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Blossom South neighbors to weigh in on immigrant housing

Updated: Monday, July 21 2014, 10:43 PM EDT

Rochester, N.Y. - Neighbors are being asked to weigh in on whether a closed nursing home on Monroe Avenue in the City of Rochester should be re-opened to house immigrant children coming over the Mexican Border. 

"Primarily we have lots of questions," said Chris Stevens, President of the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association.

It's not actually a proposal yet, however.

There are so few details on the proposal that Mayor Lovely Warren is not commenting, other than to say she has been approached by a representative of the owner of Blossom South and is open to the possibility of bringing the children here.

Before closing the 68,000 square foot facility, upgrades were made to the heating, electric, sprinkling and alarm systems.

Owner Israel Segal said the building could easily accommodate 175 plus children.

Blossom south was closed by New York State for health and safety violations. It's unclear if the current owners would attempt to run it as a children's center, or if it would even be a viable option, given their track record.

Proposed locations to house the children in Sweden and Greece were quickly abandoned.

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-Rochester) said the search for potential sites is on-going. 

"They're doing that all over the country. We are not being singled out in any way," Slaughter said.

The vacant Blossom South building sits in the Upper Monroe neighborhood. City hall has asked neighbors to weigh in with "pros and cons". Three hundred e-mails went out over the weekend.

"The vast majority are saying let's consider it, but we're being asked for input when there is no plan that's been shared with us," said Stevens.

13WHAM News attempted to reach Segal via e-mails and calls to his public relations firm, New York City business and an attorney in Rochester. He did not respond.

The e-mails from the neighborhood will be turned over to City Hall Wednesday. More details may be available at that time.

"It's a great use for these children who have tremendous needs," summarized Stevens about the neighborhood reaction. "We're not saying yes to anything at this point because there is no proposal. We're not endorsing anything because there is nothing to endorse at this point."

Blossom South neighbors to weigh in on immigrant housing

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