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What's the vision for Saint Marys Place subdistrict?



PB Report


A concept for renovating public spaces near Saint Marys Hospital could widen portions of Second Street Southwest and seek to provide a more active streetscape.

While the draft plan received tentative support from the Rochester City Council, it doesn't dictate what will happen in the Destination Medical Center subdistrict dubbed St. Marys Place.

"It's essentially a concept plan or guidelines, and we will try to make as many of these as happen as we can as we move forward," Rochester Interim City Manager Gary Neumann said.

"We can choose the things that make sense," council member Mark Hickey said.

At the same time, council member Nick Campion said it will be important for the council to hold developers to concepts, noting that requests for tax-increment financing will give the city a tool for soliciting compliance.

"I don't think there is any development that is not going to be TIF supported," he said.

The plan focuses on four design strategies, according to Andy Masterpole, an urban designer with SEH in Rochester. They are:

• Protected passages

• Activating connected spaces

• Streets for people

• District identity

Initially intended to be a 90-day process, the planning effort has its roots in a foiled effort to build a $63 million Holiday Inn in the subdistrict. Included in the abandoned proposal, which was pulled in early 2016 after months of review, was a subway connection from the hotel to Saint Marys, which would have been funded with a portion of requested $5.6 million in TIF assistance.

While the new concept includes a tunnel under Second Street, it doesn't include the extensive subway system proposed last year.

"The costs are are enormous for tunnels," Masterpole said, noting the new tunnel proposal would connect courtyards on each side of the street, one near the Saint Mary's entrance and another across the street.

At the same time, the connections would force people into a planned street-level arcade, offering connections to businesses.

The proposed tunnel would cost an estimated $1.6 million to $1.8 million, according to the plan. The courtyard on the north side of the street, which would require land acquisition, could cost up to $3 million, while the courtyard on the Saint Marys side would cost $700,000 to $900,000.

The tunnel project, along with a proposed $6 million to $7 million reconstruction of Second Street would be the last of six proposed phases for the project, if completely realized.

Earlier phases would include adding markers, banners and planters to area to create a distinct identity for the subdistrict, followed by installing gateway features and public art to identify Second Street as a gateway in the the DMC district.

A third phase could create a 12th Avenue Plaza, which would close a section of the block north of Second Street, creating flexible space similar to downtown's Peace Plaza.

The plan also calls for setting a goal of expanding Second Street to a width of 100 feet through much of the region. While the proposal could work with existing 66-foot widths, Masterpole said the wider space would create more flexibility for street design.

The city has been acquiring extra right-of-way on each side of the street, but Masterpole noted some spaces may be more narrow with existing buildings in place.

Public Works Director Richard Freese said the updated plans for the city's reconstruction of Second Street Southwest could be ready for further council review in about 90 days.

When it comes to the subdistrict plan, the next steps could include more public engagements, but Neumann noted it has already benefited from public input.

"This project has had more engagement than any we've had," he said.

Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for the DMC Economic Development Agency, said the concept will be used to negotiate future development plans, noting it will become a community vision for the subdistrict.

"Like the design guidelines, this is a tool that helps provide direction up front to developers about the kind of city we want to see developed," he said.








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Date: 2017/10/11

Last Modification Date: 2016-10-10T21:14:49-05:00

Last Modified by: allnode

Source: PB

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  • For the commercial sector, we tend to register startup activities (new companies and new commercial projects) that bring diversification and high-impact opportunities to the area.
  • For the non-profit sector, we wish to shine light on all the organizations and services that otherwise labor under relative obscurity.
  • Our hope is that will encourage cross-sector collaborations and creative solutions.

While there are a number of registries in the community,'s  distinct value is to pilot a database with a data structure and categorizations that answer the questions such as: What organizations or projects/programs in our community that have purported relevance with some of the over-arching focuses put forward by initiatives such as DMC, J2G and Health Improvements?

This database could be used as one of the ways to explore the capacities of the community. If you are someone on an exploratory journey to learn about the greater Rochester community. could be an interesting first step.

The following defines the various project phases:
  1. Available - a product, program or service is in production
  2. Develop - program or application is being developed
  3. Plan - idea is solid, stakeholders are identified, and there is strong commitment to go forward from all parties.
  4. Concept Phase - idea scoped out with enough details to give an early sizing and/or to build a proof of concept
  5. Pre-concept Phase - an early idea or a requirement.
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