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City Moves to Get Bull’s Head Project Back on Track

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

The city seeks a developer to oversee revitalization of the Bull’s Head neighborhood. CityofRochester.gov

Revitalization of the Bull’s Head neighborhood, which has languished for much of the past decade, appears to be gaining momentum.

The city on July 17 announced it is seeking a master developer to help attract private investment to the neighborhood at the intersection of West Main Street, West Avenue and Genesee Street.

The developer would obtain exclusive rights for approximately 12 acres that the city is in the final stages of acquiring and improving through environmental remediation. Under a request for qualifications, the city seeks a partner to bring new investment. The city compared the potential of Bull’s Head to that of the Inner Loop East Development, which the city said became one of the most sought-after real estate markets after relatively modest public investment.

“ … (W)e are ready to kick off the renaissance of Bull’s Head by attracting a new wave of private investment to this neighborhood,” Mayor Lovely Warren said in a news release announcing the search for a developer. “The Bull’s Head neighborhood has a rich history and rich potential, so I am looking forward to working with a developer with the context and the vision to help us bring new life to this important western gateway. Bull’s Head will play a pivotal role in our efforts to make belief real for everybody by creating more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities across the city.”

The project was launched in 2009 but has been relatively dormant for the past 10 years. Since the 2014-15 fiscal year, Warren has put money into the project and the city has over time dedicated $10.6 million in the capital improvement budget to buy and clean up the acreage. Bull’s Head bears the effects of more than 50 years of institutional racism, resulting in a high concentration of poverty, disinvestment and environmental contamination.

The site is a few acres larger than the parcels at each of the former Midtown and Inner Loop sites.

The city has completed the nomination process to designate the entire site as a New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area, which will help to secure additional public funding.

A redesign of the Bull’s Head streetscape also is under development. The master developer, in consultation with neighborhood stakeholders, will advance those designs to make the neighborhood more attractive to private investors. The developer will be expected to continue working with community groups.

RFQ submissions are due by 4 p.m., Sept. 28.

To view the RFQ and submission guidelines, or to learn more about the Bull’s Head revitalization program, go to www.cityofrochester.gov/bullsheadrfq2020/.

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