Parcel 5 declared a permanent greenspace

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Photo by Paul Ericson

Parcel 5 is now a permanent greenspace, another step in the city of Rochester’s plan to rejuvenate downtown. 

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans made the declaration Tuesday, emphasizing the need to preserve the space for future generations to enjoy.

“This city is being revitalized before our very eyes,” says Evans. “I’m excited to announce that Parcel 5 will remain a permanent greenspace, a place where community will continue to come together in the heart of our city. It is important that we make necessary enhancements to further elevate the appeal and functionality of this friendly and inviting space.”

Evans outlined plans to enhance the area to better serve the community. These updates include increased access to electricity and water for vendors, better WiFi connectivity, low fencing for ticketed events, and permanent bicycle racks. A designated dog area will enable pets and their owners to use the space as well.

The journey to create a public space has taken a few years. A plan to create a multifaceted entertainment venue at Parcel 5 was announced by former Mayor Lovely Warren in 2018. The plan Warren outlined called for construction of an entertainment complex, performance space and other mixed-use development. The pandemic changed those plans, and by 2022 Evans took office, prioritizing infrastructure and programming for pedestrians and bicyclists citywide.

Parcel 5 has become a destination for gatherings and events. Starting Friday, the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival will use the space to host shows. In the fall, the Fringe Festival will incorporate it in its plans as well. Other community gatherings such as yoga classes and farmers’ markets have helped cement the space as a recreational area.

Immediate improvements to Parcel 5 are scheduled to begin in the fall, the city says.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

One thought on “Parcel 5 declared a permanent greenspace

  1. This is such welcome news. I have attended several community events at Parcel 5 and enjoyed how much vitality this adds to the downtown area. Perhaps there could be signage to recognize that this was originally Seneca territory and that as current occupants we have a responsibility for stewardship of this land in the center of our downtown area. Perhaps it could be the location for our Indigenous People’s Day celebration? I hope there will be ongoing investments to ensure this will remain GREEN space for all to enjoy even when no events are happening. Perhaps there could be community stewardship events to ensure that it remains GREEN.

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