Future URMC center site could compromise IKEA bid, supervisor says
UPDATE (8 P.M.): A spokesperson for Wilmorite tells 13WHAM, "There is no correlation between IKEA and the concept of medical offices," at The Marketplace Mall.
In a statement to 13WHAM Monday night, the spokesperson said the mall is considering several options for the mall, including, "medical, retail and entertainment."
Wilmorite says IKEA announced last month that it would not be coming to Rochester.
Henrietta, N.Y. (WHAM) - The Marketplace Mall could have a new tenant. UR Medicine is said to be working on a plan for a new orthopedic center at the mall or another location in Henrietta that could jeopardize the chances of getting an IKEA store there.
In a statement, UR Medicine would only say it's looking at multiple options to meet the demand for orthopedics services.
"UR Medicine Orthopaedics has seen significant growth in recent years as demand for our services has increased throughout the region," the statement read. It went on to say, "We’re at the early stages of the process and have many factors to evaluate before making any further comment."
Mall employee Anna Archbold believes putting an orthopedic center at the shopping center over an IKEA could have bigger payoffs. He said easy access to bus lines would entice people to stay and shop reviving Marketplace Mall.
"It's kind of a somewhat centrally located area to some extent,” Archbold said. “We're not far from the city itself, and there are easy bus lines to and from the mall location."
Henrietta Town Supervisor Stephen Schultz said URMC is eyeing Marketplace as one potential site.
Another possibility is a vacant parking lot near the corner of Hylan Drive and Calkins Road. It once had a golf dome on the site. Schultz believes it’s been vacant for about a decade.
"The thing I like about the mall is it could anchor the mall for years to come,” said Supervisor Schultz. “It could really help in terms of revitalizing existing properties.”
A new orthopedic center at the mall may put possible future plans for an IKEA there at risk.
Schultz doesn't think Wilmorite, the owners of the mall, should wait on the retailer.
"I would rather see them put an orthopedic center in there and stabilize the mall rather than wait on the if come from IKEA," he said.
Schultz said an orthopedic center could bring in hundreds of jobs.
Archbold believes it would bring in even more jobs than an IKEA.
“Amazon warehouses, and to some extent IKEA, probably aren't going to employ a lot of people and they’re not going to pay them well, so they're not going to really revitalize the community in that aspect," said Archbold.
IKEA responded with a statement saying it has not announced any plans for a new store in Rochester.
Paychex is among the companies expanding in the town, with a new campus being moved to the former Verizon Call Center on Calkins Road. Paychex said it is adding approximately 625 new jobs at the site.