Public hearing held on Parcel 5 theater

August 10, 2017 11:26 PM

"If anyone thinks this will be a self-supporting undertaking, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you," said Paul Haney, former Monroe County legislator.

Local neighbors had a lot to say Thursday night about Parcel 5 and the proposed performing arts center. RBTL wants to build a new theater including housing on the plot of land near Main Street and East Avenue.

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The chance to weigh in on the issue brought more people to city council chambers than it could hold. Some people don’t want it.

"It makes absolutely no sense to me to rush head first into this conclusion to use Parcel 5 for a new theater when there’s a perfectly fine one a few miles down the road," said Pat Dorsey.

Others love the idea and compared it to the Midtown project. "If you call Midtown today, you will find its full. It’s 100 percent occupied. So the housing component mixed with the theater, I think is a great idea," said Paul Foti, RHA.

Residents told the city council they would like to see the performing arts center cater to more of Rochester’s cultural arts.

"Rochester City Ballet really needs a place to perform downtown," said Nicole Gantshar, the executive director for the ballet. "We want to be able to bring school students to school day matinees of the Nutcracker and there’s no space to do that right now."

City Councilmember Adam McFadden left before the hearing. He called it a "dog and pony show."

McFadden says, "I had my choice we would do this after the primary and not do now because as you can see the mayoral candidates are here. You have city council candidates here, the school board candidates, all jockeying to get their five minutes of whatever. Our development of our city, especially downtown, shouldn't be in the muck of a primary."


Lynette Adams

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