Final plan for Plaza advances
Former rival says developer should pay for parking
By Jeffrey Pieters
Over protests from a former rival, the Broadway Plaza project moved closer to receiving final regulatory approval Wednesday, with a final plan winning a unanimous vote from the city Planning and Zoning Commission.
The plan now goes to a May 6 hearing before the Rochester City Council.
Nearly two years ago, council members selected Broadway Plaza, a 26-story residential high-rise to be built on the former city library site, over a competing proposal, Time Square.
Broadway Plaza was proposed by an Annandale, Va., developer, Royal Management and Development. Time Square, an entertainment and shopping complex that would have covered several city blocks, was proposed locally by Gus Chafoulias, of Chafoulias Companies.
On Wednesday, a Chafoulias spokesman urged commissioners to make Broadway Plaza's developer pay to build parking nearby, to help alleviate a parking shortage throughout the city's core.
"In order to go forward with (Time Square) we had to," said attorney Craig Wendland.
City Development Administrator Doug Knott said Chafoulias' final Time Square proposal, like Broadway Plaza's current plan, called for the city to provide parking. Downtown businesses generally are not required to provide their own parking facilities.
Knott said the city is planning to add one level -- 95 spaces -- to the First Street ramp at city expense. The new spaces would match an anticipated 95-space demand for parking generated by Broadway Plaza. The developer would pay fees for use of ramp spaces, Knott said.
The city also is considering adding a new parking ramp on the east half of the library block, current site of a municipal parking lot, Knott said.
Broadway Plaza will have 17 parking spaces of its own, in a valet parking lot underneath the building.
The building's final plan included a handful of changes from a preliminary plan approved in November.
Most significantly, the final plan included architectural changes at the ground level of the building's southwest corner.
Previously, the design included a two-story lighted glass atrium at that corner. Project architect Melissa Sarko, of Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates, said her group determined the building needed steel beam support at that corner and eliminated the atrium.
To place aesthetic emphasis at the corner, Sarko said architects decided to install more lighting.