11.03.17

SCHUMER TOUTS THE LONG-AWAITED FILLING IN OF SUNKEN PORTION OF ROCHESTER’S INNER LOOP AND THE COMPLETION OF THE NEW UNION STREET – SENATOR SAYS PROJECT’S COMPLETION WILL GROW THE ROCHESTER ECONOMY, BRINGING GOOD-PAYING JOBS AND ECONOMIC INVESTMENT TO THE REGION; REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT CREATED 5 SHOVEL-READY JOBS SITES; SCHUMER HELPED SECURE $16.5 MILLION IN FED FUNDS TO MAKE PROJECT A REALITY

Schumer Led The Charge To Secure $16.5 Million In Funding From Usdot To Fill-In Sunken Southeast Section Of Inner Loop Expressway, Which Was A Barrier To Economic Development In Downtown Rochester For Decades; Schumer Pushed The Inner Loop Project With Two Different Secretaries Of Transportation – Senator Made In-Person Appeals To Secs. LaHood & Foxx; Without Fed Support, Project Would Have Remained On The Drawing Board 

Schumer  Says The Completed Project Will Be A Beacon For Economic Investment By Bringing In 5 Shovel-Ready Job Sites And Connect Downtown Rochester To Burgeoning Neighborhoods 

Schumer: We Filled It, And Now More Business Has Come To Rochester

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today celebrated the “filling in” of the City of Rochester’s Inner Loop. Schumer was instrumental in securing a $16.5M TIGER grant to fill in the Inner Loop, and now with the project finished there will be significant new job-creating economic development in the area with the creation of 5 new shovel-ready development sites, including space for Home Leasing and the expansion of the Strong Museum of Play. Schumer said filling-in the Inner Loop removed a huge barrier that had hampered investment for decades and with its completion, Rochester can now reshape, driving downtown development for decades to come. Since 2011, Schumer has led the push to secure millions in federal Department of Transportation (DOT) funds to make the Inner Loop project possible. Schumer noted that he made in-person appeals about this project to two different Secretaries of Transportation. 

“Today, a dream that has been decades in the making has been fulfilled -- filling in the eastern end of the Inner Loop. For the residents, businesses, and downtown investors who have long pushed to remove this moat that divided downtown from the rest of the Rochester’s vibrant East End, this day could not have come soon enough,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased to have played a major role in securing the $16.5 million federal transportation grant that has filled in the former Inner Loop ‘moat’ with millions of dollars in new economic development and hundreds of jobs. Where the Inner Loop once was will now be filled with new retail stores,  apartments, condos, a hotel, and an expanded Strong Museum that will be a magnet drawing new tourists to Rochester from far and wide. Three years ago, I said: If we fill it, they will come. Today we can proudly say it is filled and in its place, we’ve created a new canvass on which Rochester is now painting its economic development masterpiece that will drive downtown development to new heights for decades to come.”

The newly filled in Inner Loop will become the new at-grade surface level road, Union Street. Additionally, the newly filled in Inner Loop will create 5 new shovel-ready development sites. Parcel 1 is being developed with new job-creating housing by local Rochester company Home Leasing while parcel 2 will be home to a mixed-use development that will include 120 rental units, retail and office space.  Parcels 4 & 5 will enable a major expansion of the Strong Museum of Play with an adjacent mixed-use retail/housing development and a new hotel that will make the Strong Museum a tourism magnet, attracting tourists and families from across the Northeast and Canada to Rochester.

Schumer said that, previously, the Inner Loop’s placement and width, served as a physical and psychological barrier to Rochester’s downtown, impeding everything from foot traffic to cyclists, and discouraging business development in the area. In addition, the Inner Loop and its frontage roads separated the downtown from adjacent thriving neighborhoods, like the Neighborhood of the Arts, Upper East End, Park Avenue and Monroe Village. The city removed the deteriorated section of the Inner Loop and replaced it with an at-grade boulevard, which is now open land to mixed-use redevelopment, making the area more accessible for pedestrians and bicycle riders, and begin to reconnect these previously detached neighborhoods to develop infrastructure better suited for private sector investment.

Schumer has long fought to secure funding to make this high-priority Rochester redevelopment project a reality. Since 2011, he has led the push to secure millions in federal Department of Transportation (DOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds to make the Inner Loop project possible.  In 2011, Schumer stood with then-Rochester Mayor Tom Richards and several business leaders and developers to announce his push to then-USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood to secure TIGER grant funding, without which the project would remain on the drawing board.  Schumer worked with LaHood to set up meetings between the City of Rochester and technical experts at the USDOT to assist the city prepare its TIGER grant application.   Schumer was instrumental in securing the $16.5M TIGER grant to fill in the Inner Loop, which worked in tandem with New York State funding.

In 2013, Schumer wrote to then-Transportation Secretary Foxx to push for his swift approval of these TIGER funds for Rochester’s Inner Loop project. Then, after personally meeting with Secretary Foxx to push him to approve this funding, Schumer announced that Rochester would receive $16.5 million—more than 75 percent of the $21 million total project cost—to get the Inner Loop project underway. Schumer said filling-in the Inner Loop removed a huge barrier that had stunted investment for decades and in its place we’ve created a new canvas on which Rochester is now painting its economic development masterpiece.  On this canvas, Rochester is now reshaping and creating the new face of Rochester that will drive downtown development for decades to come

In 2014, Schumer joined local officials at the site of the Inner-Loop to tout the new federal investment, and the six acres for new prime real-estate development, which created local jobs and 230 construction jobs. Since this visit, five separate shovel-ready building sights propped up in the area, as well as the new at-grade surface level road, Union Street.

In 2011, the local metropolitan planning organization, the Genesee Transportation Council, passed a unanimous resolution making the Inner Loop East project the highest priority project in the nine-county Genesee-Finger Lakes Region. This meant that all nine counties, as well as regional and state agencies, recognized this project as the region’s highest priority for TIGER funding. Since then, Schumer has been a major supporter of the project and has fought on behalf of the City of Rochester’s efforts to revitalize the City, and especially the Inner Loop project.  

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