Rochester, N.Y. - It began with a vision more than nine years ago.
To open up the east side of the Genesee River to the South Wedge neighborhood and in the process clean up the crime-ridden area at the tip of Mt. Hope Avenue.
“They thought I was skeptical - but I was just thinking it's about time,” says Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden about his first meeting with developers.
Erie Harbor is clearly identified from the outside by its color blocked condos. Quirky enough to make Irene Allen and her husband re-think their suburban lifestyle. “We had a house in Brighton and our last kid left for college and since they're having adventures we wanted an adventure too,” she says.
The Allen's condo covers three floors - each with a view of the Genesee - and the Rochester skyline. “It’s amazing,” says Allen. “We have friends visiting from Toronto and other cities and they all assume its a million dollar condo."
The 132 new condos grew from humble beginnings.
"It’s been a long time since there was a gateway to the river here,” says Tim Fourneier President and CEO of Conifer Reality. “What was originally here was built in 1975 and it was like a cement fortress.”
Subsidized housing-built 40 years ago-had given way to partially empty buildings - attracting vandalism and crime. “The first time I ran in 1999 I had a fear of going door to door in this neighborhood but I did it,” says McFadden. “This project stands for the fact that we can transform challenged neighborhoods."
Rentals start at $900 dollars a month. One in five of the units is reserved for low income residents with the rent adjusted accordingly.
The view is not solely for renters. Three public access points to the riverside walkway - give the Genesee back to the neighborhood.