One more thing: there is nothing wrong with NIMBY. What do you think about the Village of Pittsford's fight against Mark IV's proposal to build apartments along the Canal!?! Second: Greater Rochester's transit situation WON'T change until gas prices are sky high or there is significant population growth. Since neither are likely for the foreseeable future, almost all people (except hipsters and true progressives) are going to keep their cars and shop, live, and work where they can drive and park freely. Third: without change in Rochester's schools, you are not going to see family's clamoring to live in the city. Fourth: See City's other article about apartment building in rochester, eventually, with so many apartments coming online, rents will decrease (without the population increase) and fringe areas (like NOTA and the Morgan location) are going to see deteriotation rather than gentrification. As Larry Glazer says in that article, apartment building in Rochester is a Zero-Sum game.
I think it's pretty clear most of the commenters here don't live in this part of the city. Adding that many units here does not help increase the density of the city. There is little to nothing nearby. The residents would likely walk across the Eastman lawn to get to Park and East Avenues, where they would make a large trek to either the EastEnd or Berkley & Park, yes, they could also walk to Starry Nites Cafe, but the neighborhood surrounding Starry Nites, while up and coming, is still pretty dicey (wouldn't want my daughter walking around there at night). Don't forget the amazing foodstore of PriceRite, cheaper than Walmart!?! There is little to no residential life on most of this stretch of University, it's mostly old warehouse buildings where manufacturing STILL takes place. Allowing this to be built would be a great example of poor city planning. The East/Park area has survived 100 years because of its preservation. While we are at it, why don't we tear down the Eastman House and build apartments there too?!?. F$ck the majesty of East Avenue, it stands in the way of PROGRESS (and tax revenues). And for those against a parking lot, there is already a massive parking lot there. This is Rochester, where people demand free parking (hence the demise of downtown as the workplace of the region). Eastman's plan would beautify the lot, increasing green space and including a new sculpture garden adding to the ArtWalk.
Thank you for this well researched article on the proposed development at 933 University Avenue. Your paper serves an important role when providing substance to issues facing urban development.
My understanding of the process of having private investment of additional housing has been in existence for the last 2 decades. The influx of non tax supported multimillion dollar proposals should be taken seriously and facilitated to an outcome of quality, integrating with neighborhoods, and celebration.
This proposal at its current or alternative site reflects a very positive indicator of demand for development in Rochester. Hooray, at last! May your paper, neighborhood activists, and city officials work together towards its potential of a promising end for the City of Rochester.
It's nice to see City supporting a major advertiser, George Eastman House, even though GEH completely and totally screwed up what should have been a no-brainer acquisition of the Voiture. We wouldn't be having this conversation if GEH had dealt with those vets in a straightforward manner. And, once GEH bought the property, and once they figured out what they wanted to do with it after they used it for a parking lot for a few years (and Lord knows the one thing Rochester doesn't need is nicely landscaped parking lot), then City will be explaining why whatever GEH wants to do is worth tearing down the historic Voiture building. After reading this ill-reasoned piece, City has no credibility on this subject.
All the things that make Rochester a better city- better mass transit, more small neighborhood businesses, more use of bikes and walking instead of driving-require population density. The way you get population density is to developments like this.
Also, that Kahn quote is just NIMBY dressed up in elegant words.
I don't agree with the article. Parking lots are terrible for urban areas and density is almost always a good thing. When density gets high enough in a desirable area the result is usually fewer cars, better transit, and great restaurants. Parking lots lead to sterile, unwalkable, neighborhoods with few services. Morgan's proposal looks fine and will be a fine addition to University Avenue and the city.
I agree with you Mike and JAM. It is because of efforts like this that will block Rochester from moving forward. This building is seriously ugly and people had the nerve to complain about Erie harbor apartments. In this case you would be replacing an ugly building with a beautiful one.
What would George Eastman do?
Cities like Rochester are dying, and a major reason is the toxic, idiotic and un-American ideology that says economic growth can be made to follow the centrally-planned dictates of political pressure groups. If this kind of stupidity prevails, then the city's inevitable demise will be richly deserved.
It's hardly a coincidence that the only places prospering these days are those states and communities that embrace progress and welcome dynamic, creative private investment—without meddling busybodies, mountains of red tape or rapacious taxation.
You can listen to newspaper pundits and dead architects, or you can use your head and face cold, hard facts.
I too have been involved in historic preservation efforts, although not for as long as some including Mary Anna. But I find many of the arguments here to be nonsensical.
What's been proposed by Morgan is clearly an improvement over the house and parking lot that is there now. I see no green space now that won't be there after these apartments are built.
The 120 year old, beautiful Cataract Brewery building in the historic High Falls neighborhood was a Designated Building of Historic Value; supposedly protected from demolition. Yet, we had no problem demolishing that so it could be replaced with a HUGE parking lot forever altering the rim of the High Falls gorge.
Here we have the George Eastman House now saying it wants to build a sculpture garden and A PARKING LOT on this site? I really don't see how that would be better than adding residents to this section of University.
Also, I find it a bit ironic this article mentions Louis Kahn. The very first design by Morgan for this site looked like it could have been designed by Kahn himself. Personally, I don't believe his aesthetic or his teachings belong anywhere near this neighborhood.
I'm a former resident of the neighborhood who worked on neighborhood planning matters, including the original ARTWalk and the extension. I've spent hundreds of delightful hours at the George Eastman House, attended several meetings and community events at Monroe Voiture, and, of course, GreekFest. I've been heavily involved in historic preservation, community planning, and neighborhood revitalization. And with all that background, I find that this thorough and thoughtful piece is pretty much spot on.
Nice job, Mary Anna!
"The bombers also win if, in our anger and fear, we start profiling classes of immigrant Americans."
We Americans lose if we fail to learn any lessons from this.
"..some politicians, debating immigration reform in Washington, are bringing the Boston Marathon bombings into the discussion."
Like discussing the Newtown tragedy in the discussion about gun control.
And shouldn't we talk, at last, about the relationship between our culture of violence and the violence that takes place in this country?
How about the culture of violence in Chechnya that the bombers brought with them?
Little more than a boy? He's a 19 year old man, accountable for his deplorable actions in the 1st degree. Why it was done has already been established; he's a muslim terrorist, like ALL anti-Western Muslim terrorists. Their mass hatred for all Jews and Gentiles has been in exsistance for thousands of years. Why do you wish to make out this criminal as "a poor boy who can be rehabilitated with a dose of Western Liberalism? He's am enemy of the state and as such, should be treated and executed as one!
Of course Morelle defends his colleagues. His boss, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, signed off on a $103,000 taxpayer-funded settlement with two former staffers of Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez who accused him of sexual harassment. Nothing to see here.
Also, just a note, the Green Party and Occupy are not the same group. There are many devoted and intelligent people active in the Green Party who never set foot at Occupy. The Four Pillars of the Green Party are 1) ecological wisdom , 2) social justice, 3) grassroots democracy , and 4) nonviolence, which to me is not a bad framework to approach public policy. Rochester needs a government that is inclusive, invigorating, focused on the entire fabric of our community. We have too much potential as a community to keep limping along like this. We need to give people a real stake in their neighborhoods, a real voice at the table, and empower them to help drive this city forward, which is what the Green Party puts on the table.
Our current budget situation is pretty dire, we are at the point of closing down libraries and recreation centers, delaying critical infrastructure projects, and cutting community and youth services. I would say that asking whether the amazingly low property values these deals grant and the low taxes they allow businesses to pay is good for Rochester is a perfectly fair question. I don't disagree that we should encourage businesses to grow in Rochester, but at what cost? How many jobs is a recreation center for at risk inner city youth worth? 10? 50? 200? We're talking two issues, the taxes these deals set and the assessments granted, and I don't think it is unreasonable to ask that Rochester businesses deal with a higher level on both of those scores so that we don't pass all of the pain of our budget crisis to the residents who live here. Having a serious conversation about the budget and not talking about the tax breaks and property assessments for major development deals is unproductive and shortsighted. Tom Richards and Lovely Warren won't even talk about this issue, and Alex White is making a valid argument. Maybe Rochester simply cannot afford these deals at the levels we have been granting them, we are simply passing on too much pain to the people who live here, we're at risk of slashing the social fabric of Rochester in this budget season, and I think we need to change our priorities to benefit everyone in Rochester and not just the businesses that operate here. I think everyone would agree that Rochester needs a new economic vision, and 40 years of one party Democratic rule hasn't brought it.
This article is not only terribly biased, which is no surprise, but shows just how much hatred the liberal establishment has for conservatives. What happened to tolerance preached by liberals? Tolerance does not mean that one should listen to the other sides views, liberals want tolerance to mean that we must not only listen to it, but accept it. Also, your comment that waiting for Scalia to die off is full of hatred. The limited quote you put in here that 'we cannot have a moral feeling against homosexuality' is a shameful way to confuse your readers. The point was why are conservatives not allowed to have a moral objection to homosexuality? Liberals can have their view of homosexuality but if our view is different than yours, you want to shut us down. Where is the openess that liberals claim to have. You know, there is a saying 'there's nobody more conservative than a liberal'. Your article pretty much proves it.
I have a question: what are chem-trails, and how do they relate to global warming and/or climate change?
Chemtrails have been seen over the Rochester area lately.
Has City seen them?
Marriage in its very nature and meaning is the union of the two naturally distinct and complementary sexes as husband and wife. That universal truth is rooted in natural law, the most basic facts of life, the very existence of the humankind and every human person. It transcends societies, faiths, ideologies, traditions, creeds, languages, cultures, races, colors, nationalities, and legal codes. The overwhelming preponderance of the earth's seven billion inhabitants understand that no amount of mumbo-jumbo or hocus-pocus by nine black-robed wizards can do a damn thing about it, any more than it can repeal the law of gravity. The idea that anybody's being "persecuted" or deprived of rights is ludicrous.
"this development would have happened due to market demands regardless" !?!?!?!? This is the essence of the Green Party fantasy. What market conditions are you citing? The worst economy since the great depression? Declining population and further concentration of poverty? The green party loves to compare the tax impact of actual development that has happened to the possible tax impact of magical fantasy projects that don't exist (rather than to the non-revenue producing decay that they replace) without factoring in any of the other benefits of of these projects. If Apple computer moved its corparate headquarters to downtown rochester, built an architectural wonder on what was an abondoned parking lot , but was given tax breaks to do so, Alex White would be decrying the move. You don't compare the deal to a pefect non-existent one - you compare it to the abandoned parking lot. White seems almost completely unaware of the almost generations of divestment from the city. Pretending that private equity is fighting to spend money on urban development and that tax incentives are needless give aways is frighteningly divorced from reality. It's cheap and it attempts to turn complex economics into bumper sticker politics. If you loved how this group ran a campout in the park, you'll love how they run a city.
Howard, your vision of the issue of race is completely one dimensional.
Who exactly are the "people of color" you have pitted against whites? The behavioral - not racist - division in Rochester is primarily between a significant subset of young African Americans and everyone else. That division is defined by the disruptive behaviors of the former.
I was recently at a meeting for a Rochester branch library facing a serious teen problem (almost all of whom were African American). That problem included assaults on the premises. In walked a tardy city official who commented 'sorry I was at meeting discussing the problem of assaults on refugees'. No one had to ask who was perpetrating those assaults. Of course none of this was news - unlike your march in Greece - given the enormous barriers to honesty on the subject of race.
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