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Buckingham, Morgan to break ground on Midtown tower

Rochester Business Journal
May 23, 2014

Buckingham Properties LLC is redeveloping the site with Morgan Management LLC in a 50-50 joint venture. (Rendering courtesy of Buckingham Properties)

A groundbreaking is scheduled for today on the $59 million Tower at Midtown LLC 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 pet-friendly apartments will feature concrete floors and open floor plans. There also will be roof decks and underground parking.

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

A final phase of demolition has already begun at the 357,000-square-foot structure, but a formal groundbreaking ceremony with city and state officials is scheduled for this morning.

Buckingham’s Laurence Glazer 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 construction is expected to be completed in late spring 2015.

There has been a lot of tenant interest in the site, but no agreements have been signed yet, he added.

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

Major demolition on the nine-acre site was completed in December 2011, leaving two of the steel building frames. The former Seneca Building has been converted into new office space for Windstream Corp.

Midtown Tower is one of several major development projects that involve Buckingham, Morgan or both.

For Buckingham, construction is slated to begin this summer on the first phase of 16-acre Alexander Park North. The project, expected to cost roughly $25 million, is to include retail and residential space.

Upon completion within the next five years, Buckingham plans to have 220 residential units, nearly 200,000 square feet of office space, retail space and a parking garage for up to 700 cars on the site, near Monroe Avenue and Alexander Street.

Buckingham also is about to begin a $5 million project, Edge of the Wedge, to redevelop a 40,000-square-foot complex of connected buildings at 739 S. Clinton Ave. for retail, office and residential use.

Among Morgan Management’s efforts is the building and leasing of some 300 loft-style apartments at CityGate. Morgan is working with Anthony J. Costello & Son Development, the principal developer for the $250 million CityGate project.

Morgan is also part of a joint venture with LeChase Construction Services LLC that is redeveloping a 21-acre parcel on the north side of Lake Shore Drive in Canandaigua. That project, called North Shore, includes roughly 450 one-, two- and three-bedroom residences with lake views, as well as retail spaces and designed outdoor environments.

5/23/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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