Rochester city officials say they expect to make a decision soon on what’s next for the empty space downtown called Parcel 5.

Four proposals were submitted: Rochester Visionary Square wants the space to stay green; Gallina Development suggests luxury condominiums and retail space; Rochester Broadway Theatre League proposes a new performing arts center; and the owner of Hart’s Local Groceries envisions mixed use buildings.

The city is hopeful to make a decision by end of year, but says if it goes into the new year, there’s a good reason – whatever goes in this space will affect Rochester for years to come.

“We are taking our time,” said Deputy Mayor Carlos Carballada. “This is not a race to the finish line. This is a race to the best quality, and the best thing for the city.”

Carballada says they are winding down their selection process. Only proposals submitted by the deadline will be considered.

Carballada says right now, he is mostly concerned with financing.

“I am sure we can get 25 designs that look pretty good,” he said.  “Ok, do you have any money to implement this? ‘Oh, well, we don’t.’ Well, the city doesn’t have millions and millions of dollars.”

With the New Year fast approaching, Carballada says he is eager to see life in downtown again – but it must make sense.

“It creates jobs, it creates permanent residents downtown, and hopefully it will create a lot of activity downtown,” said Carballada.

Whatever proposal is selected, all the pieces must come together seamlessly.

“You have to have people with a lot of strength, a lot of development expertise,” said Carballada. “A lot of other organizations, that will help them with how they market and that kind of thing.”

Ultimately, the city says, they want to do this right the first time around. They also say they are still on track with having a decision, by at latest, the beginning of the new year.