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80 units headed to East End: DHD Ventures sees July opening for $9M project

An early July opening is planned for the Residences at the Columbus Building, a $9 million mixed-use renovation project at 50 Chestnut St. in the East End.

Matthew Drouin, director of operations for DHD Ventures LLC, the project’s developer, said plans call for nearly 80 studio- and one-bedroom market rate apartments. Of those, nearly 60 will be new units; the other 20 will be renovated units.

Rents will range from $820 a month for certain studio floor plans up to $1,300 a month for select one-bedroom residences. Higher-priced luxury-style lofts also are being developed for the site, he said. Heat and electric are included in the rents.

Rochester-based DHD is pre-leasing units at the former Knights of Columbus building and has received interest on the property, company leaders said.

Drouin said there is a need downtown for this type of housing, which he believes will appeal to young, budget-conscious professionals.

“The demand is strong,” Drouin said.

DHD is trying to meet that demand with plans to add more than 315 residential units at a number of buildings downtown, said Adam Driscoll, the firm’s director of development.

The Rochester Downtown Development Corp. agrees. Officials there estimate more than 1,500 new residential units will be coming online downtown.

The annual commercial real estate market outlook by CBRE|Rochester, an affiliate office of CBRE Group Inc., addresses what DHD and other developers are doing downtown. It shows a trend in Rochester’s center city: developers taking vacant office space and rehabbing it into modern residential units.

The units at the Chestnut building will have a simple, industrial look, with exposed concrete beams and city views, Drouin said. They will have modern amenities such as concrete floors, glass tile backsplashes, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and dishwashers, said Paige Phillips, a project coordinator at DHD.

Off-street parking is available near the site and residents will receive a discount if they opt to use the East Avenue garage. There will also be on-site maintenance and management.

The 13-story building was constructed in 1927. DHD purchased the roughly 150,000-square-foot building in 2014 for $1.8 million.

The building is undergoing changes beyond the residential units.

The renovated entrance will feature a two-story lobby and media wall as well as a café open to the public. Additional plans call for a midmarket-priced fitness club on the site. Tenants in the building include Garth Fagan Dance Inc., Barkstrom & LaCroix Architects and the Montage Music Hall.

Residents will have access to an outdoor pool, sun deck and barbecue grilling area at DHD’s property nearby at One Eleven on East, Drouin said.

There also are discussions about adding outdoor green space on a lower level of the Chestnut building, above a theater at the back of the building. DHD is interested in leasing the vacant venue.

The Residences at the Columbus Building is one of several projects downtown DHD has in the works.

Other properties include 88 Elm St., which will have luxury apartments, as well as the Terminal Building on West Broad Street and the Alliance Building on East Main Street, two mixed-use projects. DHD has also partnered with Morgan Management LLC to redevelop the former Gannett Co. Inc. building on Exchange Street.

2/26/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.


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