Parcel 5 gets $1 million in state funding for ‘outdoor event space’ development

Local News

Thousands attend a musical performance at Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester on the final night of the CGI Rochester international Jazz Festival on Saturday June 29, 2019. (News 8 WROC Photo/Matt Driffill)

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, and after years of stalled plans and canceled projects, it might finally have a development plan in place.

Back in July, Mayor Lovely Warren requested 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 said the city would spend an additional $18.8 million, bringing the project total to $23.5 million.

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

Thursday, a New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) report said that $1 million of the Rochester and Finger Lakes awards would be earmarked for Parcel 5 development.

The language in the REDC report mirrored that used in summertime consolidated funding application, saying that the Downtown Rochester Parcel 5 Event Venue project would include:

“The City of Rochester will create a vibrant outdoor event space at Midtown’s Parcel 5 in the heart of downtown. The venue will include an expansive, translucent canopy, performance space with a stage shell enclosure marquee, green space and radiant heating.”

In a statement regarding the REDC report, Mayor Warren said in part:

“From UR Medicine Home Care coming downtown, renovations and rebirth at Xerox Tower, greater access to our waterfront at Durand Beach to laying the foundation for a year-around entertainment venue at Parcel 5 – today’s awards will help fuel Rochester’s continued growth.”

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

REDC Report (Rochester & Finger Lakes projects on page 21)

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