New plans for the former Bank of America in downtown Rochester

Plans in the works for 1 East Ave building

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The old Bank of America building at 1 East Ave. in downtown Rochester will be renovated in the new year.

Gallina Development Corporation owns the property. And they are hoping this space turns into one that opens up jobs and attracts people to the Rochester area.

Gallina Development purchased the property in 2015, and Bank of America vacated the space in 2019.

Now they’re looking for another business to fill the space.

“So it really gave us an opportunity through the pandemic and afterwards to start to reimagine this space as something different. It’s got street-level access really visible from the corner and along Main Street. So really kind of thinking differently about this space from a traditional bank branch,” Lauren Gallina Payne, marketing director for Gallina Development, said.

Payne says that the company has started demolition in the space, removing the former teller stations and other things left behind.

And if the tenant that comes in is looking to bring in a restaurant, some construction will have to be done.

“As soon as we can come to business terms and understanding of what the needs are for a specific user. Obviously the space doesn’t currently have a kitchen, so we would need to look at specs to build out a commercial kitchen in the space. But yeah, it would involve negotiation and continuing through the process of specs for a restaurant,” Payne said.

But the one thing that will be staying, the company says, is the iconic mural.

“So we have this really incredible mural that’s 120 feet original to the building from John Minahan, who was a local artist, really created for this space as a custom piece depicting the sort of industrial rise of Rochester. You can kind of see in the mural the cogs and wheels and different things that represent that industrialization of Rochester,” Payne said.

Gallina Development says that their hope is to find a tenant and start the construction in the new year.

Dana Miller, commissioner for neighborhood and business development with the city of Rochester, said, “We are really hoping that building can be used for some kind of commercial purpose that invites the public in a restaurant, a bar, some kind of retail space, which would all be perfect uses for that. It’s about 7,000 square feet. So it’s a very, very good sized space. And it is something that is very visible being at One East Avenue.”

The city of Rochester is definitely getting a face lift. Miller says other projects will be happening in the new year, such as the four abandoned buildings at the corner of Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Construction is set to begin there in January or February, turning them into apartments and a few storefronts.

New development coming to downtown Rochester

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