Gallina Development has unveiled plans for a redevelopment of the former Xerox Tower building Xerox Square that would focus on bringing hundreds of college students from multiple institutions into that campus downtown.
Company President Andy Gallina said that Innovation Square, as it will be known, would house 450 or more upper level and graduate students from various colleges, providing an alternative to traditional on-campus housing
But he said this project will not just be about college housing. The idea is to also provide academic programming and opportunities for students to engage with local high-tech companies located in the Downtown Innovation Zone via internship and mentorship programs.
The first phase of the project would include the construction of the first five floors of student housing. Eventually Gallina would also be looking to attract tenants for commercial office space as well as restaurants, retail and other amenities.
Gallina recently purchased the iconic downtown building from Buckingham Properties for just over $8.3 million. Gallina said the planned redevelopment of that complex will likely cost about $32 million to $35 million. He hopes to have it completed in less than three years.
Gallina said this project can be transformative for downtown, saying it "will bring activity, energy, young people downtown, that we simply do not have right now. It will spur retail and all types of entertainment, restaurants, bars."
Gallina was joined at a news conference at the Xerox Auditorium building on Friday by area college presidents, including those from the University of Rochester, RIT, Nazareth and others, who expressed support for the concept.
RIT President David Munson said that university surveyed students earlier this year about this type of a concept and he said that, “More than 2,000 of our students responded and we found a very high level of interest among that group. Some RIT students are seeking an urban living experience with the many amenities that are offered here downtown. Others are interested in proximity to opportunities for community and civic engagement.”
Xerox moved its operations out of the 30-story building in 2018, transferring many of the staffers who there to the Webster campus.
Developer Andy Gallina talks about plans for the complex: