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Golisano withdraws $25M donation for performing arts center

November 07, 2018 06:11 PM

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Tom Golisano announced Wednesday that he has pulled his $25 million gift for the new performing arts center in Rochester.

Last month, a new proposal emerged involving tearing down the Radisson hotel on Main Street and moving the project from Parcel 5.  The renderings of the project consisted of a new 3,000-seat performing arts center, a smaller 500-seat theater, retail and dining space, apartments and a 250-room hotel. 

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The Paychex founder says that two years after supporting the project, it's "no closer to becoming a reality." 

"It has dramatically changed in scope, becoming part of a larger entertainment complex, which is not in line with my philanthropic priorities. It has also not garnered the financial support it needs from the community, " Golisano said. "It is time for me to move on to the many other projects we are working on in this region that need support and that are more aligned with my philanthropic priorities.”  

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren called the news disappointing but vows to move forward with the project.

“As part of the larger ROC the Riverway program, the ‘Riverside Performing Arts Center Project’ has never been more viable and the opportunity to work with Gov. Cuomo, the State of New York, organized labor and the private sector to invest in a project that will deliver more than 1,000 needed jobs for Rochester residents is too important to give up.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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