Construction begins on The Metropolitan

Former Chase Tower will have housing units on upper floors.

Rochester, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - The former Chase Tower has a new name and a new lease on life. 
 
Now called The Metropolitan, the building is under construction. Gallina Development Corporation is turning the upper floors into more than 100 apartments and condos. The lower floors will remain offices. The group hopes to have first-floor retail and restaurants.
 
"I think there's nothing like it from here to Toronto, from Toronto to New York," said developer Patrick Dutton, who's working with Gallina on the project.
 
The views from the upper floors are spectacular. You won't be able to find an apartment downtown higher in the sky than at The Metropolitan.
 
Rents will start at about $1,000 for a 600 square-foot one-bedroom apartment. The developers are calling the units "compact luxury."
 
They have no worries about renting out all of the units.
 
"I think it's the idea of a big city. I think it's the vibrancy. It's the energy. I think it's the creative nature of an urban environment that people are really wanting in our community," said  Lauren Gallina.
 
The Metropolitan joins dozens of downtown office buildings being converted into mixed-use housing developments. There are 1,522 units in the pipeline right now, according to Heidi Zimmer-Meyer of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation. She cites demographic factors and more companies expanding downtown.
 
"We are becoming smaller, more one to two person households, and more childless households," Zimmer-Meyer said. She added Millennials want an urban lifestyle, according to national surveys.
 
No one sees the growth slowing down.
 
"I think we're looking at a couple decades of solid growth. I think we're only at the start of it and we're going to see it for several decades to come," said Dutton.

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