According to the city of Rochester, Bull’s Head marks the historic western gateway to downtown.
The priority area now targeted by the city for redevelopment is the center piece for the convergence of West Main Street, Brown Street, West Avenue, Chili Avenue and Genesee Street.
The New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) have recognized in a lot of urban areas like Bull’s Head, there’s a major impediment to revitalization and development because of environmental contamination.
NYDOS have identified Bull’s Head and areas within its proximity that has those impacts. It doesn’t mean all the sites in the boundaries are contaminated. If you have a house two blocks away, where there is contamination, the impact may be different in ways ranging from property value to disinvestment in the community.
“The Bull’s Head area has been a focus of the community for decades,” says Richard Rynski, City of Rochester Economic Development Specialist. “The area is currently subjected to deteriorating conditions, disproportionate vacancies and underutilized buildings, lots and a number of sites with environmental concerns.”
In 2009, the city undertook a planning process focused on addressing neighborhood-wide concerns that had grown to a level of frustration.
“We got folks to the table to discuss issues and opportunities,” Rynski says. “We've held a design workshop that was very well attended and received a lot of input from the community.”
However, the planning process was put on hold indefinitely by the previous mayoral administration in 2009.
The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development responded by applying for a Community Process Grant and reaching out to the 19th Ward Community Association to provide community engagement.
The grant provides communities with guidance, expertise and financial assistance up to 90 percent of the total eligible project costs to complete revitalization.
Mayor Warren has also made good on her promise to take the lead in Bull’s Head revitalization efforts by restoring funding for its redevelopment. A recent example is the city’s purchase of Bull’s Head Plaza.
“Since 2009, we’ve defined Bull’s Head as the sub-area, but now we’re not only focus on that alone. We’ve also added the property known as Bull’s Head Plaza that’s adjacent to Bull’s Head on Genesee Street.
The first phase of funding totaling $284,745 was awarded to begin the reposition of Bull’s Head as a vital community that provides job and business opportunities, quality housing and improved public amenities.
“Our planning is not to restore the Bull’s Head area,” says John DeMott of the 19th Ward’s Southwest Quadrant Office. “But instead, we’re revitalizing it by bringing it into the future.”
Other areas targeted for revitalization surrounding Bull’s Head Plaza are properties on the south side of West Avenue and the west side of Amos Street, which includes properties that are north of the railroad tracks. And properties going east to Jefferson Avenue back down to West Main Street.
If you have questions about the project or would like more information contact: Rick Rynski, Economic Specialist, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, at (585) 428-6932 or email: [email protected]