News Release - City Releases Draft Design Report for Midtown Rising Project

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010) – Mayor Robert J. Duffy and Deputy Mayor Thomas Richards today released the Draft Design Report for the Midtown Redevelopment Project. The report describes the preliminary design for the Midtown Block including the anticipated street grid, development parcels and open space as well as sidewalks, parking, sewer, water and other public improvements. The preliminary design includes several alternatives still under consideration and the report summarizes other alternatives that were considered as the design evolved.

The release of the document kicks off a public review process, which includes a public meeting regarding the report and the preliminary design to be scheduled for mid-January. The public will be asked to provide oral comments or leave written comments and will be given the opportunity to speak to City representatives.

“This is an important step forward in the redevelopment process of Midtown,” said Mayor Robert J. Duffy. “We have a near-finalized site layout and several alternatives ready for people to see and assess. The completed layout and building specifications puts the City in a better place to be able to attract companies to come and be part of the new Midtown community, bringing more people to Rochester and increasing our tax base. This plan sets the stage for a resurgence of downtown and will help redefine the city for future generations.”

The report and its documents are on the project’s website, and will be submitted for review by the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and the New York State Department of Transportation. Publication of a Final Design Report is anticipated in February of 2011 following the receipt of public comments on the Draft.

The report includes details about the development of a new midtown street grid. The plan calls for five new streets – Cortland Street, New Elm Street, Atlas Street Extension, New Euclid Street and Plaza Drive – to be constructed. The report also identifies reconstruction of the existing Elm, Atlas and Euclid Streets. The new street layout also has two new pedestrian corridors – Cortland Street Extension and Historic Elm Street.

Also included are plans to rehabilitate or reconstruct the following adjacent streets: Broad Street (Chestnut Street to South Clinton Avenue), the east side of South Clinton Avenue (Broad Street to Main Street) and the south side of Main Street (South Clinton Avenue to East Avenue).

Extensive renovations to the Midtown underground parking garage will include the repair of deteriorated concrete structural members, reconstruction of certain areas of roof slab, improvements to air, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, the construction of a pedestrian tunnel to serve PAETEC headquarters and the modification of the garage’s entrance and exit ramps.

The service tunnel which allowed trucks to access the former Midtown Plaza – and continues to enable truck access to the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and several other downtown corporate users – will be reconstructed on the Midtown site to fit the new street grid and maintain its accessibility to other downtown users. The realigned tunnel will be constructed to allow full-sized tractor trailer service to several of the new Midtown development parcels.

The draft design report also provides a construction schedule. The Midtown Redevelopment project will be split into three different contracts. The first contract will focus on creating the truck service tunnel and pedestrian tunnel and is set to start in the summer of 2011. The second contract, to begin in fall 2011, will include parking garage modifications and rehabilitation. The third contract will begin after July 1, 2012 and include all street, utility and landscaping parts of the project. Construction will be complete in fall 2013.

The report estimates construction costs to be $34.5 million over the life of the entire project.

Mayor Duffy also announced today that the City had come to an agreement with PAETEC for PAETEC to build its world headquarters at Midtown.

To view a complete list of project milestones visit the Midtown Rochester Rising Project timeline.


News Media: For more information, call Michael Keane at (585) 428-6064.

Midtown Rising is a redevelopment partnership that will position Rochester for its future by significantly shaping the rebirth of the downtown core through major public and private investment, job creation and infrastructure development. For more information on this development effort, visit