Most people knew Governor Eliot Spitzer was going to make a big announcement about economic development in Rochester. But not many saw this coming. PAETEC Communications, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S. is moving into Midtown Plaza.
"We're all citizens of this community. We all have children here and we want to be here a long time why not take a shot and see if downtown can happen,” said Arunas Chesonis, Chairman & CEO of PAETEC Communications, Inc.
It's more than a shot, PAETEC plans to build a new 500,000 square foot facility on a portion of the Midtown property. One that would be taller than the Xerox Tower.
"We want to have one building. We do have colder weather and if you have a campus with three or four buildings even if they're spread out and connected with walkways people don't walk up and down all the time and talk to each other, so you want people in one facility," said Chesonis.
One that would house 1,000 employees. Rochester city leaders are hopeful PAETEC’s move is the first of many other businesses to call the less than vibrant downtown... home.
Financial analyst George Conboy says it was bit of a surprise a large corporation like PAETEC is moving downtown when the trend has been to move to the suburbs. He says one major driving force is to blame.
"It's undisclosed in the agreement, but you can bet there were substantial financial incentives offered to PAETEC to move downtown. Arunas Chesonis is not a philanthropist, he's a businessman and a good businessman. PAETEC is moving downtown for one important reason, money," said George Conboy, owner of Brighton Securities.
PAETEC’s corporate headquarters would also house a fitness and daycare center. The company will also offer its employees free parking, which was a big reason for many companies to move out of downtown and into the suburbs.