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Rochester to pay millions more for Midtown site

Kristen Cavanaugh
via Flickr
Work in progress: The City of Rochester has to pay millions more to the former owner of Midtown Plaza. The site is not yet "shovel ready" for future development.

The City of Rochester announced Friday it's paying nearly $5 million more to the former owner of Midtown Plaza. That brings the price tag to nearly double what the city originally paid for the parcel.

The additional payment comes after a state Supreme Court judge ruled the city paid too little for the downtown property in 2008.

Rochester Mayor Tom Richards says coughing up more cash won't be easy - but that it could've been worse.

"The result here is not ideal from our point of view, but it's not a bad result," says Richards. "They were trying to get twice as much as this."

The site's former owner, Midtown Rochester Properties, LLC, had said the property was worth $18 million. The judge ruled it was worth $10 million. The city originally paid just under $6 million for more than eight acres of dilapidated downtown real estate.

Now, the city has to make up the difference - plus interest and fees.

Richards says the payment will come out of the city's Insurance Reserve Fund and will have no immediate impact on the city's budget.

He says the settlement clears the way for the city to focus on the site's future.

"Whatever the specific future is - how much it involves PAETEC, how much it involves other things - we now know we have something we can work with," says Richards. "That was the problem before: Midtown sat there in the very center of downtown and kept us from making any progress."

The latest payment still needs City Council approval.

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