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  • Kevin Elliott

Senior housing project approved for Rochester

Plans and a special project request for a six-story, 137-unit senior residential building dubbed Blossom Mills, at Elizabeth and Second streets, was approved by the Rochester Planning Commission on Monday, May 7,

The project, which was proposed by the Moceri Group, includes a 243,124-square-foot building on about 2.5 acres on the northwest corner of the intersection, adjacent to the Royal Park Hotel.

While the proposed project isn't compliant with the current zoning at the site, it does meet the requirements for a special project request, said city planning consultant Vidya Krishnan. The land is identified in the city's master land use plan as a “Potential Intensity Change Area,” which is designated for mixed uses.

Moceri met with planning commissioners in July 2017 to discuss the proposed project and receive feedback. Since then, Krishnan said several changes were made to the plans, and is now one of "the most extensive and thorough information packets submitted."

In addition to the consultant review, the project was scored by the city's new Sustainability Study tool, which aims to weigh the strengths of the project and how it may impact long-term sustainability. The project scored 15 out of a potential of 20 points, missing five points in relation to business and workforce development, water and sewer savings, and increased housing affordability.

Dominic Moceri, who spoke on behalf of Moceri Company, said advantages not scored by the study include additional shopping in the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) by residents, who won't be using parking in the DDA district.

Commissioners unanimously approved both the special project use and site plan. The project will next come before city council and a public hearing for final consideration.

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