A local developer is optimistic about a potential proposal over the next few months involving a combined casino and performing arts center at Midtown.
“The bottom line is we’d have a casino downtown, we would have a performing arts center, and it would be at no cost to the city of Rochester,” developer Robert Morgan said in late April.
The Democrat and Chronicle reports that instead, the Seneca Nation of Indians would pay the bill for the five-story combined casino and performing arts center, which would be located on East Main Street.
Mayor Lovely Warren recently confirmed that Rochester has been entertaining the idea for a few months now, but she downplayed any immediate actions.
“It’s something I am going to do a lot of research on,” Warren said, “before I make a decision either way.”
According to the Daily Messenger, Joe Nacca believes that this casino will potentially harm various industries including Rochester’s agricultural industry. Overall, employment of farmers and other agricultural managers is expected to decline 2% from 2014 to 2034, but projects like this could potentially enhance the declining process.
Morgan argues that this project will bring “good paying jobs” to the city. “We need people downtown. This is a way to get people downtown,” Morgan added. “They are going to bring 500 jobs.”
Mayor Warren also noted the potential for the increase in job opportunities. She spoke with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown about the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, which opened in 2013, and how it created 450 jobs there.
“Are these legitimate jobs that can be used to address the needs of the hardcore unemployed?” asked William A. Johnson Jr., former Mayor of Rochester. Johnson helped lead the opposition in Henrietta to oppose the Wilmot casino plan years ago.
“This is going to be a very, very interesting discussion,” Johnson said. “But the mayor is looking for every opportunity she can find for job creation.”
“It’s a nice parcel of land on your Main Street,” Warren said. “You want to build the right thing there.”