Written by Amorette Miller for the Democrat & Chronicle.
While the masses sheltered at home amid the throes of the pandemic, a shiny new five story, just over 111,000 square-foot building on 260 East Broad St. was constructed atop an underground parking lot—in what felt like a New York minute.
Once home to Midtown Plaza’s Wegmans store, a sleek mixed-use-medley of residential, office and retail space, bloomed where Broad Street and Clinton Avenue cross on a piece of land named Parcel 2.
260 East Broad, the aesthetically pleasing Buckingham Properties and Butler/Till development, opened for business in the summer of 2021, when its first tenants moved in—half of whom were so eager to live there, they’d signed leases before ever setting eyes on their new luxury digs.
Remember the monorail children’s ride of Midtown Plaza? There is a single blue car in the building’s lobby which the public is invited to see and take pictures of.
Why do people want to live in downtown Rochester?
Center City, long home to a bevy of corporate headquarters, department stores and small shops, now has renewed purpose as a burgeoning urban neighborhood.
“It’s been so expensive to buy a house. Those who would normally purchase are now renting and consolidating. Parcel 5 and the popularity of events is a huge draw. There is new momentum.”– Ken Glazer, Chairman and CEO, Buckingham Properties
Glazer, who was recently married along the walkable street level concourse on the east side of the building, said most offices that left in years’ past were replaced with residences. People actually live at former corporate hubs like, Innovation Square, Sibley’s Square, Tower280, the Metropolitan building and 260 East Broad.
Now that downtown is residential, people are working remotely, and relocating from other states, businesses are also returning. “We’ve done really well to increase the density downtown. We are hitting that magical 10,000 unit count when retail begins to find success,” he said.
Do people live at 260 East Broad Street?
Twenty eight apartments, mostly one-bedroom units, some studios and two-bedrooms, line the chic carpeted corridors decorated with photographs of Rochester from ArtisanWorks. All tenants of the building, residential and commercial, enjoy access to the 4th floor “rooftop” with a breathtaking city view, overlooking the wildly popular communal green space, Parcel 5.
Features of each unit:
- Personal washer and dryer, free Wi-Fi, live full-color video intercom.
- Floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Spacious and walk-in California Closets.
- Modern kitchen with a marble topped breakfast island and stainless steel appliances.
- Free underground parking.
Why did Butler/Till choose this downtown space?
Occupying the second and third floors is Butler/Till, a woman-owned and employee-owned marketing agency that shares ownership of the building with Buckingham Properties, who was once their landlord in Henrietta.
“When we were considering growing out of our Henrietta office space, we started talking to Buckingham about the opportunity to build and co-own a building on Parcel 2.”– Kimberly Jones, President & CEO, Butler/Till
The marketing firm, a certified B Corp company, liked the idea of having equity in downtown and to imagine their headquarters from the ground up.
Given their hybrid work environment, and in order to make coming to work a draw, designers and architects got to work ensuring that their new headquarters offered more than what workers could experience at home.
The new Butler/Till tech enabled headquarters features:
- Open space and lots of natural light.
- Sit to stand desks, ergonomic chairs.
- Seamless communication in board rooms, connecting remote workers every time there is an in person meeting.
- Patio space with gas grills and a fire pit for celebrations and networking.
- Coffee bar.
How has Digital Hyve made itself at home?
Digital Hyve, a Butler/Till owned company, occupies the first floor. They are a full-service marketing agency that focuses on developing brands and media campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo markets.
“The vibrancy and watching the city come back to life has inspired and fostered our own creativity and collaboration. To be able to be in the city and surrounded by the businesses who are coming back, we are really proud about that.”– Keith Betz, President, Digital Hyve
What is to come at 260 East Broad?
Within months, two new retail businesses will occupy 260 East Broad at street level. A wine bar and a steakhouse will start construction along the outer perimeter, soon.
Amorette Miller is the Democrat & Chronicle’s growth and development reporter. She can be found on Twitter at @amorettemiller.