Please sign-in and Reply with your suggestions at the bottom of this post.
You can watch a Video of the meeting here: https://youtu.be/OMaBTil0Ih8
SPECIAL MEETING: STATUS OF VACANT BROOKS LANDING RESTAURANT
(Held at restaurant site - 1500 S Plymouth Ave.)
Background from posted meeting invitation:
“In 2013, the City approved a re-subdivision for the Flats LLC to build a student housing tower / restaurant building, and a declaration of covenants and restrictions between the City and Flats LLC was recorded. The Flats (Ron Chistenson, Developer) agreed to use best efforts to lease space for a restaurant with public access. That space was reserved but not finished. The declaration of covenants outlined a process that was to be used if the Flats requested permission for an alternate use. The process includes a public hearing and written approval of City Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development.
This is not the "public hearing" that is required to alter the covenant to permit an alternate use. This is a meeting of the SWCC to which all interested members of the public are invited to study the state of affairs and consider all the options that should be considered to meet the desires and needs of the community in a practical way. Whatever proposals, if any, that come out of this meeting will need to to be evaluated and fleshed out with all the parties who would be involved, before being ready to be considered at a public hearing.”
A Reply to 7/27/17 Latest Activity on Location 19's posting of SW Common Council Meeting on Vacant Brooks Landing Restaurant:
Installing a restaurant at the Brooks Crossing student high-rise at Genesee Street and South Plymouth Avenue persists as an obsolete covenant that needs a fresh perspective.
It is time to revisit the covenant and address southwest neighborhoods' needs with a new proposal: using the vacant and undeveloped first floor to create a state-of-the art tutoring facility. The tutoring center would feature 3-D printing, interactive video, group-study amenities, cutting-edge instructional technologies and a vast supply of tutors who are successful role models.
Where will the money come from? Gov. Cuomo announced this week the $48.3 Million Buffalo and Rochester Smart School Investment Plans. Pursue this plan immediately to address the creation of a tutoring center in southwest Rochester.
Step One involves the diverse southwest neighborhood residents supporting this local educational option by changing the restaurant covenant within the framework of the SouthWest Common Council. Step Two involves collaborating with the University of Rochester to create a tutoring space adapted to modern interactive learning technologies using the Buffalo and Rochester Smart School Investment Plan.
Please add your comments to gather momentum to change the outdated restaurant covenant and replace it with an educational one serving our neighborhood youth.
Note that I have added a link to a YouTube video of the meeting to the top of the Discussion post. That video is at: https://youtu.be/OMaBTil0Ih8
Thank you John for documenting this, so people can understand the space and the beauty outside. I still feel this should be developed as a restaurant, which is what the original understanding has been. I did see what Ron Christenson has tried to entice but feel not the right effort has been made. Hundreds of flyers sent out, not one person has come to look at the space.
That means the approach is wrong.
What the neighborhood wants is a restaurant that is a draw for people from throughout Rochester and even beyond. The local neighborhood does not support Brue or Wok because we have no reason to go there. Subway is a cheap place to get a lunch. In order to support the space, we need a restaurant like Two Vine, or Rooneys, or The French Quarter. Look up the river a mile, and you see Dino BBQ, which has been in business for 20 (?) years or more. And packed every lunch and dinner. So don't say it is not possible, which is the current attitude. Whoever is looking is just not doing a good job, and the marketing is not right.
I respect the ideas for non-profit such as tutoring center and if the money is available would be fine, should nothing else be possible. It is a thought that would have to be explored further, as schools should serve this objective, in current buildings already covered by tax dollars.
Paying the rent at $10 a square-foot means a highly profitable business, and that is only fair for the builder's investment. That is already a reduced rate.
If the covenant for a restaurant is to be changed, the money for other uses has to be guaranteed first. The U of R has repeatedly stated they will not be involved in this space.
I liked one person's suggestion for putting in a steak and ale house, with a ferry for bringing in people moving into downtown. We have a burgeoning market there, so let's take advantage of that, and make The Rapids a landing spot again.
no thrift shop...no UofR...no exercise space....no soup kitchen. ..no more excuses
I agree with everything you say, but it has nothing to do with Staybridge. The developer is Ron Cristenson.
John Curran made his latest proposal for a Interactive Learning Center use of the Brooks Crossing 1st floor space at the August 23rd SWCC Education Committe meeting. His presentation can be seen at https://youtu.be/N16dJC2yFDg .
Existing businesses aren't supported because they aren't any good. Dana, the places in existence do not have good food, are not worth going there. Tops is such a horrible store I hate going there if I have to pick up one item. You have to wait in line for one cashier, and maybe location in a crappy strip mall does not help. It looks like a place nobody would want to go.
If you can't have "the best restaurant in Rochester," it won't work. How you get it there is not anything I know.
What's current status on this?
A subcommittee of the SWCC is looking into inviting residents of the neighborhoods impacted by the traffic change to South Plymouth Avenue caused by the Brooks Landing and Brooks Crossing developments to propose viable uses for the space originally reserved for a "destination restaurant". Identifying a viable restaurant model could be a solution. John Curran's proposal for an Interactive Learning Center use of the Brooks Crossing 1st floor space is another option. Residents need to be informed about the whole covenant issue and familiarized with the space in question.
To draw attention to the Brooks Crossing venue another subcommittee is working to finally bring entertainment events to the amphitheater at Brooks Crossing for the spring and summer of 2018. Ron Christenson and the City are supporting the efforts of the Entertainment Committee.
Kudos for focusing on opportunities for others to share their ideas on possibilities for the vacant restaurant space. Hopefully, the preparation around entertainment in the amphitheater outside will draw even more people.
And hopefully, this will show restaurant owners that there is an audience for them!
Unfortunately, I don't think "free" concerts translates into paying customers for a destination restaurant. Neither Corn Hill nor College Town, where loads of money has been dropped, have been able to sustain their restaurants. Not feeling that our area holds a lot of promise for a different outcome. Glad that other possibilities are being explored. Unity around whatever goes into that space will be key.