The plans for a new downtown performing arts center took a major hit Wednesday.
Philanthropist and entrepreneur Tom Golisano announced that he is withdrawing his support of $25 million for the proposed theatre.
"I originally made this decision to support the performing arts center. Now, two years later, the project is no closer to becoming a reality," Golisano said in a statement. "It has dramatically changed in scope, becoming part of a larger entertainment complex, which is not in line with my philanthropic priorities."
The loss of funding leaves a wide gap in financing for the project. City leaders estimated the proposal would cost $250 million when they announced a site change for the proposal. The plans initially called for the performing arts center to be built at Parcel 5, but was later slated for development at the Rochester Riverside Hotel along the Genesee River.
"It has also not garnered the financial support it needs from the community," Golisano said. "It is time for me to move on to the many other projects we are working on in this region that need support."
The latest proposal called for:
- 3,000 seat RBTL Performing Arts Theatre
- Additional 500+/- seat theatre
- 250+/- room hotel (with lower floors of high-rise tower for event spaces)
- 200+/- housing units (two phases with a portion of affordable units)
- 50,000-60,000 square feet of combined retail event, fitness, spa, lobby and grand foyer space
- More than 600 linear feet of dynamic riverside walk-way and entertainment space
- 480 space parking structure
However, with today's funding loss, the project's fate is back up in the air.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued a response, saying in part, "While this development is disappointing, we remain committed to this important, job-creating project and its potential to transform our city center."