News Release - New mixed-used development opens at 208 Mill St.; Mayor Duffy cuts ribbon at Parazin Building

City of Rochester

News Release

(June 16, 2009) - Mayor Robert J. Duffy and R. Carlos Carballada, City’s Commissioner of Economic Development, joined partners Ben Kendig, Bob Lindsay and Paul Sullivan at the grand opening of 208 Mill St. in the High Falls Historic District. 

The City acquired the property in June 2006 and issued Request For Proposals to sell the property to a developer who would complete structural repairs and subsequently rehabilitate and redevelop it. In August 2006, City Council approved the sale of the property for $1.00 by the City to an entity to be formed by Ben Kendig – Plain Sight Collateral, LLC.      

The redevelopment project included converting the building to mixed-use with commercial space on the basement and first floor and residential and work spaces on the top three floors. Each floor consists of approximately 5,000 sq. ft.  There are six 1,150 square foot residential units and six work/live units ranging from 900-1,100 square feet.       

“The renovation of this historic building is yet another example of the continued growth in downtown Rochester,” Mayor Duffy said.     

In 1826, 208 Mill St. in the Historic High Falls District was built as the main location of Seyle Fire Engine Company, manufacturer of Rochester’s first fire engines. Later known as the Parazin Building, the four-story structure had been vacant and deteriorating for decades, which caused significant structural issues.  The building, however, contributes to the Browns Race Preservation District and has significant historic value.         

The project resulted in the renovation of a structurally unsound but historically significant building being added back to the City’s tax roll. The first steps were replacing the roof, thermal pane windows, and the walls (which the inner floors were supported by).    

The project will also contribute to the City’s continued efforts in the redevelopment of the High Falls area, specifically by providing additional office/residential space.      

The unique, long, thin structure of the building enables the residential units to have natural window light on three sides. The units feature granite counter tops and hardwood floors in addition to state-of-the-art security throughout the units complete with a camera around the entire building, fiber optic wiring, outlets every 8 to 10 feet and soundproofing.    

The completed project consisted of $2 million in investment. The City provided a low-interest loan for $300,000, a historic preservation grant for $200,000 and a $30,000 building renovation grant. NYSERTA provided a discount on the mortgage rate of the value of $700,000 of improvements for an insulation energy package. There was also a $75,000 NY Wiring grant obtained for half of the $150,000 which was invested in wiring.     

Leasing of the basement and first floor spaces to commercial tenants will create approximately 25 jobs.     


News Media: For more information, contact Ben Kendig at 262-3113 ext. 21 or Bob Lindsay at 370-7552.