Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Monday as part of the redevelopment of the Sibley Building in downtown Rochester.
The first phase of the $200 million project on East Main St. will include construction of 96 new apartments, 72 active senior living homes, as well as additional retail and office space.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was at the ceremony, and believes the building will become a catalyst for rejuvenating the downtown area.
"It is once again going to be the epicenter of downtown Rochester during the next heyday, which is occurring right downtown as we transition from old school manufacturing to new school innovation opportunities."
Construction has already begun on the top floor and once completed, it will be the home to High Tech Rochester's incubator for high-tech startup companies in the region, the Finger Lakes Business Accelerator Cooperative. Officials say that incubator is expected to generate more than 1,000 new jobs within its first five years of operation.
Mayor Lovely Warren says along with hundreds of construction jobs, and the new business accelerator, Sibley will provide an important boost to economic development.
Jamie Rubin, commissioner of the State's Homes and Community Renewal agency, says the mixed use plans for the building are a great way to honor its significance.
"Bringing a historic building like this back to use as a mixed income, mixed use project, is one of the best ways to honor the past, while stimulating economic development, and creating diverse, inclusive communities, " Rubin told the gathering.
As the building changes, so will its name. The new 'Sibley Square' title focuses on the square atrium around the original department store's iconic clock.