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Could the Kansas City outdoor concert venue be the future of Parcel 5?

December 18, 2018 11:18 PM

Rochester officials and community advocates promised a hard look at a possible alternate use for the city's Parcel 5 site, something along the lines of the Kansas City Live event center in Kansas City, Missouri. 

"It's a cool concept to have a living room in your downtown and literally have a place where people can come and be entertained," explained Mayor Lovely Warren. 

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Mayor Warren led a delegation of city officials, developers and community advocates on a trip to Kansas City to explore the venue firsthand. 

Kansas City Live incorporates a vast indoor and outdoor event space, covered by a roof, surrounded by bars and restaurants.

The venue is a creation of the Cordish development company. It is one in a series of similar spaces like Power Plant Live in Baltimore, 4th Street Live in Louisville or Texas Live in the Dallas Fort Worth area. 

City planners theorized such a venue might be just the thing for an open area like Parcel 5, which already hosts concerts.

"The ability to have everything from big concerts like the Jazz Festival on down to small community gatherings. I think that's what people really saw at Kansas City Live and elements we could incorporate into Parcel 5," said Rochester's Chief of Staff Alex Yudelson. 

Warren declared the model a worthy notion for creating a magnet for activity in the city.  

"We create opportunities for people to enjoy our downtown all the time," she said, "and this is just creating a venue where they can do if that's permanent, that's fixed and that's open for the opportunities to enjoy Center City."

The trip to Kansas City included advocates for a more open community space in downtown who've been leery of grand projects in Parcel 5, instead calling for publicly open green space there. 

"People for Parcel 5 is encouraged that the city sees the value in having a community gathering space at Parcel 5," said Steve Carter with People for Parcel 5. "However, we believe whatever happens at this site must serve all Rochesterians, not just during the times that it is programed."

City councilmember Malik Evans also questioned any bottom line for a big new venue on the site.

"From my perspective, one of the things I'm interested in is things that are going to generate revenue and things that are going to be on the tax base. So I'm looking for things are going to generate economic activity," he said.

Yudelson predicted more discussion of the future of Parcel 5 as community stakeholders got back together early in the new year.  

Credits

Charles Molineaux

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