Here is another article in our continuing series of things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!
Rochester’s new College Town Development is attracting more students and young professionals to city living, but how is the surrounding area affected?
Since the University of Rochester’s ambitious project broke ground, national and local businesses have signed on to be a part of this new urban village.
According to the U of R, the space will include 73,000 square feet of street-level shops and restaurants, 50,000 square feet of office space and 154,000 square feet of residential space for rent. The development has also included improvements to the surrounding streets and intersections on Mt. Hope and Elmwood.
But while the economic benefits for the area are clear, with approximately 1,200 jobs to be added to the entire complex, some local residents worry about gentrification — that is, how existing residents may be pushed out of the area due to the rising property values.
Dan Hurley, president of the Upper Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association, told 13WHAM that while the development was great for the economy, “There are people who can no longer afford to be in the area.”
According to estimates from local landlords and real estate brokers, the rent prices around College Town have jumped 10% since last year.
The houses being purchased in the area aren’t owned by families but purchased by house flippers, who then rent out the properties to U of R students, especially medical students.
College students tend to move frequently, too, and often need to create moving checklists to make the transition from house to house more manageable. But now it’s not the students in the area who will be moving around, but those families and individuals who can no longer afford life in the area, including elderly residents even.
Hurley pointed out that a number of the area’s long-time residents can no longer afford to live in the area due to their fixed incomes.
“We have to be sensitive to the needs of everybody, not just the people who just want to be here but the people who need to be here. They’ve been here for years,” he said.
To find a compromise that will work for residents and developers, the Upper Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association plans to ask local leaders to work with developers and landlords to find solutions for everyone in the area.