College Town is taking shape. At a groundbreaking ceremony this week, the list of tenants was named:
- 150 apartments
- Barnes & Noble
- Moe’s Southwest Grill,
- Corner Bakery and Cafe
- Flight Wine Bar
- Saxby’s Coffee & Yogurtland
- Flower City Provisions
- Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center
The $100 million project will also have a 1,560-space parking garage.
The project got a $20 million government loan, to paid back with money that would have gone to the city’s property taxes. It also benefits from $17 million in infrastructure improvements and a $4 million state grant.
The project claims it will generate $49 million in sales and income taxes over the next 10 years. That kind of math assumes we weren’t going to go out and spend our money elsewhere in the community. It assumes the 320 workers wouldn’t have found other low-paying retail jobs. Retail is not good economic development.
The number to look it as how much College Town will be paying in property taxes. Its PILOT calls for $4.8 million over the next 10 years. Not enough for the city to recoup its investment over that time period. (At the end of those 10 years, the roads will probably need repaving, too.) Meantime, the city is crying to Albany that it can’t raise enough revenue in property taxes.
I truly believe this project will be wonderful for the University of Rochester and Mt. Hope neighborhood. But given the fact the retail space is already leased out by tenants catering to a well-to-do crowd, it’s hard to believe this project couldn’t have happened on its own without such heavy taxpayer investment.
Links of the Day:
– Many students struggled with the new state tests and couldn’t finish.
– In Gloversville, Sno Cone Joe is charged with stalking Mr. Ding-A-Ling.
– I was a guest on The Wease Show and talked about the other side of the Spider-Man shoot. Listen here.