UR administrators have been collaborating with community members of the 19th Ward to bring retail stores and eateries across the Genesee River, closer to the River Campus. A privately owned caf will likely open to 19th Ward residents, including soon-to-be residents of the Riverview Apartment Complex, this fall. This coffee shop would potentially allow students to use URos, and it has been a tentative part of larger plans to draw commercial stores to Brooks Landing, often referred to as the Brooks Landing Project.

Though the Sector 4 Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit community organization that spearheaded designs for a new coffee shop, originally hoped to create a nonprofit caf, they have since decided to opt for a privately-owned shop. According to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle on March 29, Lyjha Wilton stands to be the owner of this caf, which will be located at the intersection of Brooks Landing and Genesee Street. Wilton is already the owner of two Boulder Coffee shops, one of which is located near the Public Market.

Details regarding ownership and renovation have been hashed out since 2005, and, according to City Council member and chairman of Sector 4 CDC’s board of directors Dana Miller, the store will finally open this August. Miller said the caf would have a comfortable, attractive and inviting atmosphere, and will likely be complete with wireless Internet and live entertainment in the evenings.

One definite detail of the potential caf is that it will not accept Declining. While students will have the opportunity to use URos, charging items to student meal plans is not a viable option for the off-campus location. Media Spokesperson Sharon Dickman explained that, due to a legal stipulation for meal plans, they can only apply to eateries on University property to maintain their tax-free status.

Miller explained that he has worked very closely with Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO Ronald Paprocki and that Director of Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations Cam Schauf also looked at the business plans for the caf. Dickman spoke on the University’s behalf about its role in developing the area.

“It’s a community initiative and we want to help and be a partner, but we don’t want to control anything, or dictate what needs to be there,” she said. “It’s up to the community to decide what’s appropriate? We want to be partners with people in the neighborhood.”

Miller estimated that there are 800 students who live in the 19th Ward and 400 additional students who will soon join the area due to the new Riverview complex.

“That alone creates a huge opportunity for interaction between community and students,” he said.

President of the Class of 2010 and sophomore Eric Weismann, a candidate for Students’ Association Senate, echoed the similar themes of connecting to the larger community.

“This caf should help efforts to improve connections with the Rochester community, as it helps show that UR students, if given the right opportunity, are interested in getting off campus and into the community,” he said.

Dickman discussed the potential of a nearby caf for students and faculty to enjoy.

“[It would be] a kind of destination,” she said. “Right now there aren’t too many destinations across the river for staff to take advantage of as well as students.”

Weismann believes this step would significantly improve students’ lives off campus.

“There are currently only a few places to eat off campus within walking distance, and even then it is a bit of a long walk,” Weismann said. “This caf will probably be little more than a 10-minute walk from campus. Further, this caf will make Riverview an even more attractive place to live.”

Miller, a community leader, Dickman, a University employee and Weismann, a student, each represent three distinct groups this coffee shop may potentially bring together in a relaxing atmosphere.

Leber is a member of the class of 2011.

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I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

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