We talk a lot about all the positive things going on in and around downtown these days, and you've probably heard us mention the North Winton Village, the South Wedge, NOTA, and even various New York City locales more than a few times. Enough already, right?! Well, maybe not, because there are so many great things happening in all these areas, that we're always happy to keep you up to date.
But what about some of the less-talked about places and neighborhoods here in the city that don't necessarily get a good shout-out in the general media? Building upon a previous post done this past July, we got our chance to see a hidden gem in one of these areas that is just waiting for its chance in the limelight - only thing is, you must take your clouded goggles of judgment off for just a moment, and use some creative mental processes to re-frame your perception of the area for all it's worth.
Our good friend and real estate agent Rich Tyson introduced us to 40 Jay Street. No, this is not in the South Wedge, or NOTA, or even Swillburg...this is the Brown Square Neighborhood in the northwest section of the city, considered by public officials to be situated in the tough and gritty crescent of poverty in the city. With just about 45 minutes of tour time with owner/developer Myles Webster of Webster Properties, we discovered 11 reasons why this is a hidden gem in an incredible neighborhood.
1. Amazing open floor plans
Loft dwellers beware - this is sexy stuff! Sure, it's raw and untouched at the moment, but this space is being primed for greatness. Myles tells us that his plans are to follow the current trend of mixed-use development and build apartments (maybe condos?) on the floors above a single floor of retail at ground level. Watch out for being exposed - ceilings, wood floors, and original brick that is.
2. The windows and the views
Looking past the current windows in rough shape, the size of them will bring in tons of natural light and give you a front-row seat to the surrounding neighborhood. Brown Square, along with the views of the Genesee River, the High Falls area, a smokestack, bridges, and other former industrial buildings will give residents a sense of place and history in this historical - yet developing neighborhood.
3. The iconic views
Is there anything more iconic than Kodak Tower here in Rochester? While that may be debatable, your incredible views from home will not be and you'll always have a conversation starter when the in-laws come around.
4. The rooftop and its views
Head to the rooftop to see the city as a whole - and the downtown skyline - from just outside the inner loop. Currently unfinished, Webster Properties plans a nice rooftop deck for residents so that they can enjoy their urban environment while relaxing in the comfort and security of their own space.
5. Close to a stadium - or two
You do know that Brown Square is near Sahlen's Stadium, right? Yep, and Frontier Field too. Why not walk to a ballgame or get season passes? Wait a minute - you're going to have a rooftop, which means in the summer you'll have FREE fireworks from the Red Wings games in your line of view on a regular basis. How much fun would that be?
6. And a park...
Yes, and then there's Brown Square Park, a historic city park designed by, who else, Frederick Law Olmsted. Heads up animal lovers - with the Verona Street Animal Society in the neighborhood, Brown Square Park has become a favorite place to dog-walk and enjoy a leisurely stroll with the animals.
7. And even a brand new walking trail, too
And take a look over by the river - the city has made some recent improvements for a walking trail that includes rock-benches and tons of brand new tree plantings along a paved path that leads all the way into the High Falls neighborhood. You could take a nice stroll to Fina's Cafe or the Genesee Brewery with friends!
8. A school nearby...
Do you have children or are planning to in the near future? One block away is the gorgeous John Williams city school #5. Will you be a part of transforming not only your neighborhood, but also the fate of the Rochester City School District? You have to get involved...
9. And a Bakery, too
We can't forget the sweet smell of the bakery too. Who doesn't love a good bakery? Di Paolo's has been a neighborhood fixture for over 8 decades, and even offers pizza slices, snacks, and drinks for those in a hurry.
10. The tight-knit alley ways - with plenty of parking
One of the things that I personally love so much about this area is the tightly-knit alleyways in the neighborhood. To me, and I understand I may be alone in this way, but I think it's aesthetically pleasing to have the close quarters of tall buildings and structures with narrow streets that give you a sense of urban comfort. I can see the block parties now, can't you? And for those that complain about city parking, there will be plenty of it.
11. Webster Properties is already making it happen
Lastly, Webster properties is already making things happen in the neighborhood. Right across the alleyway of 40 Jay Street is an old 2-story brick building that has been converted into a mix of office and studio space. Then there was the great loft space at 19 Jay Street we showcased last month - also managed by Webster Properties - sharing space with the offices, showrooms, and warehouse of Bryce & Doyle. Check these guys out if you need any remodeling done or do you want to customize your loft. No need to go far if you're in the neighborhood.
So think about: Just like in many famous spots all over New York City, there are iconic buildings, park spaces, trails, beautiful views, public schools nearby, and much more...can you see why we'd think we were living the luxury life here in Brown Square? Now, at this point, this may be quite a stretch, but...
...in ending this post, we'd like to thank Rich Tyson and Myles Webster for taking us on this incredible tour of the building and the neighborhood. While you hear of these great things happening in downtown, some of the less well-known areas of our city have a lot of potential for those willing to put in the extra effort. Like we've said before, change will not happen overnight. And if you're willing to get out a broom, and a shovel, and put your heart, mind and creativity to the test, as the picture from Williamsburg, Brooklyn states, "The future is yours to create."
Realtor, husband, father, small business owner and resident of Rochester - has a passion for city living and all that the ROC has to offer. When he's not out meeting with clients, you can find him at his wife's boutique, Fahsye. Check out more at RichTyson.com.