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Revitalization plans underway in the heart of downtown Rochester



Rochester, New York – In order, the city to revitalize the corner of Clinton Avenue and Main Street, Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin announced a $10 million in taxpayer money award.

“That is the epicenter of downtown. It is a corner that is seen everywhere, it really is an area of downtown that is so critical and important,” says Mayor-Elect Malik Evans. ” You have to make sure it is built up and strong because it affects what happens in the rest of the corners of the city,” he continued.

A proposal sent to the city council and signed off by former Mayor Lovely Warren and Mayor-Elect Evans would use $13 million in federal funds to help renovate and add convention space inside the Riverside Hotel.

The Riverside Hotel has been closed for nearly two years but is still connected to the Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

According to the executive director of the convention center, James Brown, the plan will increase tourism in the city.

“They have almost 30,000 square feet of meeting space which is integral to a lot of the convention business that we had before the hotel was shut down,” Brown says. “So it’s very much needed. It’s going to need a revamp and a face-lift.”

According to Brown, these investments downtown will have a positive impact county-wide.

“When conventioneers come to town, they are only conventioneers for a short period of time. The rest of the time, they are tourists. So the more things we can do and have available to folks downtown, not only for our residents but for our visitors is huge,” he says. “These are people that are staying in hotels, in restaurants, buying gasoline,” he adds.

Evans vowed that this is only the beginning.

“We are working to tackle blight head-on. Downtown is the heart of the city. If you’re gonna have that strong heart, you must revitalize every single block, block-by-block, street by street,” he says.

At the state level, the $10 million for Main Street and Clinton Avenue is already approved. The City council would have to approve the use of $13 million in federal funds for the hotel project.