News Release - Mayor Thomas S. Richards Cuts Ribbon at Grand Opening of Redeveloped Academy Building Downtown

City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013) – Mayor Thomas S. Richards joined George Traikos of Fitzhugh Associates, LLC, N.Y. State Senator Joseph Robach, Vincent Esposito, Director of the Empire State Development Finger Lakes Regional Office, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, City Council President Lovely A. Warren, Councilmembers Carolee Conklin and Elaine Spaull and a representative from Senator Charles E. Schumer’s office today to cut a ceremonial ribbon signifying the re-opening of the Academy Building, 13 South Fitzhugh St. The historic building has been redeveloped into residential lofts and commercial space.

“Yet another landmark building has been turned into something useful—helping our transformation of Downtown.” said Mayor Richards. “The beautiful Academy Building is wrought with history and we are thankful to George Traikos of Fitzhugh Associates for his commitment and for the consistent support we receive from Empire State Development Corporation in our endeavors.”

After sitting vacant for many years, owner and developer Traikos purchased the property in 2007. The four-story, 36,500 square-foot building has been rehabilitated and converted into 21, one-to three-bedroom lofts. The main level includes 6,000 square feet of customizable commercial space. A 900 square-foot outdoor patio and seating area was constructed on the east side of the building. Traikos hopes to attract young professionals and empty nesters for the luxury lofts. The building’s amenities include a fitness room, storage space, a monitored security system, on-site parking and high efficiency washers and dryers in each unit.

Located in the City Hall Historic District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the interior and exterior of the building were redeveloped following landmark requirements and preserving the Academy Building’s unique High Victorian Gothic architecture style. The building was designed by Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner, whose other accomplishments include the Powers Building and Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church.

Built in 1873, the Academy Building served as Rochester’s first public high school, the Rochester Free Academy. Thirty-years later, the building was transformed into a Municipal Court, and then became headquarters to the Board of Education. In 1981, it was renovated for private office use and the popular Edward’s restaurant.

The project’s more than $7 million in total investment includes an $800,000 Restore New York grant through the Empire State Development Corporation and a $700,000 City of Rochester construction loan. The project will also receive Federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits and a sales tax and mortgage tax exemption through the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA).

Up to 100 construction jobs were created during the renovation and Traikos expects another 50 jobs will be created with a future restaurant located in the building.

Residential tenants are now occupying the building and additional lofts are available for lease. For residential loft availability, contact Roxanne Stavropoulos of RE/MAX Realty Group at 978-0087. For commercial leasing opportunities, contact George Traikos at (954) 815-1541.


News Media: For more information contact City Director of Business and Housing Development Bret Garwood at 428-6150.