News Release -- City Taps Dawson Development Team to Drive Private Investment in Bull’s Head District

City of Rochester

News Release

Prestigious Urban Land Institute Selects Area for Transformation Study

(Thursday, June 10, 2021) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced today that a team of agencies lead by the Dawson Co. of Atlanta, Ga. will serve as the Prime Developer to drive private-sector investment to the Bull’s Head Revitalization Project.

“I am thrilled to welcome the Dawson Development Team to Rochester,” said Mayor Warren. “The Dawson Development Team is highly qualified with a proven track record in urban revitalization and reinvestment. They will be a committed partner that shares our community’s vision to restore Bull’s Head to prominence as the western gateway of our city.”

The Dawson Development Team will serve as the City’s partner to develop approximately 12 acres of City-owned property in the Bull’s Head district. The Team also includes: Brinshore Development of Chicago; Shift Capital of Philadelphia, Pa.; and USC of Rochester.

The Bull’s Head district is located on the western part of the city surrounding the intersection of West Main Street, West Avenue; Brown and Genesee Streets. In the 1860s, the area hosted a cattle market and a tavern with a bull’s head over its front door. The Bull’s Head district of today struggles with the effects of more than 50 years of institutional racism, resulting in a high concentration of poverty, disinvestment and environmental contamination.

Mayor Warren also announced that the prestigious Urban Land Institute on Thursday concluded a three-day study of Bull’s Head and has given the City a set of recommendations to facilitate the area’s transformation.

“We are all looking forward to digging into these recommendations for change and making them a reality,” Mayor Warren said. “I want to thank the Urban Land Institute for recognizing the potential of Bull’s Head and investing its time and energy here.”

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) draws on the expertise of more than 45,000 planners and real estate professionals from across the world to develop models to transform urban neighborhoods struggling with disinvestment.

The Bull’s Head Revitalization Project was launched in 2009, but was largely dormant until Mayor Warren’s administration dedicated $10.6 million in the City’s Capital Improvement Program Budget for land acquisition and environmental remediation. The Revitalization Project has included significant community involvement and the Dawson Team will continue working with the community as projects move forward.

The Dawson Development Team was selected though a competitive bid process based on qualifications. 

The team was selected for: Demonstrating creative, community-based ways to foster commercial growth in urban communities; adopting a holistic community approach to revitalization/redevelopment; a passion for equity in disadvantaged/disinvested communities of color; and the personal connections of several members to the 19th Ward neighborhood.


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