Re:Main Social in Downtown Rochester

by Tanya Zwahlen

In 2016, Rochester received a Rose Fellowship, a year-long study to help cities develop and advance land use policies that will stimulate creative, efficient, practical and sustainable policies to support the redevelopment of downtown. The fellowship included data, best practices, a peer network and other resources to the City over the course of the year. The project manager for Rochester’s Fellowship was Kevin Kelley, senior community housing planner in the City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. Kevin is a friend, neighbor and old planning colleague.

Since its inception, the Rose Center has worked with mayors’ teams in 24 cities across the United States: Austin, Texas; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Hartford, Conn.; Honolulu; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; Memphis, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Oakland, Calif.; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle; Tacoma, Wash.; and Tampa, Fla.

Over the last year, Kevin attended two working retreats at the NLC Congress of Cities, went to the ULI Spring Meeting, conducted a study tour of another city, and hosted a team of experts who came to Rochester on a study visits. The outcome of the year long fellowship was a set of recommendations.

​One of the recommendations was to use programming to generate foot traffic and establish awareness to Main Street. Other recommendations included using pop-up retail and art, and partnering with existing groups to support programming. The re:Main Social is the outcome of that recommendation. Led by the RocCity Coalition in strong partnership with the City and several community development organizations, the re:Main Social will take place on Saturday, October 1st in front of The Metropolitan (former Chase Tower) at Main and Clinton.

The event will be a celebration of all the recent development on Main Street as well as the what’s on the horizon for the continued resurgence of Center City.  Featuring food trucks, buskers, dancers, a downtown project showcase, street art, a beer garden, live DJs, and a high-powered image projection of past/present/future Main Street, this will be a one-of-a-kind event.

Check out the Facebook Event page for more details. And be on the look out for our M. Andre Primus, who helped to organize the event, will be performing with his dance company *and* will be staffing the table regarding the Genesee Crossroads Park redesign.

We are proud of Kevin and his partners for implementing one of the Rose Fellowship recommendations so quickly. And we are looking forward to seeing more developments in downtown in the coming months.

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