Businesses in downtown Rochester are cheering on plans for the new multi-million dollar headquarters of the ESL Federal Credit Union. The proposed location is at Chestnut Street and Woodbury Boulevard. It's an empty parking lot right now, but will be a six story building, housing 300 employees in two years. Those employees have to do errands and eat, and eateries like Rosey's Italian Cafe a few blocks away are salivating.
Rick and Rosey Vitale have been serving downtown Rochester spaghetti and meatballs for ten years now. They’ve seen the ups and downs. One of the downs was when Charter One Bank moved out of downtown, "When they pulled out we felt it. We lost about 400 people down here so to get 300 back would be nothing but a plus," said Rick Vitale.
The Vitale’s are willing to change some things to better serve the new customers. "It could be huge. We definitely could get into more delivery you know expand maybe our hours if we need to."
We we're at Rosey's during lunch Friday and it was hopping. But Rosey's Cafe is one of the only ones on this side of Main Street. Rochester Economic Development officials say they expect more to come. "Bring the people and the rest of the support services will follow and they usually follow pretty quickly," said Carlos Carballada, the City’s Economic Development Department Commissioner.
He acknowledged the need for more restaurants and stores around Main Street. "What we're doing first off is we're working with a lot of the retail in Midtown for relocation," said Carballada.
Carballada says Corn Hill Landing is a perfect example. "As soon as the complex was completed and people we're living there all the sudden we had a cleaners and a wine store and two new restaurants," said Carballada.
Carballada says with Pae-Tec and ESL moving in this is the start of a revitalization on downtown.
The project will have to be approved by city council. Groundbreaking could take place as soon as this summer.