Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Urban News Vol. 22

I am nearing the end of the charrette report and expect to post again soon on more of its contents. Today I am out to prove that the sun shines on Arnett Boulevard too by way of an article that seemingly didn't get much traffic before being pushed off the recent news tabs. This story also gives me an opportunity to integrate the new Google street view for Rochester.

by Matthew Daneman, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Article Key Points:
  • Space in the 83 year old building at 332-336 Arnett Blvd. is hosting a group of business and business services aimed at a target audience of neighbothood residents
  • David Dey, whose Institute for Social Entrepreneurship existed in the back of the building, bought the entire structure for renovation purposes
  • Dey did an analysis of businesses within a four block radius to identify niches to be filled
  • Tenants include The French Quarter Cafe, Kingdom Ventures (goods from developing nations), Risego and ISE (entrepreneurship training for youths and adults), Lighthouse Copy and Business Services, His Blends Coffee, Caroline Creative (event planning), Creative Counseling and Budgeting (credit counseling), and Fine A.R.T.S Gallery.

As I stated in the public comments, this is vision that helps everyone involved. It is commonly assumed that plopping down a CVS anchoring a strip mall with 40 parking spots on a site like this will somehow magically change the complex economic and social dynamics of currently struggling historic neighborhoods. To me nothing could be more useful than the copy center and the credit counseling. Entrepreneur training can build on these primary elements, and the others lend an aesthetic as well as a magnet for the critical class discussed in the works of Jacobs, those who improve their education and income level and STAY in their neighborhood (and improve it) due to their comfort with and fondness of it.

I wish immense success for Mr. Dey as well as the others mentioned in the article. He is obviously a man of action and one who understands the social benefits of redensification.

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