What should Rochester do with Parcel 5? That's the name for the site of the former Midtown Plaza, currently sitting vacant, in the heart of the city.

Developers are submitting proposals, but one group is pushing for the site to remain open, developed in a thoughtful combination of green space and festival grounds. Others argue that the site is too valuable not to develop more aggressively.

Our guests discuss the possibilities surrounding one of the most important decisions Rochester leaders will make:

Does Rochester need a new downtown performing arts center? It's a question that has been explored by local arts organizations and city government for 22 years.

On Monday, the City of Rochester released the results of a feasibility study that recommends building a 2,850-seat performing arts center at Midtown. The study says the project would cost more than $75 million and would not require public subsidy.

Is it time to pursue the project? The Rochester Broadway Theatre League is in favor of a new center, saying a larger theater is necessary for Rochester to remain competitive in attracting hit Broadway shows like Hamilton. But representatives of local theaters say a large downtown center would not help existing arts groups and venues.

Mayor Lovely Warren has been pushing for a performing arts center and has extended the deadline for proposals.

We discuss a number of questions surrounding the project, including who would pay for a new center, who would own it, and what type of facility the city needs...if it needs one at all. Our guests:

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The first Rochester Rotary meeting of the year provided members an opportunity to assess the local economy and prospects for 2016.

Rotarians sought the insight of Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy.

"The needle's moving forward in Rochester; it really has a good feel.”

Duffy believes if leaders here unite, they can make good things happen. He points to the rebirth of Midtown as a great metaphor.

Josh and Jenna Miles have built a restaurant empire in the Rochester area.

Their establishments include Revelry, Branca, and now they're jumping into two huge new projects. They'll open restaurants in Midtown and in a new waterfront development in Canandaigua. We'll talk to them about their business approach, and why they're betting on two projects that will be central to economic development. Our guests:

  • Josh and Jenna Miles, restaurant owners
  • Ken Glazer, managing partner of Buckingham Properties

Need To Know Rochester: The Business Section

Dec 12, 2012

Matt Daneman from the Democrat & Chronicle joins us to discuss the new Midtown Plaza plans, consumer confidence, and High Tech Rochester's push to bolster the region's software industry.

City of Rochester

There are new plans for Midtown Tower in downtown Rochester.

City of Rochester

After five years of design and demolition, the Midtown Rising Project is moving into the construction phase.

Rochester Mayor Tom Richards says the first phase of construction on the project starts today.

That includes creating the streets and infrastructure to support redevelopment on the nearly nine acre site that formerly housed Midtown Plaza.

Crane-Hogan Structural Systems will be undertaking this $5.9 million phase of the redevelopment project.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Windstream at Midtown

Mar 26, 2012

Windstream officials, developers and local politicians spoke at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the company’s new offices at the Midtown Rising project in downtown Rochester.

The telecommunications company which acquired locally founded PAETEC plans to relocate 300 local workers to the facility beginning next year.

Jeff Gardner, Windstream CEO and president said, "I truly believe that the future is bright, and hope that Windstream's decision to locate a large number of our employees here will serve as a catalyst for future development."