(The above images are from Philip Michael Brown Studio, which is working with Buckingham Properties.)
Buckingham Properties has huge dreams for the Tower at Midtown. The upper floors will be apartments. The lower floors offer an opportunity for retail and offices.
The developer is clearly is thinking outside of the box. This vision of heavy retail at the Midtown site would truly change the face of downtown. The renderings make the Tower at Midtown look like a mall that faces outward, with street-level retail.
Buckingham is very optimistic about its talks with national movie theater chains. The mayor has often talked of a movie theater at Midtown. Seeing how a private developer would be behind the project, it may not require the $1 surcharge she floated. There would still be room on the Midtown site for a performing arts center, another thing the mayor wants.
Buckingham has a track record of success. It’s hard to imagine a national theater chain coming in that hasn’t done market research. Downtown offers other entertainment options, such as sporting events, so why not movies?
Let’s remember, we all used to go to Midtown Plaza at one point. We parked underneath the mall. Midtown fell victim to the suburban malls and suburban lifestyle. But if Buckingham finds the right mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment, this grand plan to draw people downtown could work.
People will live above this complex. The East End is a stone’s throw away. Corn Hill is less than a mile away. There’s a customer base within walking distance and another one within driving distance that is sick of bland offerings in the suburbs.
(I wonder about the impact on The Little Theatre, which is undergoing renovations. The Little will still likely be cheaper, but can it compete on comfort and offerings? The Little does offer major movies, not just small films we’ve never heard of.)
I’m cautiously optimistic about Buckingham’s dream. Maybe hopeful is a better word. What do you think?
Links of the Day:
– Buckingham Properties is also about to start work on the north campus of Alexander Park, which is the old Genesee Hospital site. This has been a long time coming.
– The future of urban freeways is playing out in Syracuse.
– A Rochester developer is facing opposition to a plan to build affordable housing in wealthy Westchester County.