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City working on options for run-down Chestnut Street building

Rochester officials are working on options to redevelop a longtime vacant, decrepit building in the heart of downtown surrounded by a number of renovation projects.

The nine-story building at 65-67 Chestnut St. is in tax foreclosure, and Baye Muhammad, the city’s Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development, said the city has the property on its radar.

“The mayor is pursuing a number of alternatives in an attempt to revitalize that property in accordance with the great success we all enjoy in the surrounding Midtown district,” Muhammad said. “We will pursue all available alternatives, but it is premature at this point to comment on any specific proceeding.”

The roughly 85,000-square-foot structure has had a number of owners over the years who have proposed changes for the building that were never done.

The latest owner was Midtown Reborn LLC, which purchased the property in May 2015 for roughly $37 million, city records show.

In August, the state Supreme Court in Monroe County placed the property in foreclosure and authorized its sale at public auction to the highest bidder.

Richard Beers, a partner with Phillips Lytle LLP, said the tax sale that had been scheduled for late October was postponed and has not been rescheduled. He did not provide additional information.

Phillips Lytle is representing the plaintiff, Monroe American Tax Funding LLC, a debt collector.

The building operated as the Hotel Richford in the 1920s. In the 1970s, it became an office building, but has spent the last decades vacant. It is located adjacent to the Cadillac Hotel, which houses social service clients.

The property, at the corner of Elm Street, is in the middle of a major downtown revitalization effort by area developers.

Those improvements include Tower280 at Midtown, a $59 million mixed-use project on the site of the former Midtown Plaza, which has been developed by Buckingham Properties LLC and Morgan Management LLC.

DHD Ventures LLC has also taken steps to revitalize the area, with luxury apartments slated for 88 Elm St. and the opening last summer of the Columbus Building at 50 Chestnut St., a mixed-use development with apartments and an auditorium.

1/20/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected]

 

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