A river and a rail line will make Phase Two of Rochester's Inner Loop conversion project much more intriguing.
Fresh off a four-year effort to fill in the downtown highway's eastern section with shovel-ready land that's spawned a market-rate housing construction boom, Mayor Lovely Warren's team released the RFP for the Iner Loop North transformation Planning Study.
"With the successful completion of the Inner Loop East project, we are excited to move forward with evaluation and planning to transform Inner Loop North," the mayor said in a news release.
"This project has the potential to reconnect downtown Rochester with several neighborhoods, the Public Market, and High Falls, and will further our efforts to create 21st century transformation options," Warren said.
Inner Loop North will encompass all parts of the highway from Charlotte Street to the Genesee River.
"Imagine when we reconnect the public corridor with downtown," city spokesman Justin Roj said. "We reconnect the Genesee Brewery and the growth around there success of the brew house with St. Paul corridor downtown and bring life back to that portion of the city."
The city will expect engineering firms and developers to lay out the cost and the design options for developable land and a reliable fill project that will deal with an active rail line that runs parallel to the Loop from Joseph Avenue to State Street.
"Do it in a way that it's geologically stable and make that site ready for construction," Roj said. "A different set of engineering challenges, but also a different set of opportunities."
And compared to the first phase in the Inner Loop in the East End, where loads of new housing has risen, the city will expect those bidding on the project to consider what the market will bear.
"Is there a need for more housing? Is it a need for more commercial development? Is it light industrial?” said Roj.
The city expects to receive its proposals within 90 days, and plans to announce its project leader by the end of the year.