Sonny Beaty opened his KB Minimart next door to Midtown six years ago. He figured it wouldn't be long before a sparkling new complex was built.
"Here we are, still waiting," Beaty said Monday morning.
He's trying to be hopeful, but he confesses that business owners feel like they've heard city leaders cry wolf before. "They promise you so much. They promise and promise. They tell you that things will be built and we'll have a customers base. But so far, nothing."
On Monday, crews showed up to begin the first major construction phase of Midtown's future. It's an infrastructure effort (along with an underground tunnel) that will be the bones of the project. By next March, this phase should be complete, with new offices, condos, and park space ready to arrive.
"We can't wait," Sonny said. "It sounds wonderful. We have to maintain a positive attitude."
But when pressed, Sonny admits the last six years have been devastating. "It's stressful every single day," he said. "Some days I don't make twenty dollars, and I'm here for 14 hours. That's a long day. That's a tough day."
He'll continue to be patient, with Rochester leaders celebrating the first major step toward a new day at Midtown.