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Marina Rendering

This will be the last summer you can enjoy Ontario Beach Park the way it is now. Construction on a marina at the Port of Rochester will start this fall, permanently altering the character of the area.

The mayor submitted legislation to City Council calling for final design work and the abandonment of N. River St. between Portside and Corrigan. The marina will be built over part of the road. The “Link” part of the terminal will be used for boating services.

The cost of the marina is $19.8 million. The city hopes it spurs development on surrounding land. A master plan calls for 400 residential units and retail. The project would mean the loss of nearly 500 parking spots. The 700 remaining spots are sufficient, the city found, except on busy summer weekends and special events.

The expanse of parking lots is not the best use of waterfront property. The city has an opportunity to generate tax dollars and build up the port, creating more of a destination. But there are no guarantees and the project remains very controversial among Charlotte residents.

Links of the Day:

– Rochester area police are using license plate scanners. Some can scan 2,000 plates a minute, raising issues of privacy and police use of data.

– Federal budget cuts hit the University of Rochester “like a bludgeon.”

– Check out these stunning pictures of the New York State Capitol Building.

– Looks like the Senate and Assembly will delay casino expansion approval.

– As cities chase casino revenue, it’s worth noting Las Vegas hasn’t been about casinos since 1999.

16 Responses to Port Pushing Ahead

  1. March 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm RaChaCha responds:

    If there was ever a time to look at using the rail line to the port for transportation, this would be it. It would be the smart move.

    • June 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm Rosemary Peppercorn responds:

      WHY? So people can go to the beach and look at CONDOS?

      Give me a break. What an incredibly stupid idea the city has.

  2. March 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm DominionROC responds:

    How can the Port become a regional destination when you eliminate 500 parking spots and fill the area of high density residential development? This is another MAJOR boondoggle! Spending $20 million on a semi-private yacht basin along with rental buildings is a horrible way to spend public dollars. Who will benefit from this master plan? …a handful of boat owners and a select few who rent or buy an apartment….the rest of us will be discouraged from visiting the port because of a severe lack of parking and activity/congestion that supports the residential units and the marina (yacht basin.

    Why does our region continue to plan and develop horrific capital projects that make absolutely no sense. The past housing crisis has put an end to speculation on waterfront housing…private sector developers can’t get financing…thus they lobby the city to underwrite their risk…at the expense of the public!

    A parking lot is the most valuable entity at the Port/Ontario Beach Park…cut it in half…and cut in in half its potential/economic value. I don’t have a problem spending $20 million creating great public amenities that attract regional users to this area (filling up the parking lot). But spending this amount on a VERY expensive yacht basin is outrageous!!!

  3. March 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm thestip responds:

    Parking is the least best use of waterfront land. You need density to create a vibrant experience, not a place where people have free and easy access to parking. The most vibrant neighborhoods generally have parking problems. As to a marina, it worked in Buffalo. Erie Basin Marina was the start of development of the Buffalo waterfront which led to millions of dollars of private sector development. A cities’ responsibility is to build the infrastructure to spur private development.

  4. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I worry about another expensive Fast Ferry-type boondoggle. On the other, I’ve seen postcards from Ontario Beach in the early 1900s and it was amazing. I would love to see that vibrancy return.

    • June 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm Rosemary Peppercorn responds:

      Nobody lived at the beach in the early 1900s. There were activities that brought people there. Big difference.

  5. March 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm Orielly responds:

    Again, I thought the city had no money, ya know City Leaders want the state to give them money, Maggie and the county need to share more money with them they say.

    There is no shortage of boat slips on the river or bay in this area. We have plenty. Here the city, if they run this, and support it, are competing against area business owners, again, using some of those business owners tax money no less.

    Spend 100s of millions more on a Rail road to Charlotte? What are there 1000s that can’t get down there today? How many will use that rail system in January? They take all their stuff on the train to go to the beach with the kids?

    Liberals should be up in arms about this. City leaders are taking away valuable water front property here, with views, to make a home for the rich and their boats, when they already have plenty of places/slips for their boat.

    INSTEAD, Liberals and DEMS will vote for the same SINGLE party to run the city year after year decade after decade. Think if there wasn’t ONE REP on city council this development would not have had a major community debate around it?

    But the D&C and countless others complain that REPs in the county legislature don’t give DEMs in the legislature a real fair voice. The fact that there are NO REPS elected or even given a chance in the city is a non issue.

  6. This just shows the City cares nothing for its citizens. The last 2 years the city has done those “Voice of the Customer” meetings, citizens have come out overwhelmingly against this project. Especially while the city is cutting vital public safety and quality of life services and threatening more cuts under the claim of being broke. Again Rachel, Why aren’t you questioning the city on this? You can look at the voice of the customer results on the city website. Its clear the people think this is a waste of money, but City Hall keeps pushing forward. Why? And how can they justify this while cutting public safety and threatening more cuts to police and closing of fire companies? Come on Rachel, are you a journalist or a mouth piece for city hall? Ask some tough questions, make them explain themselves.

    The city constantly reminds us about the concentration of poverty, how many city residents can afford a boat and a boat slip? Who is this helping? I think we’d want a policeman on the corner and the firehouse down the street open a lot more than a marina we can never use.

    P.S. What will maintenance of the marina cost? Will there be city subsidies?

  7. My 2 cents….I grew up in Charlotte. My parents still live there. The first sentence of this blog needs a rebuttal. “This will be the last summer you can enjoy Ontario Beach Park the way it is now”. Have you visited it lately? The last few years, it has been a total nightmare. Large groups of youths roam the area. Foul language, fights, harassment, intimidation, etc. is the norm. Something has to be done to return this area to a respectable place for people to enjoy. I don’t know if this project is the answer, but I applaud any efforts to improve the enjoyment factor of this beautiful natural resource.

    • March 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm DominionROC responds:

      The city’s intent is to attract high end condos…well over $250,000/unit…and over 400 of these upscale apartments. Does this make any sense as you describe the problematic environment? And add the loud 24-7 sounds of motorcycles and the smell of rotting algae during the summer…Does this sound like the location for a successful upscale condo project? What bank will finance such a fiasco?

      I really believe that the Port and beach at Charlotte has great potential…but the current plans are horrific! If this project goes forward…expect several years of heavy construction…digging up a yacht basin…and when it’s completed…don’t look for high end condos…expect subsidized rentals.

  8. March 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm Kevin Yost responds:

    Our Rochester/Charlotte port, where the Genesee River flows into Lake Ontario, needs to be redone now at the same time as plans for the Buffalo port, where the Buffalo River flows into Lake Erie, as well as the Syracuse Inner Harbor, where Onondaga Creek flows into Onondaga Lake.

  9. March 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    it will be interesting to see if it works, it is such a seasonal market in charlotte.

  10. March 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    sounds like the music man hustlers are at it again. i bet consultants from far away came with pretty pictures of what it would all look like and reams of numbers proving it will be the golden goose that will lay golden eggs all over the beach, and city council will take the bait hook line and sinker. i guess i am cynical.

  11. March 15, 2013 at 5:27 am TechnologyProfessional responds:

    Hey, if this works, it could keep me here in my retirement years. I have often looked at that unused land hoping that housing would be put there (I like walking out to the beach and the jetty). Better this than what is there today!

  12. Pingback: In Defense of the Port Project » The Rochesterian

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