Parcel 5: City’s new plans call for greenspace, stage and more


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For years, the City of Rochester has been trying to develop Parcel 5, a large lot on Main Street in downtown Rochester, and a new financial request could indicate what the future holds for the site.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is requesting City Council to vote and approve a request of $4.7 million from the state to renovate Parcel 5, the location where the former Midtown Plaza used to stand. Legislation says the city will spend an additional $18.8 million, bringing the project total to $23.5 million.

According to the consolidated funding application, the city wants to add a visitor center with restrooms, an overhead canopy, site and stage lighting, a marquee, greenspace, hardscape, and digital infrastructure.

Parcel 5 was recently used as a concert space at the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. Thousands attended the performance on Saturday, surrounded by downtown Rochester’s skyline as a backdrop to the music of Trombone Shorty. The site has also hosted events for the Fringe Festival and other smaller events.

Plans for Parcel 5 previously included a new performing arts center. Those plans were eventually relocated to a separate riverside site.

City council will have to vote on the funding request before it heads to the state for approval.

“What we want to do is make Parcel 5 really downtown’s front lawn or living room where this activated 365 days a year people can make use of this site as a community gathering space, have a cup of coffee, maybe have a drink afterward, come and see a show. It’ll be an entertainment space year-round for the community,” said director of communications of the City of Rochester, Justin Roj.

Read the city’s full proposal regarding funding applications:

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