Rochester College Town construction to begin, bringing shopping, entertainment in Fall 2014

Hey Yellowjackets,

In the next few months, construction will begin on College Town, one of the largest development projects in the modern history of the City of Rochester. This post is to explain what exactly will be in College Town, when College Town will be ready, and how we feel about it.

Here’s what you can expect from this new addition to the University of Rochester experience.

What is College Town?

College Town is the name for the $100 million dollar retail and residential development project located att the corner of Mt. Hope and Elmwood Ave.
The project will create a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere within walking distance from the River Campus that will cater to the University of Rochester as well as the local community. The official ground breaking ceremony for the project will take place on May 2nd, 2013, and will be a monumental event for the future of the city and the university.

Courtesy of Rochester Review Vol. 75, No. 4

In the most recent Rochester Review, President Seligman explains

“College Town is designed to promote walkability in an environment with wide footpaths and green space to create a park-like atmosphere. In the future, a visit to College Town may include attending a concert in the open-air gazebo, purchasing fresh produce from the farmer’s market, enjoying a meal, or visiting a local art show.”

The development is planned to include the following:

  • Various retailers, restaurants and office spaces,
  • 154,000 square feet of rental residential housing,
  • Barnes and Nobles Bookstore, which will replace the River Campus and Medical Campus bookstores,
  • Flour City Provisions, a 20,000 square foot grocery store,
  • and the Hilton Garden Inn, a 136 room hotel including an 85 seat restaurant, a bar, and outdoor seating areas.’

In addition, University of Rochester busses will run between the River Campus and College Town on regular intervals, making College Town easily accessible to undergraduate students.

Celebration Drive, the central thoroughfare of College Town

When will College Town be finished?

Believe it or not, several office buildings have already been taken down in preparation for the College Town project. According to Mr. Paprocki, the Chief Financial Officer of the University, the project will be completed for grand opening in roughly 17 months; some time at the beginning of the Fall 2014 Semester!

  • Note: If you are a Sophomore, Freshman or Prospective Student, you can jump for joy.

Furthermore, due to an agreement with the developer, 70% of the retail space will be occupied at grand opening. Students will be able to experience College Town at nearly its fullest as soon as it opens.

Check out this great visual of College Town in the most recent issue of the Rochester Review!

Courtesy of Rochester Review Vol. 75, No. 4

How We Feel About It

We believe that College Town has the potential to markedly improve the experience of undergraduate students at the University of Rochester by expanding access to superb dining, entertainment, residential and employment opportunities. For this reason, we extend our sincerest gratitude to the University administration – particularly to Mr. Ron Paprocki – for their work in making College Town a reality.

By the same token, we must recognize that this process is only halfway complete. The Students’ Association Government looks forward to fruitful collaboration with students and administrators in the coming months as we work to perfect the College Town experience. In addition to providing student feedback to the College Town developers regarding products and services, the Senate will work to promote the provision of adequate transportation, the availability of student employment, and many other initiatives.

For even more information on College Town, look to the following links:

I am pretty excited. I hope you are excited too.

David Stark
Senator, Class of 2016


  1. Ethan March 25, 2013

    Is there no better name than “College Town”? C’mon, we can do better than that. Call it, like, the “Rochester Commons” or the “Hope Center” (it’s on Mt. Hope, right?).

    College town just sounds like we’re trying so hard.

  2. Dees October 25, 2013

    I agree, the name “college town” sounds very tacky. Although I do think have this addition to the area is a great idea for the university and the city of Rochester.

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