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Developers eye massive rehab of downtown's Andrews Terrace

Andrews Terrace was built in 1975, and totals 526 units -- most of which are Section 8 housing.
Brian Sharp
Andrews Terrace was built in 1975, and totals 526 units -- most of which are Section 8 housing.

Rochester’s Conifer Realty is eying renovation of another downtown apartment high-rise in Andrews Terrace on St. Paul Street.

The distinctive brick buildings that make up Andrews Terrace sit along the east side of the Genesee River between Main Street and High Falls.

The 526 apartments represent one of the largest concentrations of affordable housing downtown — on par with Park Square and Midtown Manor over by the Strong Museum of Play.

Conifer has partially completed the renovation of those towers.

On Andrews Terrace, the local developer is partnering with Virginia-based Community Preservation Partners. This is CPP’s third project in Rochester and its second with Conifer. The two also are working on Keeler Park.

Records show they plan to buy Andrews Terrace from Pathstone this summer and launch an exhaustive rehab soon after. Residents can remain onsite throughout the renovation but would have to temporarily move to another vacant apartment. The entire renovation is expected to be a 2 1/2-year undertaking, to include new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, lighting, and structural repairs.

Total project costs, including purchase, construction and other expenses, are estimated at more than $350 million, records show. The developers are seeking tax breaks and other assistance.

In paperwork submitted to the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency, developers say they plan to request a rent adjustment and a 20-year renewal to the project-based Section 8 housing assistance. Nearly all of the units in Andrews Terrace are currently Section 8, records shows.

A Conifer spokesperson declined comment but said the company would have more information to share about the project soon.

Brian Sharp is WXXI's business and development reporter. He has been covering Rochester since 2005, working most of that time as an investigative reporter with the Democrat and Chronicle. His journalism career spans nearly three decades.