Mayor Thomas S. Richards joined federal, state and city leaders and members of the Charlotte Neighborhood at a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the Port of Rochester Marina project at the mouth of the Genesee River on Lake Ontario.
“Today we begin a period of new opportunity for the Charlotte Neighborhood and the city of Rochester,” said Mayor Richards. “A modern, attractive port will transform the Charlotte Neighborhood into a major waterfront destination on Lake Ontario. We greatly appreciate the involvement and support of the Charlotte community, Monroe County, the State of New York and the U.S. government in helping bring this project from concept to reality.”
The Marina will be a catalyst for development that will create up to 2,500 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs. It will create a new stretch of waterfront property, increasing the value of public land that is currently vacant and not generating revenue.
The project features a new deep-draft marina basin, relocated roadways and a connection of the Genesee Riverway Trail to a new public promenade that will be built around the new marina. Additional contracts for future phases, which will include construction of a Marina dock system and the renovation of a portion of the former Ferry Terminal Building into a boater services facility, will be bid in 2014.
The City will continue working with the Charlotte Community Association and Team Charlotte, a coalition of residents, businesses and non-profit agencies, to ensure the project reflects the vision of the community.
Plans to build a marina at the confluence of the Genesee River and Lake Ontario date back to 1965, when they were part of the Genesee River Plan under the administration of Mayor Frank T. Lamb.
The construction project will be conducted under a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with local trade unions, which will control costs and increase the representation of women and minority workers on the construction site. The agreement would set workforce goals of 20 percent minority and 6.9 percent women participation.
The City also expects to select a developer by year’s end to convert 2.8 acres of City-owned lands in the new Marina District between North River Street and Lake Avenue into a mix of residential and commercial uses.
The Marina District may include a mix of residential units, some with rights to Marina slips, retail and commercial space. Other City-owned parcels in the area will be developed in later phases.
The first phase of the work includes the construction of a deep-draft marina basin that can accommodate 85 boat slips located immediately west of the Port of Rochester Ferry Terminal Building.
The Marina will be built to accommodate a potential expansion to 157 boat slips. New broadside slips will also be added to the terminal dock wall on the river. The Marina’s entrance to the river will be located just north of the City’s public boat launch, which will also be improved.
North River Street will be extended to the south to provide an additional north-south roadway access point into the Port from Latta Road, complete with sidewalks, lighting and on-street parking.
The City is salvaging and reusing light poles, fencing, gates, benches and other existing features that will be removed for the marina.
The Marina project is estimated to cost $20 million, with the first construction work estimated at $16.5 million. Funding sources include proceeds from the sale of the Hemlock and Canadice Lakes watershed to the State in addition to federal and state grants and the City’s Capital Improvement Program.
“Leveraging recreational boating with this new Marina will bring big opportunities for new investment in Charlotte,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I was pleased to help secure the final $1.45 million federal grant needed to start the Marina construction which will spur growth for our new and existing waterfront businesses while generating new local construction jobs in the process.”
“In 1995, I secured funds to fix the wave surge that prevented utilization and growth of the Port,” said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. “Today, I’m pleased to be a part of the construction of a new waterfront that will allow this community to take full advantage of its access to Lake Ontario. I regret that I was not present at the groundbreaking due to obligations in Washington D.C., but I am proud to support this project.”
The New York State Department of State, Department of Transportation, Environmental Facilities Corporation, and Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation in association with the US Fish and Wildlife Service together are providing over $5.93 million in grant funding for the project. Monroe County is also helping to fund eligible portions of sewer construction.
“I’ve been pleased to work with the Mayor, Charlotte neighborhood organizations and the residents of Charlotte to make improvements and add housing opportunities to the Charlotte community,” said N.Y. State Senator Joseph Robach. “As a native of Charlotte, I know firsthand what a great neighborhood it is, and all the beauty and riches the Genesee River and Lake Ontario provide for residents and visitors alike.”
The beginning of construction is timed to minimize disruptions to the Charlotte Neighborhood’s seasonal business activity. Portions of the Terminal Building will remain open during construction and the restaurants that close for the winter are expected to be open again for the summer of 2014. Some changes to Terminal entry locations and hours of operation can be expected during construction. Construction of the marina should be complete by the spring of 2015.
Pike Construction Company has been selected to complete the first phase of the Marina project and LaBella Associates will provide inspection and engineering services.
Press Release, November 15, 2013