Parcel 5 transformation complete, ‘At the 5’ expected to open Memorial Day

Community

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — City officials announced the completion of Parcel 5 Thursday. They call the transformation a transitional, community entertainment space “At the 5.”

The transformation entails a massive green space, and walking path for pop-up retail and mini outdoor concerts.

Officials are asking the public to not walk or sit on the sod, as it needs time to set. It’s expected to be ready for public-use come Memorial Day.

“It started being an empty lot with gravel and then it just rapidly came in fast,” said Noelani Joiner, a stylist who works across the street at Need. Salon and Spa. She envisions this new project as a place to escape on a lunch break, take a deep breath, and let go of stress.

“In Rochester we have a lot of parks but not close enough where we can run over and back within 30 minutes to take our lunch,” she said.

For years, Parcel 5 had been considered for a performing arts centers and open park-like spaces.  All have fallen through – but that doesn’t mean the area hasn’t seen a lot of life. For example, it was the home for the Rochester Jazz fest at one point, and most recently, protests.

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer is the president of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation – the company who approached the city with this new idea. She says they’re embracing the desire from the community to use this space for gathering and discussing social justice.

“This space could be great as a natural gathering space,” she said.

Zimmer-Meyer says the Black Lives Matter movement has brought the community together in discussion. Just a few months ago – people gathered demanding justice for the death of Daniel Prude, and others.

Joiner says word on the street is people are calling it “Prude Square.”

But there’s a catch to all of this. The plan is temporary – and long-term ideas waylaid by the pandemic. “Ultimately it’s meant to be re-developed and there’s some ideas that the city has been looking at to create more of a backbone,” said Zimmer-Meyer.

The Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center is currently accepting reservations and offering support with logistics to facilitate scheduled programming and events, such as fitness classes, pop-up retail and food, and small outdoor concerts. Members of the public that are interested in holding a special event “At the 5” are asked to contact the Convention Center at (585) 770-2374 or email the5@rrcc.com

City sponsored events scheduled for “At the 5” will be announced at a formal opening ceremony in the coming weeks. All events and reservations will be held in accordance with the current New York State pandemic guidelines for outdoor gatherings.

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