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January 16, 2013

College Town development project moves forward

college town rendering

A major development project first envisioned in the University’s 2008 Master Plan is moving forward, with a 2013 groundbreaking now being planned.

College Town is a mixed-use development project at the intersection of Mt. Hope and Elmwood avenues that is designed to link the University’s presence with the community to create an area for students, residents, and shoppers alike.

“This is a historic day for the City of Rochester and the University of Rochester as we move forward with College Town,” President Joel Seligman said on Dec. 19, when $4 million in funding from New York’s Regional Economic Development Council program was announced for the project. The funding is part of a total $96.2 million award to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council representing the state’s investment in projects aimed at creating 50,000 new jobs in the region over the next five years.

“This project will create a vibrant neighborhood, enhance the quality of life for this community, and spur economic development by adding hundreds of jobs and millions in tax dollars to the city and region,” Seligman said.

The University owns the property on which College Town is being developed and is leasing it long-term to College Town LLC for the ongoing development and management of business, residential, and office space.

Scheduled developments include

  • A 140-room Hilton Garden Inn
  • 73,000 square feet of shops and restaurants—local and national, upscale and mid-range dining
  • A 20,000-square-foot fresh market concept grocery
  • A 20,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore
  • 50,000 square feet of office space
  • 154,000 square feet of residential space 
  • A five-story parking garage with 1,525 spaces for College Town patrons and University use.

The University and the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority are also collaborating to maximize public and sustainable transportation options to and from College Town.

“Let me express my sincere gratitude to the outstanding partners who have made College Town possible, including Mayor Tom Richards and the City Council; College Town of Rochester development partners Fairmount Properties and Gilbane Development; the Mt. Hope Task Force and our neighbors; and the many others here who worked on this great project,” Seligman said. “I want to especially recognize Ron Paprocki for his vision and leadership, persistence through the many steps of this extremely complex project, and the outstanding coordination efforts by him and his team with our partners.

“I also want to extend a special thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Louise Slaughter, and the state officials who have provided unwavering support of this transformative project.”

Paprocki, senior vice president for administration and finance and CFO, said “With the University as one of several partners in the College Town project, I’d like to express my gratitude to Governor Cuomo and New York State for a $4 million investment into our community. College Town is one of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s 2012 Priority Projects that advances our region’s strategic growth and vitality, and with this support we now look toward a formal groundbreaking early in the new year.”

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