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Reshaping Rochester's skyline: 30-story tower proposed for Michael's site

Reshaping Rochester's skyline: 30-story tower proposed for Michael's site

Plans are being drawn up for a 30-story residential tower and 16-story hotel at the site of the former Michael's restaurant in downtown Rochester, according to an internal memo obtained this week by the Med City Beat.

If built, the tower would become one of the tallest buildings in Rochester and, combined with the now-under-construction Hilton Hotel, would drastically reshape the downtown skyline.

Under the preliminary proposal, the tower would include 255 residential units, while the hotel would have 153 rooms and 61,452 net feet of retail. If the project is to move forward, the West Center Street parking ramp would also need to be taken down.

Further details on the project remain unknown. In the memo, addressed to the DMC Corporation Board, City Administrator Stevan Kvenvold cautioned that the concept is still in the early stages of development and could be altered pending further analysis.

The proposal is being put forward by Andy Chafoulias, owner of Titan Development and Investments in Rochester, and the Chicago-based Bell family, which runs Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors. Harbor Bay purchased the Michael's site in 2016 for $5.5 million. The two firms also recently worked together to finance the Hilton project, also known as Broadway at Center. The sites are located directly across the street from each other. 

According to Kvenvold, the developers are also exploring ways to support the reuse of the Chateau Theatre. The city purchased the historic building for $6 million in 2015, but it has since sat empty (minus a few events) while the city decides its next move.

"The architects for the reuse of the Chateau Theatre building and the architects for this proposed project have had some meetings to determine if the proposed project could accommodate some of the auxiliary services needed to make the Chateau Theatre a completely functioning theatre building," wrote Kvenvold.

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Cover graphic: Rendering of proposed development

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