Rochester citizens react to news of updated Parcel 5 development plans

(Provided rendering: City of Rochester)

Rochester, N.Y. – Some big changes have been made to the plan to develop the old Midtown site in downtown Rochester. A movie theater has been added to the performing arts center proposal, along with greenspace, housing and retail.

Citizens we spoke with Tuesday sounded off on the changes. Some say there has been a real void at Parcel 5, and they just want to see something take shape at the location.

One thing many people agreed on: They say an IMAX-style movie theater may not be the best choice for the space. Those we spoke with say the community needs more grocery shopping options, including a full grocery store or places to shop for their everyday needs.

Others say they like what they are hearing, especially when it comes to incorporating outdoor green space with an entertainment venue.

“Something for entertainment,” said Gloria Soldevila of Rochester. “I think it’s going to be cool if somebody can do something here.”

“Rochester is a poverty-stricken City like most cities in the US and in New York State,” said student Selah Jackson, “so how beneficial is it to only house people with the money and with the benefits and with the up-there status, rather than the people that are dealing with the issues and dealing with the lack of money.”

In a statement released Tuesday night, a representative for People for Parcel 5 released the following statement:

We agree with Mayor Warren that Parcel 5 is a rare opportunity to bring new energy and vibrancy to our downtown. However, the proposed luxury entertainment complex continues a pattern of exclusionary development designed to profit a handful of individuals at the expense of the larger community. The decision of what to place at Parcel 5 should be determined by residents and community members, not simply the wealthy and well-connected. We reject this top-down approach to downtown development.
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