Letter: Healthy development needs input from many to provide diverse benefits
The only thing more surprising and controversial than this 2016 election year has been the withdrawal of the proposed Holiday Inn project. Politics, intrigue, victory and defeat were all on display as developer Larry Brutger withdrew his proposal after failing to gain the support of the Destination Medical Center Corp. board, residents of Kutzky Neighborhood Association and interested Rochester-ites like myself.
Though tempting to see this as a missed opportunity, I suggest we consider this a learning moment — critical to the future healthy growth of our city and necessary to realize the importance of working collaboratively to benefit our residents, visitors, employers and investors.
Instead of a second Holiday Inn on Second Street, why not imagine a DMC- and city-supported tunnel from St. Marys leading to a common access space within a business- and pedestrian-friendly area? This would add much-needed green space for residents and local workers, be fair to existing businesses and could be the anchor to attract and retain future entrepreneurs.
We will have many more exciting opportunities for improvement but must have a robust customer discovery involving all (residents, visitors, workers) affected, not just the developer. Our collective cooperation will serve as a model for how to execute a truly ambitious public/private partnership.
I hope we all accept this challenge toward healthy future city growth.
Paul M. Huddleston