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Mayor Warren Proposing New Performing Arts Center to Replace Riverside Hotel

By staff –

Mayor Lovely Warren wants to convert the Riverside Hotel in downtown Rochester into a Performing Arts Center.

The proposal, presented by the mayor, Tuesday, as art of the ROC the Riverway initiative, would move the proposed Performing Arts Center (PAC) from the midtown parcel (1 block East) to the Riverside Hotel on Main Street.

“ROC the Riverway has shown us that successful, job-creating redevelopment Downtown must include opening our riverfront,” Warren said. “With the vision and investment of people like Dave Christa, Tom Golisano and others we now have the ability to move forward with a dynamic project to bring people to the heart of Downtown and reinvent an important riverside gateway to our city all while improving critical, job-building tourism and convention traffic. The private sector redevelopment of the Riverside Hotel, when partnered with government investment is an incredible opportunity to move our city forward and create jobs.”

The $250 million project is projected to create more than 800 full-time construction jobs and would include two theaters, a hotel, a restaurant and a residential development. The proposal also would include a parking garage and public greenspace with access to the river front.

Warren says Christa Development and Rochester Broadway Theatre League (RBTL) will be heading up the project along with some other partners including the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Legislation was submitted by the mayor’s office earlier this year to City Council asking for a study to be conducted to evaluate what impact a new PAC downtown would have on existing local arts organizations. Based on case studies of other cities where PACS were built, the mayor’s office says the study concluded that a new PAC in Rochester would be of benefit to existing entities.

Officials say in the coming months they plan to engage city and downtown residents and other stakeholders to collaboratively determine a path forward for the redevelopment effort.

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