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Project gets key tenant: New High Point building attracts CooperVision

Rochester Business Journal
June 13, 2014

Ground has been broken on a Class A office building at the High Point development in Victor, more than half of which is to be filled by CooperVision Inc. Site work also has begun on a retail portion of the site.

The 106-acre parcel—a mix of retail, office and proposed residential uses at Route 96 and High Street, across from Eastview Mall—has been developed over the past decade by Rainaldi Brothers Inc.

The 120,000-square-foot, three-story Class A office building is being built near the building that houses the headquarters of Constellation Brands Inc.

CooperVision is expected to move in by next summer, transferring its local administrative operation there from Woodcliff Drive in Perinton, said Jill Brizee, CooperVision’s director of sales administration.

Some 250 local employees who work at the Woodcliff site will be included in the move, which is being done because of space limitations at the current location and the need for a better layout, she said. Employees there are in marketing, sales, supply chain, finance, information technology and customer service positions.

CooperVision will maintain its other local operations in Scottsville and Henrietta, she said. The business has roughly 1,250 local workers. CooperVision is a division of Cooper Cos. Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.

The office building at High Point will be similar in style to the Constellation Brands building, with elements that include stone blocks, brick and glass, said Rochester developer Fred Rainaldi Jr. A second tenant for that building is expected to be disclosed shortly, he said.

Last month, the Ontario County Industrial Development Agency approved financial incentives for the office building. The board approved a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement totaling $1.9 million over 10 years for the project. The IDA estimates the state and regional benefits for the project will total $18 million.

Michael Manikowski, executive director of the Ontario County Office of Economic Development, praised Rainaldi’s project. The Class A office space is a welcome addition, he said.

“We need this type of space in Ontario County,” Manikowski said.

Class A office space is defined as the most prestigious office buildings, competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area, according to the Building Owners and Managers Association International.

In addition to the office building, Rainaldi has begun phase three of a retail portion of the development on roughly three acres of the site. It is to include two retail buildings of 15,000 and 10,000 square feet. More than three miles of hiking trails will be added, with a rock sculpture at the start of the system.

The retail buildings will combine modern elements with historical features and be reminiscent of a 19th-century village, with outdoor common areas and elements including limestone and brick.

“I want buildings with a timeless style that will last forever,” Rainaldi said.

He declined to discuss potential tenants for the retail buildings but said there has been great interest in the location.

“This is arguably the most powerful commercial corridor that exists in our region,” he said.

That demand, coupled with the developer’s attention to detail, give the site a competitive advantage, he added.

Rainaldi has repurposed two 19th-century cobblestone houses at the site to house Starbucks Coffee Co. and jeweler Alex and Ani. Two buildings constructed on the site house the Olive Garden, a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc., a FedEx Corp. office and other businesses. They were built with architectural treatments such as fieldstone, clapboard and shingled facades, consistent with the original Valentown Museum historic area.

The portion of the property bordering High Street contains The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor Inc., an outdoor products store, which was designed as replicas of the town’s historic barns.

Additional development at High Point is to include a four-story, 150,000-square-foot Class A office building, which Rainaldi expects to break ground on this year, and a residential section with 72 upscale townhomes with a country French look. The residential portion is expected to start in 2015.

Rainaldi also has plans to build a 25,000-square-foot retail building on the opposite side of High Street, behind a Pizzeria Uno Corp. restaurant. The building will be clad with stone blocks and have brick elements with chimneys.

Rainaldi also is the developer of the Culver Road Armory in Rochester.

6/13/14 (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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