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City of Rochester

Midtown Project Description

Midtown Rising is a redevelopment partnership that will position Rochester for the future by significantly reshaping the downtown core through major public and private investment, job creation and infrastructure development. At the heart of the project is the rehabilitation of the nearly 9-acre former Midtown Plaza site into a mixed-use district designed to attract a critical mass of residents and 24/7 amenities that contribute to a vibrant live-work environment.  

The project also coincides with a positive transition for the Sibley Building, which is equal in square footage to what was previously housed at Midtown Plaza. Acquired by Boston based Winn Development, there are plans for housing, office space and first floor retail at the re-envisioned Sibley Building. Together, these two projects will be key to Rochester’s downtown revitalization, as the adjacent sites encompass a large portion of the core of Rochester’s City Center.  

New York State and the City of Rochester began taking the necessary steps to acquire, remediate and rehabilitate the Midtown site for reuse in 2007. To date, Empire State Development (ESD) has invested $55 million, along with $20 million from the City of Rochester. The 8-10 year development plan breaks the site down into seven shovel ready parcels with a re-established street grid. Once completed, the site will accommodate about one million square feet of office, residential, hotel and retail space. Also planned is public space with the capability for use for as a venue for a variety of special events and festivals. 

Major projects are already underway on two of the parcels. The former Seneca Building is hometo Windstream thanks to redevelopment by the Pike Company, while Midtown Tower is currently being redeveloped by Midtown Tower LLC, a partnership of Buckingham Properties and Morgan Management for a mix of residential and commercial uses. Also nearly complete is the rehabilitation of the 1,800 space Midtown Parking Garage.  

Construction contracts include Project Labor Agreements (PLA) with the unions, in which women and minorities are trained as apprentices to become union members and work on the project. The PLA is also in place for the School Modernization Program and the Mortimer Street garage, so the project has spurred job opportunities that will extend beyond its completion.  

View the Current Master Plan.

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