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RBTL announces possible sites for theater

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League received suggestions of more than a dozen sites from municipal leaders and private developers for the future location of a performing arts center. The city of Rochester was not among them.

RBTL officials announced the sites at a press conference Tuesday, saying they will seek more detailed proposals, and a decision could come within a few months.

Supervisors from the towns of Brighton, Farmington, Henrietta, Irondequoit and Ogden and the mayor of Canandaigua sent letters expressing interest and suggesting specific sites. The towns of Chili and Webster also sent letters of interest noting several sites could be available.

The project received proposals from private developers, as well: Anthony J. Costello & Son Development LLC, developer of the Clinton Crossing project in Brighton; SRC Development Group LLC, owner of the Medley Center in the town of Irondequoit; J. Fiore & Co., developer of Canal Ponds in the towns of Greece and Gates; and the DiMarco Group LLC, owner of Fishers Ridge in the town of Victor.

The sites suggested include Finger Lakes Racing and Gaming in Farmington, Medley Center in Irondequoit and a site owned by Pyramid Brokerage Co. in Henrietta, which is the former Kodak Riverwood Campus.

Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy sent RBTL a letter expressing interest at securing funding for renovations at the Auditorium Theatre. RBTL officials said they responded by saying that architectural and engineering review is under way, but if it is deemed not feasible, it would like additional site suggestions from the city. The Landmark Society of Western New York Inc. suggested sites in Rochester, including Midtown Plaza.

Frank Hagelberg, chairman of the RBTL site selection committee, said the cost of the project will depend on whether it is on vacant land or existing buildings. He also said RBTL is open to different arrangements of leasing, owning or financing the project.

Arnold Rothschild, RBTL chairman, also used the press conference to clear up rumors that the Auditorium Theater would go unused once a new theater is built. The league will continue to own and operate the theater, he said.

“It is not our intention to abandon this building,” Rothschild said.
 

(c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. Obtain permission to reprint this article.

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