Council rejects Armory reuse proposals; considers putting it up for sale
The Rochester City Council was not interested in either of the proposals brought forward at Monday afternoon's meeting for the reuse of the historic Armory building downtown.
Two proposals were up for review — one from a consortium of local art groups and another from an emergency service veteran museum. Two members, Nick Campion and Michael Wojcik, supported the arts proposal. However, there was not enough support from the rest of the council or mayor.
"When neither plan received support from a majority of the council, I felt that the only reasonable step was to reject all proposals," Campion said in a Facebook post. "It obviously means rejecting a proposal that I felt strengthened our community, presented significant economic benefits and put a historic building to reuse. While i feel the [Arts and Culture Initiative] proposal was a great way to move forward, there was not consensus to that (or any) end."
A motion to formally reject the proposals and explore the sale of the property will be made next month. Council president Randy Staver said the council's decision should not been viewed as an indictment of either proposal.
“I think the council, or at least many on the council, thought that there might be some other options out there," Staver said, according to KIMT. "And that we need to do our due diligence and evaluate whether the facility should indeed be sold or if it could be repurposed for some other use."
Campion said he in not upset the council rejected the proposals, noting that it "every applicant knew that was a potential." Instead, he is more frustrated with what he described as a "deeply flawed and imperfect process."
"It is a common response, when faced with a difficult choice, to avoid making a decision. The applicants and our community deserved a decision today."
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(Cover photo: File / The Med City Beat)