Rochester Planning Commission Approves University Apartments

Rochester Planning Commission Approves University Apartments

The Rochester Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a new apartment complex going up in historic Preservation district.
A controversial apartment complex slated to go up in Rochester's historic preservation district cleared one hurdle Wednesday night.  The city Planning Commission gave the green light to put up a nearly 100-unit complex on University Avenue, essentially in the backyard of the George Eastman House. 

The decision isn't sitting well with some long-time neighbors .  But it is winning approval from local vets.

A unanimous vote by the Rochester Planning Commission in favor of Morgan Management's proposal to build a three to four story apartment complex with indoor parking and an outdoor pool in the city's historic preservation district.  The decision to build it on University Avenue is not a welcome one to some of the neighborhood's longest tenants.  

"This has a very adverse impact on one of only two national historic landmarks in Rochester.  And one of Rochester's most popular tourist sites.  It also has an adverse impact on one of the best preserved preservation districts in the entire United States.  The East Avenue Preservation District," said Bruce Barnes, George Eastman House.

The developers say they have revised the proposal many times to try to better become one with the neighborhood they may soon call home.

"We've redesigned this project four or five times.  And taking into account the this historic nature of this area, we're right across the street from Gleason.  We feel we fit in the neighborhood.  This is a very eclectic neighborhood.  And our building will fit well with the neighborhood," said Kevin Morgan, Morgan Management.

Part of the deal includes renovating and maintaining a building near and dear to the hearts of Rochester Veterans.  The Voiture 111 Club sits right next door.  it is in need of a makeover, inside and out.

"It's a future for us.  It's an old building.  We've been there for 75 years.  We've owned the building since 1941.  It's in serious need of repair.  And this was really a gift," said Rene VanMulem, Veteran.

It's not a done deal yet.  The project still needs the approval of Rochester's Preservation Committee.  It is expected to vote sometime in November or December.  If approved, construction on the project could begin in late winter or early spring.

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