Downtown eyesores could get a facelift: Richford Hotel among buildings in line for $4M restoration boost

Richford hotel could benefit from Restore New York funding

Richford hotel could benefit from Restore New York funding

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The once iconic Richford Hotel on Chestnut Street, now a conspicuous eyesore where siding started to collapse and scatter on the streets two years ago, is at the heart of Rochester’s latest redevelopment efforts. The city is eyeing a significant financial boost through the state’s Restore New York program to breathe new life into this and two other neglected buildings downtown.

The Richford Hotel has remained boarded and barricaded, a symbol of urban decay, since its façade crumbled. Similarly, targeted for revitalization are a five-story building on East and Chestnut streets, and a corner building on East Main Street, all of which have remained unused and unoccupied for years.

Restore New York, a grant program designed to support the rehabilitation of dormant buildings, has become a pivotal resource for cities like Rochester seeking to rejuvenate their landscapes. The program annually allocates funds specifically for the revival of structures that, despite being empty, have potential for redevelopment.

Dana Miller, Commissioner of Neighborhoods and Business Development, emphasized the role of Restore New York in enabling these projects.

“Without the Restore New York funding, very often these projects don’t get underway. It’s important to provide some kind of public incentive that helps drive the private investment,” Miller stated.

The City of Rochester is poised to request $4 million, the maximum grant amount from the state, to support these projects. A City Council vote is scheduled for May 21 to approve the application. The total private investment in the rehabilitation of each building is projected at about $53 million, indicating significant economic implications for the city’s future.

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