Democratic mayoral candidate and City Council President Lovely Warren would like to see a performing arts center at the Midtown Plaza complex.
"I want a performing arts center along with a multiplex, somewhere we can add additional convention center space, as well as possibly a movie theater," she said during an appearance on News 8 First at 4.
The idea of putting a Broadway-style theater at Midtown is not new. The Rochester Broadway Theatre League once wanted to build one at the McCurdy's site. Former mayor Robert Duffy supported the idea, but fundraising never got off the ground. Mayor Tom Richards is not opposed to the concept, but said RBTL would have to do the heavy lifting on fundraising.
RBTL has since partnered with Medley Centre owner Scott Congel for a new theater. Congel has promised to build the theater and buy RBTL's current home, Auditorium, Center. But the Medley Centre project has been stalled.
"With what's going on in Irondequoit I think (RBTL) may be open to coming back downtown," Warren said. "We're the city of the arts. Why not have a multiplex facility in our downtown?"
"RBTL has a memorandum of understanding with the Irondequoit developer, which we will continue to honor as the development moves forward," said Arnold Rothschild, chairman of RBTL.
Warren also discussed other projects in the works. She wants to work with Monroe Community College on its move to the Kodak complex. Mayor Tom Richards strongly opposes the college's move out of the Sibley Building.
"I think that we need to figure out a way to make it work on behalf of the students," said Warren.
Warren is cautious about the city's plan to fill in the eastern portion of the Inner Loop. The city has maintained the sunken highway cuts off neighborhoods. Filling it in would create 8 acres of developable land. The project was awarded $17.7 million in federal funding, enough to move forward.
"We're still in the beginning stages. Just because we have the money, doesn't mean we're going to do it tomorrow," Warren said. "I think that we just need to do our due diligence and make sure we don't have a big empty space where the Inner Loop used to be."
Warren supports the marina project at the Port of Rochester.
"The development has gone through the vetting process and we're moving forward at this time."
To watch our interview with Warren, click on the video above.