Zupan believes local universities will play a key role in attracting new businesses to downtown Rochester. “I think there’s a good chance especially given the proximity to downtown of our universities and colleges that (it) may well be businesses that have ties to the U of R an ties to RIT that find it very attractive to exist "cheek by jowl" closer to those campuses,” said Zupan.
City officials and business leaders are applauding the announcement by PAETEC CEO Arunas Chesonis to relocate his company to Downtown Rochester. The state is funding the demolition of Midtown Plaza. Chesonis wants to build the new PAETEC world headquarters at that location. “I think the courage it took on the part of PAETEC owner Chesonis. It also helped make it easier for other companies to follow suite,” said Zupan.
Zupan believes the key to getting other businesses to follow Chesonis' lead is simple. “The biggest thing will be doing right and creating a positive buzz around PAETEC and it's employees and customers and if you end up with individuals they're a very satisfied number of them will choose to live downtown and to shop of spend more time downtown” said Zupan.
But that could be tough going for an area that's struggling to overcome a history of broken promises.
“I think its going to be step by step. It’s not just one company that’s going to solve this there are going to be a whole host of issues in locating more individuals who want to live there and have a successful experience. Good word of mouth will make or break it, but this is a positive step,” added Zupan.
Chesonis wants to have the new building up and occupied in four years.