skyrocketing number of new residential units.

Downtown has changed over the last decade, some for the better, some for the worst. But it’s clear downtown is on the cusp of positive growth. The conversion of Midtown Tower into apartments is the latest announcement signalling a revitalization.

The above video details the current administration’s vision. But there are gaps. And the city is seeking your input. An online survey asks if you’d like a grocery store, theater, or other amenities. It asks what it takes for you to visit downtown. It’s a good opportunity to weigh in on a topic that always spurs debate.

Links of the Day:

Brockport axed Brock the Port celebration because of nuisance complaints.

– The Thruway Authority could be considering toll hikes on all of us, not just trucks.

– HSBC is vacating the downtown Buffalo tower bearing its name.

– Instagram cut off Twitter and perhaps cut off its nose to spite its face.

Picture of the Day:

14 Responses to Weigh in on Downtown

  1. Why in God’s name is the survey asking about parking? Rochester Subway ran a map that shows that over 50% of downtown is taken up by parking!

  2. Thank You ELF!

    haha, I hope the city wouldn’t be dumb enough to listen to people asking for MORE parking downtown.

    It’s called free street parking after 6pm. Walk three or four blocks. You can do it, suburbanites. I believe in you.

  3. But – but I might see a BLACK person! *clutches pearls*

  4. I remember downtown as a fun and interesting place to be. Of course, this was back in the 60’s. Sibleys was the place to go …a huge store with everything. Edwards was also across the street. Midtown plaza was also lively. You wanted a movie, the RKO was only one of several theaters. Now, I don’t see why you would go downtown? What’s the point? The BCA has a few sports events. When they end, you go home. If you are young, you may try the bars at the East End or Monroe Ave. I wish downtown would be lively again. I don’t see that happening. The city political base is focused on minority issues and what group is crying the most. There will never be a consensus among those factions on what makes a vibrant downtown. We will see plans, surveys, and studies, but no real action. Just my thoughts.

  5. Funny how you mock the suburbanites and then in the same breath want them to come downtown more often.

    The reason why people from the burbs don’t go downtown is that there is no reason for them to go there. And if you can avoid, paying for parking, traffic, crime, violence, and avoid those that WANT to live with it…in the city… why wouldn’t ANY one not go downtown. Good you say… you don’t want us? Fine with us, the feeling is mutual.

  6. This suburban vs. urban war is astounding to me. I don’t care if you live in the City or the burbs, my question is this…if you’re on vacation in Florida or California or even NYC and someone asks where you’re from, do you say “I’m from Fairport, NY, or Greece, NY, or Henrietta, NY. NO. You say you’re from Rochester because (hopefully) that will be recognizable to the person asking the question. If you live in the burbs you must understand that the health and vibrancy of downtown and the City as a whole is critically important to the entire county and the multi county region. The burbs need the City and the City needs the burbs. Stop bickering over nonsense and realize were all on the same team. What’s going on downtown lately is encouraging to say the least. The busses will soon be off Main St. A developer with a phenomenal reputation has bought Sibley and has already pledged and spent millions on the property. Windstream will open in Midtown next year and Buckingham’s involvement in the Tower insures it will be completed within two years tops. RPD has committed to a Downtown patrol (despite the fact that it’s statistically extremely safe). That’s not even mentioning the development on West Main. So if you’re not on board, you’re probably not paying too much attention.

  7. December 7, 2012 at 7:18 am RaChaCha responds:

    When we were working on the Chill the Fill effort to preserve the subway tunnel in 2005, City Council had a Center-City Task Force led, IIRC, by Wade Norwood and Bill Pritchard (remember that cat?). I wonder what ever happened to their results–?

  8. And if you can avoid, paying for parking, traffic, crime, violence, and avoid those that WANT to live with it…in the city… why wouldn’t ANY one not go downtown. Good you say… you don’t want us? Fine with us, the feeling is mutual.

    Does that mean your going to stop offering your unsolicited advice on urban living when you are obviously completely ignorant on the topic? You really should check out the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood sometime. I’ve been visiting quite a bit and have found that it’s a neat place full of great vintage architecture and wonderful, enthusiastic residents dedicated to urban revival. Same with PLEX.

  9. December 7, 2012 at 9:26 am Orielly responds:

    The people in that neighborhood like it. Good for them.

    Someone wants to develop in the that neighborhood ..good for the developer. He/She is willing to invest money and pay taxes on that land … great.

    As long as the plan is to NOT– reject development and therefore— have more non-taxable land, that will be used by organizations- that can’t support or buy the building- therefore ALL AREA taxpayers will need to support their wish…. I have no problem with it. But here they want the developer… out – and they want us to pay for their wish.

    And one persons “great vintage architecture” is another person old ugly building. Everyone has different taste. If you like it you pay for it and don’t ask me to pay for your tastes.

    And finally the “see a black person” comment was un-needed and “racially profiling” in reverse.
    Why not call ALL burb people racist and be done with it? Neither one are fair or advance the discussion.

  10. Orielly what is it then? You’ve made generalizations about downtown that are incorrect. It’s not violent, dangerous, or crime ridden. The only thing that is remotely close to correct is paying for parking, but that generally is because people won’t walk down the block. They expect to park at the front door. So I guess on top of racist, we should add lazy.

  11. December 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm Orielly responds:

    Got any other names to call?

    Park in the east end garage, pay and then walk a half mile to the clubs. Thats lazy? No Crime on Main St? No Crime on St Paul? Sure less crime than other areas of the city but NO crime? Broken car windows with a robbery, don’t count? A mugging doesn’t count? Those crimes happen every weekend in the the CITY. Speaking of generalizations, no crime in the city if you don’t go past here, don’t drive that way or don’t park there. Because in those spots “WE” don’t call that the ‘City’.

    Hey but why try to convince me that I am wrong when most people would agree with me? We know.

    “What is it then?” You want us downtown but then call us lazy and racist because we don’t want to go there? Now that’s good marketing. Instead of trying to “sell” us why not solve the crime thing…. and report back.

  12. Shoe fits, might as well wear it. On the same note, let’s call it all Monroe county and avoid the whole thing. Point is, the neighborhoods are distinct and what happens at the northern ends of Hudson/Joseph/Portland don’t reflect on downtown or other neighborhoods, just the same way it doesn’t reflect on other parts of Monroe County. Besides cars get broken into everywhere, we just don’t shoot children over it in my neighborhood.

  13. December 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm Orielly responds:

    Crimes I posted about occur in Central city Rochester every weekend night. They rarely happen in other parts of the burbs. EVERYONE knows that… but keep on saying it ain’t so.

    First thing we need to do is be truthful. Those are crimes, they don’t occur in the burbs anywhere near as often, and these 14yr old and older criminals aren’t “Children” no matter how many times Adam Urbanski and others say it. Children are 12 and under in my book and most others after that the are teenagers. The CHILD Travon Martin was 6’3. When are these “children” responsible for their own actions?

    And if more these “children” got shot in the city breaking into cars… guess what would happen? Less, far less car break ins.

    Children…. give me a break.

  14. I live off Empire Blvd. in Irondequoit, near where I grew up. If you don’t think the city has been ‘outsourcing’ crime to my town then you know nothing about it. When I started driving in 1986 you didn’t dare run a stop sign in this town for fear the IPD was there, hiding, that was how low crime was. They are so overwhelmed with drama that has migrated north from the city that suburban policing has disappeared and crime investigation/prevention (show of force by patrolling right along the border as an example) has taken over. Most of our officers are former city cops who transferred over. Ask them if the town is getting worse, despite their efforts. Same with the 10th Ward where I started my career as a firefighter. Tell me that area is as good as it was 15 years ago. You can’t. It’s turned into Lyell Ave North. Ben Douglas (former councilman) said himself that allowing areas like the 10th Ward to be rezoned allowing houses to be cut into rentals is the biggest regret of his career.
    Anytime people who are ‘city’ are told the truth it goes back to “you’re a racist”. Bite me. I’ve done more to help minority members of this community than 99% of the minorities that live in it, yet I read dribble in the D&C where a black blogger was ‘brought to tears’ of happiness by the diversity of the PD and FD recruit classes, proving he can only look backwards, in the rearview mirror instead of forwards to progress. Let’s blame the whites, the burbs, the lead paint but let’s never look in the mirror and ask ‘what am I doing to help’. I’ve had 4 operations and am awaiting a 5th because of injuries at arson fires. Don’t you dare tell me I’m racist because I’m white unless you can come at me with a notebook full of everything you have done for the actual people of the city, not the parks, arts, entertainment, politics, etc.
    Hypocrites…….. the worst kind of coward. ANd this city is full of them.

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