Cleveland’s Fairmount Properties has been selected as a development partner for UR’s much-anticipated College Town project. The partnership was announced by Ronald Paprocki, UR’s Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, at a media conference on Tuesday, Jan. 25.
“We selected Fairmount, in part, because of its experience with complex projects and its deep commitment to … the University,” Paprocki said at the conference, adding that the developer is determined to complete “a project we can all be proud of.”
Fairmount Properties has extensive experience with large projects such as this, having previously constructed similar mixed-developments in Cleveland and several areas in Ohio. The college towns near Georgia Tech University and the University of Pennsylvania were looked at for examples of what Fairmount will develop.
The College Town project will turn a 16-acre area of Mt. Hope Avenue, between Elmwood Avenue and Crittenden Boulevard, into a vibrant neighborhood including restaurants, offices, apartments and national and regional retailers. That could just be the beginning of the new venture. A hotel might also be included in the neighborhood and the YMCA has expressed interest in working with the UR Medical Center to make a new facility including fitness facilities and childcare programs. UR and Fairmount are also working with the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority to create a transit center and parking facility for the new area.
UR President Joel Seligman said at the media conference that the new neighborhood has “tremendous potential” to “enhance the quality of life for the University community” and “serve as a catalyst for the continuing revitalization of the neighborhoods on both sides of the University.”
The concept for the college town was initially proposed as part of the UR Campus Master Plan in 2008, but because of the economic crisis, the project did not advance until early 2010, when a process was initiated to assess the market and the interest of possible developers.
Paprocki noted that, despite the excitement of announcing a developer, there is “still much detail work to be done in order for us to move on to the groundbreaking stage.” The new development has received much support from the city of Rochester and the neighbors in the Mt. Hope area. The land has already been rezoned by the city to be a “College Town” district.
The total cost for the project — which is a private development not funded by UR — may ultimately exceed $100 million. If the developments go according to plan, construction could begin in 2012 and be completed as early as 2013.
Silverstein is a member of the class of 2013.