Mayor Lovely Warren has announced the city is committed to reviewing every proposal it receives which may bring jobs to the area, including two that could bring a performing arts center to downtown, as well as a possible casino.
According to Mayor Warren, the fact that Rochester has not been “alive after five o’clock” contributed to her decision.
“The fact that we have lost conventions; we have lost different restaurants looking at our area, and different opportunities for our city, because our Main St. is not live after five o’clock,” Warren stated. “Ruth Chris, a national steakhouse decided not to come to Rochester. If we are going to be a city that competes with these other cities, then we are going to have to make decisions about our future, providing job opportunities, and revitalizing our Main St. in a way that makes it alive after five.”
The Seneca Gaming Corporation, owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians, has recently proposed a downtown Gaming and Performing Arts Center (GPAC), and the organization has said the project will bring thousands of permanent jobs to the city.
The Senecas’ proposal has also called for a 3,000 seat performing arts center, which would be funded entirely through Seneca Gaming, officials from the organization stated.
In addition, the second proposal, submitted by Tom Wilmot, of Wilmorite Corp., also outlines plans for a performing arts center, sans a casino, and has promised to employ 400 Rochester residents at Batavia OTB, Finger Lakes Raceway, and the company’s future Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County.
Wilmot’s company has also reportedly funded a group that is opposed to a local casino, which some have said may also pose a threat to his planned project in Seneca County.
However, according to Warren, there are no definite plans for either project, and there may also still be other proposals for the city to consider.
But, should the city decide to accept one of the proposals, Warren said the city would then submit the proposal to city council for consideration.
According to city officials, the Seneca’s project may break ground in 2017, should the proposal advance.