Saturday, August 2, 2008

Urban News Vol. 26

I am blogging for the first time from my new townhouse on Mt. Hope Avenue. Seven months of time have passed since this journey started and now I am for the first time since the summer of 2000, a city resident (though you could argue that my neighborhood in Scranton was a suburb anyway due to zoning restrictions and lack of walkability). Now to sell that other place...

Apologies for the delay to those of you expecting a prompt friday entry. Been doing a lot of painting, packing, and measuring since I got out of work yesterday. One of my neighbors is being unknowingly kind enough to allow me to get this out now while my wife paints upstairs, otherwise I'd be writing it into notepad for broadcast later tonight. I'd include a picture of the new place with this except that the batteries in my camera are dead.

Our new place has a walk score of 68, noting that Alice's Market (a corner store, family owned and operated), Pelligrino's (a deli), The Distillery (a bar/restaurant), Highland Park, Empire Comics, and the Elmwood Inn (another bar/restaurant) are all within a quarter mile. Work is less than half the previous distance for biking and for bus season my wife and I can take a single bus (the 19 University) to work rather than transferring. We are near 3 other North-South bus lines, the #5 to downtown continuing the length of St. Paul to Lake Ontario (Summerville) with such attractions en route as Boulder Coffee and the Seneca Park Zoo. The #24 would take us either downtown or to Henrietta and RIT and the #50 travels through our neighborhood on jaunts between downtown and MCC.

All right, its time to stop the self-aggrandizing. This blog isn't supposed to be about me, its about Urban News. I'm simply too excited to not extol the virtues of my own personal city living arrangement in hopes it plants a few seeds.

I've added a third story to the agenda today compared to my preview post. I feel its also pertinent and its a topic I've broached before in an Urban News installment.

by Amy Young, RNews

Article Key Points:
  • Despite New York State's economic picture, Midtown Rising Project is moving forward
  • Former Governor Spitzer originally pledged $50 million for the demolition
  • Midtown closed its doors last Friday

My view on the whole Midtown project has matured to a certain degree. Its problems and public realm implications were legion. The reason I use this story to revisit the topic is that there was a scoping session held on Tuesday the 29th where more of the big picture was revealed. Apparently, there was some impassioned discourse regarding what I assume is a selective demolition plan, saving the tower at the very least. Public realm proposals have mixed merit according to my source, this with regard to breaking up the superblock and the configuration of green/civic space. As it stands now, the RRCDC will be consulted on design matters which is a good thing.

ESL Breaks Ground on New HQ
by Jim Aroune

Article Key Points:

  • Ground has been broken on the bank's new six story downtown headquarters
  • ESL originally had 30 sites to choose from
  • Duffy administration credited with proving downtown is open for business
  • Grand opening in 18 months

Developers Tour Armory for Sale
by Christina Dominguez, RNews

Article Key Points:

  • The Culver Road Armory is slated for sale at auction on October 1
  • The City of Rochester would like to preempt the auction by purchasing it from the state at appraised value
  • City was offered property for $1 with significant development restrictions
  • City wants to ensure the highest and best use for the site
  • Site includes 71,000 square foot main building, land, and storage facilities

I'm going to forego further comment on this as my position is the same as it was in Urban News Vol. 21 and my wife wants to get going back to Webster for dinner and more packing. I'll end with the announcement that the Rochester New Urbanism and Sustainable Development Group is going to be touring the Rochester Regional Community Design Center on Monday night, August 25th at 7PM. Everyone is welcome to join us. I'd appreciate it if you RSVP'd by joining the group via multiply and posting your RSVP in the notes section.

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