Project Development (Real Estate and Property)

About Project Development 

The mission of the Division of Project Development is to facilitate the revitalization of the city of Rochester through redevelopment planning processes, the development of vacant and underutilized property, and the renovation of vacant and underutilized buildings.

Responsibilities of Project Development

Prepares and administers requests for proposals (RFPs) for the disposition of City-owned property. 

Provides grant and/or loan funding for projects. 

Tower 280Tower280 and Sibley Square are recent examples of this. Tower280 is comprised of 181 residential units and approximately 130,000 square feet of commercial space which includes three office tenants and a restaurant.

Sibley Building redevelopment will create 96 market-rate apartments, 72 units of affordable homes for seniors, retail space, and office spaceincluding  High Tech Rochester, a startup incubator. 

Applies for and administers grants and/or loans from other funding agencies. 

 The College Town development and the Seneca Building are examples of this. College Town utilized the HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program and returned an underutilized site to a productive use through the creation of a 14-acre district. The College Town project created 154 housing units and 270,000 square feet of hotel, office, and retail space.

The Seneca Building received funding through the Community Development Block Grant program. This project, located at the former Midtown site, created a new three-story building comprised of 173,000 square feet of commercial space. The Seneca building is now home to Windstream and the D&C.


Staffs the City’s PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) Review Committee. 

Other tax incentive programs include:

  • Core Housing Owner Incentive Exemption (CHOICE)

This program offers property tax exemptions for the creation of market rate owner occupied residential units in the Center City District. Additional benefits available from COMIDA may include a sales tax exemption on construction materials and mortgage tax exemptions.

For more information about the CHOICE program click here.

CHOICE program application.

  • Conversion Urban Exemption Program (CUE)

This tax incentive program encourages the conversion of underutilized office, retail, manufacturing, and warehouse building to residential use. CUE is restricted to mixed-use conversion projects also located in the Center City District. The 12-year exemption applies to the increase in assessed value from the conversion to mixed-use. The exemption is 100% for the first 8 years and declines 20% per year thereafter. A minimum of 25% of space must be developed as residential and the owner must at minimum invest $250,000 in the conversion project.

For more information about the CUE program click here or call the Bureau of Assessment at (585) 428-7721.

CUE program application

 Undertakes development- oriented neighborhood planning processes. 


In partial fulfillment of the JOSANA neighborhood master plan, the Stadium Estates project created 45 new single-family homes, all to be affordable to households earning 60% or less of the area median income.

For more information about the Division of Project Development, please email Mark Fitzstevens, Manager of Downtown Development at or call him at: (585) 428-6153.