Parcel 5 at Midtown will be home to the Golisano Center for the Performing Arts and Tower with housing, retail shops, restaurants and additional parking, city leaders announced Friday.
The $130 million project is a joint venture between Morgan Communities LLC and the Rochester Broadway Theatre League Inc.
The venture is expected to create a combined 776 jobs—610 construction jobs and 166 permanent jobs—and re-invigorate the city center with entertainment, housing, commerce, shops and restaurants, the city said.
The proposed project is to include a roughly 3,000-seat performing arts center as proposed by RBTL. The center will be combined with a residential tower from Morgan Communities, which will include approximately 150 rental units; some of the units will be affordable housing and others will be market rate. The residential tower is to also include retail shops and restaurants at street level.
“This project will be an anchor for new development and represents continued progress for our city and, most importantly, its residents,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “A vibrant downtown is critical for the overall health of a city and this project will help make all of our neighborhoods more vibrant in the process through the significant number of jobs that are tied to it.
“Today’s announcement is proof that our city is moving in the right direction and doing so in a way that benefits all of our residents.”
Morgan Communities’ CEO Robert Morgan said the project should help spur additional development downtown.
“I believe in the mayor’s vision for our city and I am excited to be a part of that vison on Parcel 5 and beyond,” he said.
Arnie Rothschild, RBTL chairman and CEO, said the project will put the arts “front and center in our city while delivering enhanced economic impact and jobs.”
RBTL officials estimate the larger venue has the potential for more shows and additional ticket sales.
RBTL estimates the Golisano Center for the Performing Arts would book a minimum of 180 use nights in a given year, which would bring more than 360,000 people downtown annually, with a projected $18.5 million in ticket sales for an overall economic impact of $55.5 million.
That contrasts a two-week RBTL show from last season that had an attendance of 40,000 people and ticket sales of $2.8 million for an economic impact of $8.4 million.
Project developers have agreed to adopt a “Rochester First” hiring policy for the permanent jobs at the facility.
Parcel 5 is one of the Midtown development parcels created since the demolition of Midtown Plaza was completed in 2011.
Funding from the state has been instrumental to the Midtown Rising project, most notably through a $55 million Empire State Development City by
City grant in 2008 for demolition activities, city officials said. The state has provided numerous other grants related to the project for planning, engineering, environmental remediation, property acquisition and site development since 2007.
The selected proposal also received $25 million from local philanthropist Thomas Golisano, the billionaire founder of Paychex Inc., for the theater.
The sale of Parcel 5 will be finalized once the funding for the project is in place and will be followed by construction, officials said.
The public green space between Parcel 5 and Elm Street will remain and the developers will seek to incorporate additional green building design elements into the project, the city said.
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