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Spanning more that a football field, the Sibley Building is one of the largest footprints in downtown Rochester.
Winn Development, which owns the building, has plans for a $190 million redevelopment of Sibley. To help make this a reality, Senator Charles Schumer is asking the U.S. Treasury Secretary for $45 million in New Market Tax Credits.
"It's the funding that you need to go forward and get the things done that you need," said Beth Hartman, Winn Development property manager. "We are so thankful that Senator Schumer is doing that and it's so important to move forward with our project here on that."
Many look to Midtown as the key to downtown development. However, city leaders says Sibley is just as important, if not more so.
Currently, only about 30 percent of the Sibley Building is occupied. Much of that is Monroe Community College, which is planning to relocate to Kodak on State Street.
The plan for Sibley is to turn the building into a modern, attractive space for investment and economic revitalization.
"Midtown and the Sibley Building have always been two sides of Main Street and it's important to have this building which is over a million square feet, almost the same amount of space as the entire Midtown complex, and to have this not occupied or not fully utilized is a tremendous drawback to downtown so, we have to get this building used," said City Council Vice President Dana Miller, D-Rochester.
A redeveloped Sibley Building will include retail and office space. Restaurants are also part of the plan. The key element, however, is residential.
"The fact that there are going to be two different housing projects in this building creates a 24/7 kind of ownership in the environment. You really can't beat that. That's whats driving the whole reinvention of downtown is the downtown living part of it. So this is really a huge project," said Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation.
Some exterior work was done on Sibley before winter including new windows.
Winn Development expects the renovation project to be completed within the next five years.