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COMIDA OKs breaks for historic downtown buildings

Rochester Business Journal
January 21, 2014

Rochester developer Dan Morgenstern plans to rehabilitate two historic buildings in the St. Paul corridor into lofts and retail space, and a Syracuse developer plans to do the same to the historic Bevier Memorial Building on South Washington Street.

The two projects were among three approved for tax breaks Tuesday by the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency.

Morgenstern’s Hive@155 LLC entity was approved for sales and mortgage tax exemptions of $186,920 for a $6.8 million renovation of vacant commercial buildings at 155 St. Paul and 169 St. Paul into 54 work/live loft apartments and some 4,000 square feet of street retail.

The projected community benefit is $456,570, with three jobs to be created over three years, COMIDA representatives said.

Morgenstern plans to connect the two buildings as one property.

The buildings, totaling some 53,000 square feet, have been designated as historically significant by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.

Franklin Bevier LLC, an entity of Syracuse-based Franklin Properties LLC, was approved for sales and mortgage tax breaks of $97,800 for a $3.85 million certified historic rehabilitation of the Bevier building at 42 and 48 South Washington Street.

The developer plans to create 10 two-bedroom lofts and five one-bedroom lofts, and 5,000 square feet of Class A retail space.

The projected community benefit is $350,868, with one job to be created over three years.

The four-story, 26,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1910 for the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute School of Art and Design, the precursor to the Rochester Institute of Technology.

RIT vacated the building—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—in the late 1960s, and the site has been vacant for 15 years.

COMIDA also approved incentives of just more than $2 million for Morgan Hard Road LLC’s $24.3 million Royal Highlands senior housing development on Hard Road at Picture Parkway in Webster.

The benefits to the Morgan Management LLC entity are a combination of property, sales and mortgage taxes. The community benefits are estimated at $4.1 million, with four jobs projected in three years.

Royal Highlands is to include 150 apartments totaling 196,197 square feet, with 74 units in a three-story building, 16 buildings with four units each and six duplex buildings. The project also includes a pool and community center on the 27-acre site.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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