Rochester, N.Y. – A proposed apartment complex along Rochester’s Art Walk is stirring controversy. The area is in the East Avenue Preservation District.
Morgan Management is seeking city approval for a 110-unit complex on University Ave. Parking would be on the first floor. Site drawings include a pool. A Tudor-style house and addition, which serves as a veteran’s hall, would be knocked down. A new veterans clubhouse would be part of the new construction. The project would cost up to $20 million.
“It’s much too big for the footprint,” said Eileen Mance, a neighborhood resident. “It’s ridiculous.”
“I could pretty much assure you I couldn’t tear my house down in a preservation district,” said Douglas Rice, a neighborhood resident.
The parcel was recently rezoned at the request of the Eastman House, which had been eying it for development. The Eastman House property backs up to the site.
In a 7-page letter to the city, Eastman House Drector Bruce Barnes lists his objections to the project. He calls it “too massive.” He said the value of the Eastman properties, including the Hutchison house, would be “diminished” and the complex would “gravely affect the views” from the museum. Barnes also objected to tree removal, lack of open space and additional traffic.
“It’s unfortunate we the neighbors end up having to fight the same battle to save the preservation district,” said Rice. “It kind of puts us at odds with developers when we want to be partners.”
Kevin Morgan of Morgan Management said his company is reviewing the feedback and making major changes to the proposal. The façade will likely stay the same, but the side and rear portions will change.
“We really feel positive about our ability to address the majority of concerns” Morgan said, adding new designs were not yet ready.
The project is undergoing environmental review and will need city approval.