Building a stronger community: UofR purchases College Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The University of Rochester has purchased College Town.

The non-profit institution has formed a for-profit entity called Meliora Development Company LLC to manage College Town. This was a big purchase for the university.

They say they want to build a greater sense of community for everyone who visits college town.

What used to be just a road through the Mount Hope neighborhood has turned into a budding stretch of restaurants, shops, and apartments.

College town is a 12,000 square feet mixed-use complex and serves as a gateway to the university’s river campus and medical center campus.

“We’re really encouraged,” Director of Marketing at College Town Cass McCrory said. We’re seeing a lot of foot traffic. It’s always in the summer time, it’s a little bit harder in the winter as we all know. But we’re seeing new foot traffic, seeing new people come to college town every day.”

Now, the University of Rochester wants to make it even bigger. It purchased the properties for $51.5M.

The Meliora Development Company LLC is responsible for managing the property and recruiting additional commercial tenants, while also supporting the current businesses.

McCrory says two new restaurants are on their way. They include NorthernNola and one restaurant yet to be named.  

“Getting these new restaurants is really exciting because we’re finding that we’re getting restaurants that are bringing cuisine that we don’t see in other parts of Rochester. So we’re getting new flavors,” McCrory said.

University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf put out a statement on why they purchased college town:

“With our purchase of College Town, we aim to build a greater sense of community and connectedness for students, employees, patients, visitors and neighbors. The university’s new strategic plan and a planned update to the institutional campus master plan launching later this year will provide opportunities to reimagine how the development fits into university life.”

So, what are people hoping comes to College Town? Donte Williams works at Moe’s and says the new restaurants would bring more people.

“A Wingstop and a Chick-Fil-A. If they bring a Chick-Fil-A over here I feel like more college students will come, since we all love Chick-Fil-A,” Williams said.

The university declined to speak with News10NBC.

The sale of College Town does not include the 136 room Hilton Garden Inn but the university will continue to own the land on which the hotel is located and lease this parcel to the hotel’s owner.