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.
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.