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Historic hive: A $6.8 million redevelopment project on St. Paul Street aims to help create a unique urban neighborhood.

Rochester Business Journal
April 11, 2014

Developer Dan Morgenstern says construction is expected to begin this summer to rehabilitate two historic buildings he owns on St. Paul Street. The $6.8 million project will add to his Hive Village neighborhood downtown.

The two adjacent buildings, at 155 and 169 St. Paul St., will be connected as one property called the Hive@155. It will be a mixed-use development with commercial, retail and residential space.


Construction is to begin in June, with the site being ready in late winter or early spring.

The Hive@155 is expected to feature 54 open loft studios, ranging from roughly 520 to 725 square feet. The lofts will include amenities such as business-class Internet service and doorman service. Morgenstern said the lofts are geared toward a younger demographic, with rents of $650 to $800 a month, which are below city market rates.

Morgenstern is also in discussion with a local arts cooperative for the first floor, which could be converted into a gallery and event space. And he is looking for startup firms. Both types of venture are designed to increase interaction among people at the street level, he said. The buildings, totaling some 55,000 square feet, have been designated as historically significant by the state Historic Preservation Office.

Morgenstern’s Hive Village is within a four-block area around the intersection of St. Paul and Andrews streets in the downtown St. Paul Corridor, a neighborhood of businesses, restaurants and apartment buildings.

The area, close to transportation and in the middle of downtown’s most densely populated neighborhood, will feature more than 900 residential units when the Hive@155 opens, he said.

Working with developer Laurence Glazer, whose Buckingham Properties LLC owns two properties in the area, The Lofts at Michaels-Stern and Water Street Commons, Morgenstern wants to strengthen the area’s reputation as an urban neighborhood.

Morgenstern envisions a neighborhood focused on energy and innovation, with an emphasis on up-and-coming businesses and the arts. Plans are underway to create a Hive cooperative in one of the buildings, which will be a workspace with Internet access where tenants can network and conduct business.

“I’m looking to create a true neighborhood,” he said. “This is an opportunity to imprint a neighborhood and help shape its direction.”

Morgenstern already owns buildings that make up the Hive Village and a parking lot there.

The first building—the Hive@116—was developed roughly eight years ago. Morgenstern and his wife live on the third floor there, and it also has one-bedroom lofts and first-floor retail space, including the Hive offices and Pert’s Boutique, which was formerly in Midtown Plaza.

There is also the Hive@Andrews, which Morgenstern bought 18 months ago and converted to a mixed-use property. D4 LLC, a provider of litigation support and e-discovery services to law firms and corporate law departments, is a tenant.

The structures were built in the late 1880s and housed businesses such as garment manufacturers and tool and die shops.

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of the Rochester Downtown Development Corp., said Morgenstern’s Hive concept—linking non-adjoining properties together to form a neighborhood—is unique in the city.

She believes the most heavily residential area within the city is headed in the right direction, given the developers’ vision of creating a sense of community. Travel in the area will be further improved with plans to turn some one-way streets there into two-way roads, Zimmer-Meyer added.

The conversion of St. Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue from one-way to two-way is expected to be completed by late November.

“It’s a whole different world there than it was one or two years ago,” she said.

The Hive Village already has generated buzz, especially with its exterior murals, created on entire sides of the buildings by street artists from around the world. Travelers from other cities have come to the area to see the works, Morgenstern said.

“We have an interesting history and the makings of a great neighborhood,” he said.

4/11/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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