University of Rochester

Rochester Review
March–April 2013
Vol. 75, No. 4

pdf image
Story as a PDF


Review home

In Review

CAMPUS DEVELOPMENTWelcome to College Town
collegetown (Illustration: Steve Boerner for Rochester Review; Source: Fairmount Properties and Gilbane Development)

Counting Up College Town

Since the 1990s, University, City of Rochester, and neighborhood planners have been exploring ways to develop the area near Mt. Hope and Elmwood avenues.

In 2008, plans for the intersection coalesced through workshops and meetings involving area residents and representatives from the Mt. Hope Avenue Task Force, the Mt. Hope Business Association, the South East Area Coalition, Mt. Hope Cemetery, the City, and the University.

In December, the project received $4 million from New York’s Regional Economic Development Council program. Another key piece of financing was announced late last year, when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) helped secure a $20 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of Rochester to support the project.

Under the plans, the University will own the acreage on which College Town sits and lease it long-term to the partnership College Town LLC, which will manage the development.

In addition to anchor tenants Hilton Garden Inn, Barnes & Noble, and Flour City Provisions, the development includes 73,000 square feet of street-level shops and restaurants, 50,000 square feet of office space, and 154,000 square feet of rental residential space.

Here are some other facts and figures about the project:

$17 million Total in public infrastructure improvements invested by the City of Rochester in the Mt. Hope and Elmwood avenue intersection, including landscaped medians, new sidewalks, broadened roadways, reduced curb cuts, new signals, signage, and traffic controls.

$2.5 million Estimated annual sales tax generated from the retail operations of College Town, in addition to $1.8 million in income taxes and $600,000 in annual hotel taxes.

1,200 Estimated number of new jobs to be created, both in construction and in local services.

Work begins this spring on a 500,000-square-foot project to create College Town, a planned, mixed-use development at the intersection of Mt. Hope and Elmwood avenues that’s designed to create an urban village center for students, residents, and shoppers alike. “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,” President Joel Seligman said this winter in announcing College Town. Based on a partnership involving the University, the City of Rochester, development partners Fairmount Properties and Gilbane Development, and Mt. Hope neighborhood leaders, the project is designed to serve as a gateway to the River Campus and to the Medical Center. Located on 14 acres of land owned by the University, College Town is expected to be completed by summer 2014.