Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that a key Senate committee has approved their request for funding for the Midtown Plaza. The Midtown Rising is expected to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment and create or maintain 1,500 jobs, and will play a huge role in the future of Rochester. The request was approved by the Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee and will be inlucded in the FY11 Appropriations Bill
“The future of the City of Rochester and the success of Midtown Plaza are linked,” Schumer said. “Investing in Midtown will create jobs for people in Rochester and serve as an anchor for a growing and thriving city and region. This funding will not complete the project, but it is an important down payment on Rochester’s future.”
“This is great news for Rochester,” Senator Gillibrand said. “I have worked closely with Mayor Duffy on this important project because, like him, I believe that it will help revitalize downtown Rochester and help grow the entire area. This federal investment will help create jobs and help turn the economy around for the long term by bringing new life, new energy and new businesses to the old Midtown Plaza area.”
The Midtown Plaza project is projected to result in the creation or retention of over 1,500 jobs and the leveraging of more than $200 million in new investment. It will require significant public investment to ready the site for redevelopment. Specifically, about $90 million is needed for property acquisition, demolition, remediation, relocation, and infrastructure. The project has already attracted tens of millions in public and private commitments, but more vital funding is needed to bring the project to fruition. In May, Schumer visited the Midtown project and announced his to secure $2 million in key investments for the projects and made clear that the Midtown revitalization initiative is his top economic development priority in Rochester. The additional funds will be used to provide important infrastructure upgrades that will bolster already committed funds by clearing the way for the project’s completion. Schumer and Gillibrand have both long been supporters of this project and fought to secure this funding.
The revitalization of the old Midtown Plaza in the heart of downtown is a key component of Rochester’s economic rebuilding strategy. Opened in 1962, Midtown Plaza was one of the first urban shopping malls in the nation. However, beginning in the late 1970s the Midtown area began declining as a retail destination point, and was affected further throughout the 1980s with the rise of the suburban mega malls. The financial and physical deterioration of Midtown has had a negative impact on the downtown area, including the loss of hundreds of jobs, the loss of significant tax revenue, and serving as a serious hindrance to revitalization of the area.
Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.