News Release - City, Conifer Realty Celebrates Start of Erie Harbor Enhancements Project

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, July 26, 2012) –– Mayor Thomas S. Richards, Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner R. Carlos Carballada, Environmental Services Commissioner Paul Holahan and Councilmember Elaine Spaull joined Conifer Realty executives Richard Crossed, Timothy Fournier, Andrew Crossed and Allen Handelman today at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Erie Harbor Enhancement Project at 275 Mount Hope Ave.

“The Erie Harbor Enhancement Project is yet another example of how the City is working with private developers to maximize investment opportunities presented by Rochester’s wonderful natural resources,” said Mayor Richards. “The beautification of the waterfront park and river trail at this location greatly improves the views and access to the Genesee River for all city residents, especially those who live in the South Wedge Neighborhood. We are fortunate to have such a beautiful river flowing through our city.”

The Erie Harbor Enhancement Project, which includes both the private redevelopment of the former River Park Commons housing site and the reconstruction of Mt. Hope Avenue, is a collaborative effort from the City, Conifer Realty and private equity investor M&T Bank. The project will enhance public pedestrian access, complete area improvements and emphasize the sightlines, recreational value and scenic quality of the waterfront area.

Allen Handelman, Vice President Conifer Realty said: “The construction of the landscape improvements on the public easements at Erie Harbor will aesthetically tie together the Erie Harbor site. It represents the culmination of an eight-year planning and design process. We are very excited to see this component commence. It will be a tremendous benefit to the residents of Erie Harbor, the South Wedge and the city.”

Components of the project include: the design and construction of enhanced pedestrian access to link the adjacent neighborhood with the waterfront; the design for future implementation of coordinated improvements to Genesee Gateway Park, a 12-acre riverfront park and promenade extending from the Ford Street Bridge to 151 Mt. Hope Ave.; and the installation of artwork with assistance from a public art competition.

The project area covers Genesee Gateway Park and parts of the Genesee Riverway Trail and Mt. Hope Avenue. Additionally, it will cover three public access easements located between the Genesee River and Mt. Hope Avenue from Ford Street to 151 Mt. Hope Ave.

The funding sources are:
• City Bonds ($500,000);
• City Cash Capital ($60,000);
• A Local Waterfront Revitalization Grant from the New York Department of State ($400,000).

The Erie Harbor Apartments replaced the deteriorated buildings of River Park Commons with 131 residential units consisting of 27 affordable units and 104 market rate units. Erie Harbor is comprised of nine buildings; a five-story building with parking on the ground level, seven townhouse buildings and a community building. Construction of Erie Harbor Apartments is almost complete most of the units have been leased.


News Media: For more information contact Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Paul Holahan at 428-6855.