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Snap Poll

Restaurants, housing top list of ideas for E. Main St.

MCC campus also ranks high for redevelopment downtown

With Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks’ announcement Tuesday that the Renaissance Square project is dead, officials with city and county government and project partners Monroe Community College and the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority have begun to consider development options for downtown.
Respondents to the RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll weighed in with their own ideas for redevelopment of East Main Street.
Restaurants topped the list with 51 percent support. Apartments and condos came in a close second, with half of respondents strongly supporting housing development.
Roughly 670 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Aug. 3 and 4.

Which of the following would you strongly support for redevelopment of East Main Street downtown?

Restaurants: Apartments/condos: MCC campus: Specialty retail:
51% 50% 41% 38%

Performing arts/cultural venues: Nightlife establishments: Wegmans or other specialty grocery store:
33% 32% 31%

Class A office space: Casino: Bus station: Urban park: Hotel: Other:
24% 23% 16% 16% 10% 6%

COMMENTS:

How can we throw away so much money? It will be another decade before we see the federal help again. The block has been deteriorating for decades, and our center city looks as if it is dying. Before another hotel, nightlife and restaurants, there has to be a population downtown to use them. Apartments and condos could generate that population, but there needs to be an exciting center city to draw people back. The Renaissance Square block could have led that change.
-Robert Vance, HRM Group

I’d support nearly anything within reason that’s not on the public dole.
-David Lamb, Rochester

Let’s put something there that will pay property taxes instead of spend them.
-Bill Wyatt, Fairport

The city and county ought to remove the buildings they already own, turn the lots into a grassy park, erect a large “For Sale” sign, and wait for private developers to buy it, build on it and return it to the property tax rolls.
-Tom Shea, Thomas P. Shea Agency Inc.

I’d support anything that brings people downtown who would otherwise live and work in the suburbs. Many North American cities have found a downtown success recipe to be a diverse income profile of downtown residents and commercial establishments to give them a reason to stay local.
-Brian P. McGlynn, Orpanc Inc.

A casino would be a disaster. The last thing we need is financially strapped city residents gambling away their savings in hopes of a big payday.
-Matthew D. Wilson

The city planners should do everything in their power to help the citizens of Rochester. Apartments/condos would benefit the city because they would provide homes for people and new tax revenue for the city.
-Phil Turturici, Absolute Consulting

This time, so we don’t continue to be dysfunctional, let’s make sure the mayor and City Council are “on board” from day one.
-Art Maurer

Make a deal with a casino. No tax dollars would be used; it would actually generate tax dollars. So many people from the Rochester area are driving to Turning Stone, Niagara Falls and others, either for casinos or the entertainment venues. How about also making a deal with the casino operator to build a new, 5,000-seat theater? RBTL would have low-cost use of it for 20 percent of the year. … I’m not a gambler; I would look forward to the restaurants and entertainment that would accompany.
-Brian Hegedorn

08/07/09 (C) Rochester Business Journal

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