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What's the deal with Rochester, NY?

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
Lately, I've been brainstorming as to what topics I'll do for my next paper. Rochester has popped up as a potential topic.

Is it an anomaly in the sense that Rochester is one of the last cities in the Rust Belt cities to be experiencing deindustrialization? I have recently read two newspaper articles about how Kodak seems to reducing its poperations and so are other big corporations that are centred in Rochester. And yet, Rochester has opened up and seeminly forced Toronto, Ontario, to establish a Rochester-Toronto ferry route.

So is Rochester really just starting to experience its own deindustrialization? Why?Or has it been a slow one as opposed to a rapid one (i.e. Flint, MI)? Why? Or has the city already experienced this in the past? If so, when and why?

I am just hoping to tape the great knowledge that Cyburbia have to share with me in doing an awesome job on my paper. :)

Feel free to share your thoughts, insights, experiences, and even pics. :)
 

steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
Rochester seems like it is really trying to be one step ahead of the game. They are blessed with an extremely intelligent population, but aren't the best at keeping them. Rochester has a reputation as a technology hot bed for photonics, biotech, fuel cells, nanotechnology, digital maging and health imaging.

Among their top talking points when trying to lure businesses into the area:

- was ranked 4th among the World's 50 Strongest Economic Regions
- Expansion Management selected Rochester as one of America’s “Best Places to Live and Work” and rate it a “Four-Star Community"
- Ranked 7th nationally in higher education degrees earned per capita according to Places Rated Almanac
- Ranked 6th according to Places Rated Almanac and Forbes magazine as one of top metro places with best education opportunities
- Ranked Number 1 for innovation by "The Metropolitan New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the Nation's Metropolitan Areas" with more patents issued per 1,000 workers

They are trying desperately to change. There are projects upon projects on the radar right now. New Transportation Center, Performing Arts Theater, a much larger zoo, a new soccer-only stadium to try and lure the MLS, the Tornoto-Rochester ferry, the Port of Rochester rehab, entertainment district overhaul, new city housing and apartments popping up downtown, and possible light rail/trolley projects are also in the works or having studies done. I have tons of links to good sources of info for the Rochester area, and their Center City Master Plan is online at
http://www.ci.rochester.ny.us/
if you are interested.

I've always seen Rochester as the little engine that could. Right now it's in the "I think I can" stage.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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29
I've only been to Rochester once, but isn't one difference between Rochester and other industrial cities that they are/were to some extent a headquarters town, not just a branch plant town? That local elite makes a big difference.
 

steveanne

Member
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176
Points
7
BKM said:
I've only been to Rochester once, but isn't one difference between Rochester and other industrial cities that they are/were to some extent a headquarters town, not just a branch plant town?
The Kodak and Bausch and Lomb headquarters are in Rochester, as well as a great deal of Xerox staff (founded there, but moved hdq to CT). Celltech also calls Rochester home, as well as Frontier, and Wegmans Foods.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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3,838
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25
Has Rochester adopted form-based zoning yet? I was impressed with the priority that the mayor's administration places on sprawl & land development issues - as judging by their website anyway. They seem to be tackling these issues more than other rustbelt cities.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
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18,712
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69
BKM said:
I've only been to Rochester once, but isn't one difference between Rochester and other industrial cities that they are/were to some extent a headquarters town, not just a branch plant town? That local elite makes a big difference.
Not just the headquarters (which Buffalo never had), but that most of its industrial base is smokeless.

Among Upstaters, though, Rochester is considered to be a less urbane and far more boring city than Buffalo. Buffalo has a nightlife that puts Rochester to shame, probably because there's an established blue-collar drinking culture that has no equivalent in Rochester.

The Rochester metro is only a little smaller than that of Buffalo, but there seems to be far more urban sprawl. Towns like Victor and Canandaigua are now consdered suburbs; to a Buffalonian, equally distant communities like Arcade or Springville -- even East Aurora -- are considered quite remote.
 

steveanne

Member
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176
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7
Dan said:
The Rochester metro is only a little smaller than that of Buffalo, but there seems to be far more urban sprawl. Towns like Victor and Canandaigua are now consdered suburbs;

This is very true, but there really has been steps to curb the sprawl. The mayor has made sprawl the Joker to the mayor's Batman. Things that aren't helping are the continuing expansion of Eastview Mall in Victor. That's great, they have all these wonderful new stores like PF Changs, Pottery Barn, Champs Restaurant, and higher end retail that you don't see too much of in Upstate NY.... But it's all in an adjacent county! My biggest wish for Rochester's city center is that Midtown Plaza can be revamped to be a place of gathering again with high-end retail, great restaurants, and entertainment options. The country's first downtown indoor mall has really let itself go and is lucky enough to have the tenants they do now.
 
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Rochester to me has much more of a nightlife than Buffalo for those over 23 and not in college. I have spent much time in both hanging out with friends. Rochester wins hands down and is my favorite upstate ny area. I would move up to greater rochester in a minute. The people are friendly, diverse, and intelligent. It has many challenges ahead, and yes they have a new zoning code.
 

steveanne

Member
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176
Points
7
upstateplanner said:
Rochester to me has much more of a nightlife than Buffalo for those over 23 and not in college.
There are three areas in general that come to mind when I think of Rochester's nightlife.

Alexander Street/East End has come out of no where and in my opinion, taken over the crown. All in a row, you can hit these bars on Alexander Street: Old Toad, The Rio Bamba, The Jungle, Alexander Street Pub, Blue Room, Mex, and the Whisky Bar and Lounge - which brings you to East Ave where you can enter Coyote Joe's, Barfly, Tonic, Karma 355, Monty's Korner, PEARL, Milestones, and Salingers. All are within a mile of each other.

Of course, there's the High Falls Entertainment District, which has a lot to work on. It's fun, but not nearly as crowded as Alexander St./East End. High Falls Live, managed by the Cordish folks has McFadden's Saloon and Tiki Bob's Cantina. There's also Jillians, The Spin Cafe, Jimmy Mac's Bar and Grill, as well as the new martini and piano bar (Key's), and a new microbrewery bar from the Genesee Beer family. These bars, as well as Frontier Field, where the Red Wings play, and the new soccer field where the Raging Rhinos will play, will have a pretty good entertainment value.

The last area is Monroe Ave. Oxfords, Woody's, The Bug Jar, Paradise Alley, and many others share the street that is also an alternative retail district. This was once considered to be the happening district until the other two developed.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
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4,473
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25
upstateplanner said:
Rochester to me has much more of a nightlife than Buffalo for those over 23 and not in college. I have spent much time in both hanging out with friends. Rochester wins hands down and is my favorite upstate ny area. I would move up to greater rochester in a minute. The people are friendly, diverse, and intelligent. It has many challenges ahead, and yes they have a new zoning code.
Can you say, 4 am last call;):b:. We've got you beat when it comes to nightlife for the over 23 crowd as well.
 

Hceux

Cyburbian
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1,028
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22
From what I've read in all the posts, it seems to be that Rochester remains to be a city that is alive and is not dying too hard. Perhaps the reason why there have been some recent articles about Rochester is that it is experiencing some rough bumps. Is this correct?
 

steveanne

Member
Messages
176
Points
7
Hceux said:
From what I've read in all the posts, it seems to be that Rochester remains to be a city that is alive and is not dying too hard. Perhaps the reason why there have been some recent articles about Rochester is that it is experiencing some rough bumps. Is this correct?
Kodak is firing nation-wide and since Rochester is the headquarters location, it hits here pretty hard.

If you want a better look at the Rochester business scene, here is a link to the GRE (Greater Rochester Enterprise). While obviously biased, it does has a lot of interesting info on business in the Rochester area.

http://greaterrochesterenterprise.com/grev10/t_GREHome.aspx
 

steel

Cyburbian
Messages
455
Points
14
Rochester has had all the technology it needed to be today's Seattle. Xerox invented the mouse based operating system and sold it to either apple or microsoft for pennies in the seventies. Yikes!!! kodak missed the boat on digital photography instead focusing too much on the competition form Fuji in the FILM buisness. Yikes!! That fast ferry should turn things around though.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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6,463
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29
steel said:
Rochester has had all the technology it needed to be today's Seattle. Xerox invented the mouse based operating system and sold it to either apple or microsoft for pennies in the seventies. Yikes!!! kodak missed the boat on digital photography instead focusing too much on the competition form Fuji in the FILM buisness. Yikes!! That fast ferry should turn things around though.
You're being sarcastic about the ferry in itself revivbing a city with a million person metropolitan region, right? Just like hanging a few banners declaring the districts above "The Entertainment District" will make Rochester the biggest party town in ths state?
 

Hceux

Cyburbian
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1,028
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22
By the way, I thought I had fleetingly heard or glanced some articles in the newspaper that the ferry service between Rochester and Toronto has faltered. Can anyone confirm on this?
 

steel

Cyburbian
Messages
455
Points
14
BKM said:
You're being sarcastic about the ferry in itself revivbing a city with a million person metropolitan region, right? Just like hanging a few banners declaring the districts above "The Entertainment District" will make Rochester the biggest party town in ths state?
yes of course. today's cities think that these urban toys will be the magic bullet. even the boomtowns think they need lightrail to make it to the big leagues. they miss the point completely
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
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4,202
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26
Hceux said:
By the way, I thought I had fleetingly heard or glanced some articles in the newspaper that the ferry service between Rochester and Toronto has faltered. Can anyone confirm on this?
I heard the same thing, too, about a month or so ago. The only thing that I can think of as to 'why' are customs delays that make it no more time-competitive than driving via Hamilton, ON. Customs delays are DEVESTATING other international 'surface' common carriers in eastern North America, too, especially Amtrak.

OTOH, I'm hearing that the new Milwaukee, WI-Muskegan, MI fast ferry service is going great guns. I am also very interested in the prospects for the inter-island ferry service that is soon to start up in Hawaii.

Mike
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
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3,178
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25
What's wrong with Rochester NY?

Well I am supposing that you are meaning in a planning growth context...

Off topic slightly, I believe in my heart that it must be influenced by the fact that my ex-husbands Polock family comes/settled there. I hear that they have spawned many off spring and one of them migrated to Ks. Glogowski is the name.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
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9,329
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31
Rochester, NY and Toledo, OH, have some similarities....or at least they did. The posts mentioned all of the white collar positions in Rochester. Toledo used to be the same.

At one (1) time, Toledo was world HQ for all of the following: Owens-Illinois Corporation (bottles, containers), Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation (building products), Libbey-Owens-Ford Company (automobile plate glass), Champion Spark Plug Company, DeVilbiss Company (paint spraying equipment), Questor Corporation (automobile parts).

All of these companies except Champion and DeVilbiss had downtown skyscrapers filled with white collar workers.

Owens-Illinois moved to a new skyscraper in the mid-1980's and is still there. Owens-Corning's skyscraper is an eyesore box, on the market with no interest.
O-C moved to a new low-scraper along the riverfront in downtown.

LOF was purchased by a British company and is gone. Their downtown Toledo building was recently purchased by a large insurance concern in the area. Champion was purchased by Cooper Industries quite a few years ago and closed all their Toledo facilities, including the white collar HQ. Questor folded.

Toledo and Rochester still compete in baseball. They used to compete for good white collar talent. No more.

Bear Not Muffled
 
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Re: the Ferry - my understanding is that it was rather mis-managed in that a bunch of very expensive fees weren't planned for, ie: a $1,000 a day piloting fee, etc. A friend in Roch was telling me the ferry has actually been impounded by the feds, because the owners owe so much money, there is concern that "something could happen" to the ferry.

And I'll also agree with UpstatePlanner - when coming back to Upstate, Rochester would have been our second choice for cities, after Albany. It just feels like such an urbane little city.
 

cannat

Member
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0
Need some input?

Hceux said:
Lately, I've been brainstorming as to what topics I'll do for my next paper. Rochester has popped up as a potential topic.
Canadian? Me too... and I've lived in the Rochester area for most of my life. See my website's section on The Fast Fiasco and let me know if you need some help on your paper. Or just lift what you like from the website...www.nativecanadian.ca/native_reflections/fast%20ferry/fast_ferry200.htm... The section's huge and is a combination of commentary, criticism and fact.

Kanowakeron
 
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Hceux

Cyburbian
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1,028
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22
cannat said:
Canadian? Me too... and I've lived in the Rochester area for most of my life. See my website's section on The Fast Fiasco and let me know if you need some help on your paper. Or just lift what you like from the website...www.nativecanadian.ca/native_reflections/fast%20ferry/fast_ferry200.htm... The section's huge and is a combination of commentary, criticism and fact.

Kanowakeron

Cannat, thanks very much for you kindness to help me out with the internet links. When I first posted this, I was thinking of doing a paper on Rochester back in February, 2004. I've completed that course, graduated, and returned to school for Education by now. Things change quickly, don't they? :)

I liked your criticisms on the To-Ro (get it? Toronto-Rochester) ferry idea. I never quite understood why this idea even flew for a couple weeks.

Anyways, welcome here Cannat!
 
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