Skip to content

Voice of Business Blog

A Message from the Partnership for Downtown Rochester and RDDC

March 22, 2024

Despite the broadly shared sense of urgency to reinvigorate the magnetic and bustling heart of Rochester, the Partnership for Downtown Rochester (PDR) and Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) have determined that there is not presently the political will and majority support needed from Rochester City Council to successfully establish a business improvement district. Thus, PDR and RDDC will expand upon its existing fundraising model just as other successful downtown organizations have to create a thriving, welcoming, and inclusive downtown.

After hearing over 1,500 responses to extensive community engagement, one thing was loud and clear: people want more from downtown Rochester.

More events.
More amenities.
More small businesses.
More attractions.
More livability.
More activation and beautification of public spaces.

A BID is a funding mechanism to deliver on that, but it’s not the only way.

RDDC remains fully committed to the mission of driving economic vitality effectively and efficiently in downtown Rochester. With the support of partners like Mayor Evans, Council President Melendez, State Senator Cooney, County Executive Bello, and New York State, and across the private and non-profit sectors, we are embracing the opportunity for new possibilities and forging ahead together.

You will still see the same great programming that you have come to know from the Downtown Definitely Events series, and RDDC will continue to work to activate downtown, tell the story, and strategically convene, collaborate, and plan to lift up downtown. They will continue to work and deliver on activations to bolster vibrancy with a variety of services, including free community programming in parks and public spaces; marketing and promotion of downtown amenities, cultural attractions, events, and small businesses; support for small businesses, and recruitment of neighborhood-serving retail; and championing livability and smart growth practices for a welcoming, thriving, and inclusive downtown.

Thank you to everyone who turned out, stood up, and got involved in the effort for a potential downtown Rochester business improvement district. Over the last year and a half, you showed up at go-to-you tabling events, walked downtown, answered surveys, shared your thoughts at community meetings, and came to office hours to learn more about the possibilities ahead and share your thoughts on what is working and not working in downtown Rochester today. Over 60 letters of support were received from groups large and small -- from small mom and pop shops like Bar Bantam, Vault Fitness, Galleria Pizza, and Season’s Noodle, to some of downtown’s most notable institutions like University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Garth Fagan Dance, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, and the Strong National Museum of Play.

Please stay in touch and keep up to date on the latest opportunities to get involved by signing up for the Partnership for Downtown Rochester newsletter, here.

We hope to see you at an event or out-and-about in downtown soon.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to moving downtown forward, together.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said: “A thriving downtown makes for a thriving city, which drives a thriving county. I fully support the efforts of the Partnership for Downtown Rochester and the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation to ensure the vitality of our center city, support local businesses and make downtown a more active, lively and engaging place for all who live in and visit Monroe County.”

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said: “I’m always committed to improving the vitality and diversity of our center city. “I believe this new development model will give us the greatest flexibility to move forward and provide meaningful investments, services, and growth opportunities for Downtown Rochester.”

Mayor Malik D. Evans said: “I look forward to working with the Partnership for Downtown Rochester, Rochester Downtown Development Corp., and other partners to solidify Downtown Rochester as the region’s premiere destination to live, work and play. A vibrant Downtown is a critical component of our efforts to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone.”

About the Partnership
The Partnership for Downtown Rochester is a 501(c)(3) public private partnership between New York State, Empire State Development, the City of Rochester, RDDC, and ROC2025.The Partnership was created to facilitate placemaking efforts, coordinate marketing and programming, and lead promotion of activities throughout downtown Rochester and along the Genesee Riverway. The Partnership’s goal is to increase private sector participation to better activate public spaces and help guide the revitalization of Rochester for the benefit of downtown stakeholders, visitors, and the overall community.



Scroll To Top