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Ceremony marks start of work on Tower at Midtown

Rochester Business Journal
May 23, 2014

A ceremony was held Friday commemorating the start of the $59 million Tower at Midtown redevelopment project.

The project—at East Broad and Chestnut streets —comprises roughly 180 residential rental units on the upper floors and some 160,000 square feet of commercial space on the first three to five floors of the 17-story tower.

The project is expected to create 29 permanent jobs, retain 316 permanent jobs and create 200 construction jobs.

Buckingham Properties LLC is redeveloping the site with Morgan Management LLC in a 50-50 joint venture called Midtown Tower LLC.

“Momentum has been building for downtown Rochester, and the Tower’s groundbreaking marks a major milestone in its revival,” said Buckingham Properties CEO Larry Glazer, in a statement. “We look forward to bringing the right mix of tenants downtown to propel this momentum forward.”

A final phase of demolition already has begun at the 357,000-square-foot structure, but a ceremonial plaque hanging ceremony was held Friday morning. Construction is slated to be done in the late spring 2015.

The project, which sits on a 1.6-acre parcel in downtown Rochester, is supported by up to $4 million from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and $1.2 million from the state’s Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund.

Buckingham and Morgan had bought the vacant Midtown Tower from the city for $2. Last summer, the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency signed off on a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement of nearly $18.6 million and approved a $3.7 million loan for the project.

Ken Glazer, director of development and architectural services for Buckingham Properties, said there has been a lot of tenant interest in the site, but no agreements have been signed.

The former Midtown Plaza site contained eight office buildings, an indoor shopping mall, a bus station and three levels of underground parking on 8.6 acres. The city of Rochester is calling the reconstruction effort “Midtown Rising.”

The entire site has undergone abatement of asbestos-containing materials and demolition of most of the structures, funded by a $55 million state appropriation and $17.6 million from the city in acquisition, relocation and predevelopment costs. Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. is providing up to $500,000 for electric service infrastructure.

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

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