Don't expect to put your coffee mug on an office desk in the first floor of The Maven on First Avenue Southwest. You may, however, be able to buy your lunch there.
The Rochester City Council provided some flexibility as to what kinds of businesses may be tenants at the building, but drew the line at office space.
When plans for the building that fills the space from Broadway to First Avenue were approved in 2017, the joint venture by Opus Development Co., Titan Development, and Berkshire Group was allowed to nearly double standard apartment density for the area by agreeing to commit the westside first-floor space for retail use.
Peter Coyle, a land-use attorney representing the mixed-use complex at 429 S. Broadway, said the space has been difficult to fill.
“We’ve proceeded in good faith on the belief that we could get this done, but we have not been able to,” he said, suggesting a restaurant might also be an elusive tenant.
“As we all have learned in the last year and a half, being in the retail or hospitality sectors is a pretty tough business to be in,” he said. “Many businesses have not been able to survive it, so our feeling is we need to seek out a broader pool of tenants.”
Council members Mark Bransford, Shaun Palmer and Molly Dennis initially agreed with the request, voting to allow office use, as well as restaurant use.
“It’s been a pretty tough business to fill these retail (spaces),” Bransford said.
“We need to let them make money,” he added. “They have mortgages like everyone else.”
The council ended the discussion with a unanimous vote to approve the restaurant use and deny the office use.