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If they’re successful they can create jobs, serve as an answer to unmet needs in the market and bring about social change. In cities, they’re also a key factor for growth both in population and income. So what’s happening now in the City of Rochester to make the landscape appealing for urban entrepreneurs and is it working? In this Need to Know segment we’ll hear from Ebony Miller Wesley, Interim Director of RIT’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, President of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (The Commissary).

Is La Marketa going to happen? Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren recently announced the release of a request for proposals for the sale and development of land that would “transform a section of the 800 block of N. Clinton Avenue into a Latin American village plaza.” That dream has been discussed for nearly 30 years in Rochester. 

Our guests talk about their vision and the possible impact. In studio:

  • Mayor Lovely Warren
  • Jackie Ortiz, member of Rochester City Council
  • Daisy Algarin, senior marketing specialist for the City of Rochester
  • Eugenio Marlin, vice president of Ibero American Development Corp. 

We discuss the Rochester Venture Adventure, a scavenger hunt designed to get people excited about the revitalization of Downtown Rochester. The event was created by High Tech Rochester (HTR) and AT&T after HTR surveyed young workers who said they want to live, work, and play downtown.

We talk about the future of the business culture downtown with our guests:

  • Ana Liss, managing director of business development at Greater Rochester Enterprise
  • Dan Keeley, director of startup community development for High Tech Rochester
  • Kyle Psaty, senior director of marketing for Brand Networks

What should Rochester do with Parcel 5? That's the name for the site of the former Midtown Plaza, currently sitting vacant, in the heart of the city.

Developers are submitting proposals, but one group is pushing for the site to remain open, developed in a thoughtful combination of green space and festival grounds. Others argue that the site is too valuable not to develop more aggressively.

Our guests discuss the possibilities surrounding one of the most important decisions Rochester leaders will make:

Who's choosing to live in the City of Rochester?

The Warren administration is reaching out to bring potential homebuyers into Rochester neighborhoods for a look at options they might not typically consider. Is the program working? And when it comes to downtown, the steady stream of higher-end apartments and condos continues. Is supply going to outstrip demand, or do the numbers support the downtown housing stock? Our guests:

  • Beverly Fair Brooks, vice president and regional community reinvestment officer at M&T Bank, and co-chair of Celebrate City Living
  • Lia Anselm, senior community housing coordinator, City of Rochester
  • Mark Siwiec, licensed associate real estate broker

Rochester is one of four U.S. cities to be selected to participate in the National League of Cities' and Urban Land Institute's Rose Fellowship. During the one year fellowship, a local team will collaborate with advisers from across the nation to address a "land use" challenge. The project at hand? Activating three downtown assets: Main Street, the Genesee riverfront, and the Broad Street Aqueduct.

What will downtown look like five years from now? And what lessons can Rochester learn from other cities? We explore these questions with our guests:

  • Gideon Berger, program director of the Daniel Rose Fellowship program at the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use
  • Nadine Fogarty, vice president of Strategic Economics in Berkeley, California
  • Kevin Kelley, senior community housing planner for the Housing Division in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development for the City of Rochester, and Rose Fellowship project manager
  • Baye Muhammad, commissioner for the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development for the City of Rochester

You can't look at a part of downtown Rochester without seeing how it was affected by Larry and Jane Glazer. They were an important piece to the economic development puzzle of downtown Rochester, but now what happens after their passing? We talk about their impact on downtown and what happens moving forward with the Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Downtown Rochester Development Corporation.

It was 1995 when the last grocer pulled out of downtown Rochester, but on Friday, Hart's Local Grocers will bring a grocery store back into the downtown area. Is this a spark for downtown development in Rochester? Now that downtown has a grocery store, what else will come? We discuss this with our panel:'

Glenn Kellog, founder of Hart's Local Grocers

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation

Matt Haag, councilmember at-large

RGRTA is finally getting their large new downtown terminal. How much is the final pricetag? Who’s paying for it? And is Rochester ready for a subsidized bikesharing program?

We discuss this in studio with RGRTA CEO Bill Carpenter, RGRTA COO Daniele Coll-Gonzalez, and Rich Perrin of the Genesee Transportation Council (GTC).

Schumer: "Revitalize Rochester's Landmarks"

Dec 11, 2012
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Senator Charles Schumer is proposing legislation that will help revitalize Rochester's landmarks.

He's proposed the extension of the New Markets Tax Credit which is set to expire at the end of the year. He's also backing the CAPP Act, which stands for Creating American Prosperity through Preservation.