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City development director resigns, accepts state job

Rochester Business Journal
November 8, 2013

Bret Garwood, the point person for the city of Rochester on the redevelopment of the Midtown Plaza site and other high-profile projects, will join the state Department of Homes and Community Renewal in January, officials announced Friday.
Garwood, director of business and housing development for the city, announced his resignation Friday, officials said. He will stay on until mid-December, then become senior vice president of multi-family housing at the state agency.
"Bret has been a most valuable part of the development team at City Hall," Mayor Thomas Richards said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "There are few, if any, projects to which he has not had a major contribution. Through it all, he has been a pleasure to work with. I know that he is deeply committed to affordable housing and the state will be well-served by his contributions."
Garwood's resignation comes three days after City Council President Lovely Warren won the general election for mayor.

Garwood has concentrated on Rochester's growth through the management of the city's real estate development, neighborhood revitalization, business attraction, housing production and rehabilitation since March 2007.

Garwood and the staff in the Bureau of Business and Housing Development, under the leadership of Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner R. Carlos Carballada, have overseen $1.5 billion in public and private investment over the last five years in community and economic development, leveraging $15 of investment for every $1 in city investment, the statement from City Hall said.
The projects include Midtown, the Academy Building and others downtown; El Camino and the Son House in the Northeast; Voters Block, Brooks Court, Brooks Landing and the Carriage Factory in the Southwest; College Town, the Culver Road Armory and Erie Harbor in the Southeast; and the Holy Rosary Apartments and JOSANA neighborhood improvements in the Northwest.

Garwood was instrumental in the launch of the city's Focused Investment Strategy for neighborhood revitalization and the Homeless Resolution Strategy to better serve the chronically homeless, the statement said. Most recently, Garwood was helped establish the Rochester Land Bank Corporation, which is designed to help the city return underutilized property to productive use.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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