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Legacy Tower to house photonics center headquarters

Rochester Business Journal
August 17, 2015

The Legacy Tower at One Bausch & Lomb Place will be the site of the American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics headquarters.

A release from SUNY Polytechnic Institute announced the decision Monday evening.

Initially, the institute will occupy some 25,000-square-feet of space for business outreach, workforce training, back office operations and business accelerator/incubator, according to the statement.

“In support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s innovation-driven economic growth strategy and vision to establish Rochester as the global center of photonics research, SUNY Poly in partnership with the region’s business leaders sought a headquarters location that would not only meet the direct needs of the institute but would contribute to the city’s downtown renewal, and the Legacy Tower was the resoundingly consensus choice,” said Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM photonics, in a statement.

“We will now move quickly to finalize terms with the owner so we can enter the next phase of the institute’s launch, including beginning the process of hiring personnel.”

Federal officials announced at the end of July a consortium led by UR and SUNY Polytechnic Institute was selected by the Defense Department for the new AIM Photonics.

Since then, business leaders, academics and politicians have been weighing in over where the site should be located, with two camps emerging. One supported the Legacy Tower, while the other felt the Sibley building was a better choice.

In the release, officials said the Legacy Tower—owned by Buckingham Properties LLC—has advantages including that it requires no capital investments or lengthy and costly rehabilitation work.

The New York-based consortium won a $110 million investment from the department, beating out two other finalists. New York has pledged $250 million and industry partners will contribute another $250 million.

The former Bausch & Lomb headquarters building was renamed Legacy Tower last November, in honor of the eye-care company’s history in Rochester and to pay tribute to the late developer, Laurence Glazer, and his wife, Jane.

(c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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