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  • Kevin Elliott

City acquires land for Auburn Road Corridor 1

Rochester City Council on Monday, December 3, approved the purchase of about a third of an acre of residential property at 2905 Emmons Avenue, adjacent to Auburn Road, that will serve as future parking or open space.

The purchase is part of an ongoing effort by the city to acquire key parcels of land along the corridor as the city prepares to make various improvements intended to spur economic development in the area between Culbertson Avenue and Dequindre Road.

Rochester Planning and Economic Development Director Sara Roediger said the .36-acre property abuts property already owned by the city and the alley behind Auburn Road.

"Staff is exploring using that as parking or open space," she said.

Roediger said the property received an appraisal of about $95,000, and that the land owner accepted the city's offer in that amount.

The purchase price, plus the city's share of taxes and closing costs, will be paid from the city's major road fund through a transfer in from the general fund, and not with Major Road Act 51 revenue, as the purchase isn't eligible as an Act 51 expenditure.

Council unanimously approved the purchase of land, which includes a residential home located north of Auburn Road and east of Culbertson.

Improvements along the corridor are expected to get underway in the 2019 construction season. Overall work will include traffic-calming devices and streetscaping to slow traffic in the project area and spur commercial development. To facilitate the project, the city has taken ownership of about two miles of Auburn Road, between Rochester and Auburn roads, and has acquired additional parcels in the project area.

In August, the city acquired more than an acre of land in the area to be used for public parking lots. Those acquisitions included a conveyance of .64 acres at 2906 Eastern Avenue donated by Rochester residents Shaun and Tracy Llewellyn, and .47 acres at 2839 Harrison Ave., donated by property owner Matthew Moore. Council also purchased about .26 acres of vacant land at the northeast corner of Emmons Ave and Auburn Road located next to two existing businesses.

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