Phase 1 of Innovation Square transformation at Xerox Tower complete

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The transformation of the former Xerox Tower is moving forward quickly. Now known as Innovation Square, the completion of Phase 1 means the first group of student residents will be moving into their new apartments soon.

News10NBC took a tour of the property and talked with the developer about what’s next. Andy Gallina, President of the Gallina Development Corporation says his company continues to meet its deadlines, but the work is far from over.

Construction crews are busy both inside, and outside Innovation Square. Gallina says now that Phase 1 has been completed ahead of its Aug. 1 deadline, 60 students from Rochester’s colleges and universities will move into their finished apartments starting this weekend.

"Well, that deadline is very, very important. We have a number of people moving in, and some are international students. Some are on strict timelines with the University so we have to make sure that we have the units accommodating them for their timelines," Gallina said.

Student housing makes up the first five floors of the 30-story tower. Crews have been busy working on amenities such as the outdoor student lounge. Inside the windows of the student lounge, a fitness center will be installed.

Work is also being done inside the former Xerox Auditorium which will be home to a performing arts theater that can seat 700 people. Gallina says the next hard deadline is for a "Fringe Fest" show on Sept. 14.

"So we’re in the process right now of rebuilding the stage. We’re upgrading lighting, sound, and a number of items in the auditorium," Gallina said.

Other projects include the 350-vehicle parking garage, a yet-to-be-named cafe, and several floors of commercial office space. Gallina hopes it’ll become a place for students to live, learn, and innovate.

"And create internships with our downtown companies, and hopefully keep those students that we educate here in Rochester. Make sure that they stay in Rochester, and contribute to our local economy," Gallina said.

As far as a completion date? Gallina said, "We’re doing the best that we can, and hopefully we can execute on the promises that we put out there to our tenants."

Initially, Gallina said they started with a $30 million to $35 million budget. So far they’re coming in a bit over $40 million, which Gallina says is still within their budget.