Empire State Development announced Tuesday its board of directors awarded the contract to perform the demolition and site preparation at Midtown Plaza to Ontario Specialty Contracting Inc. of Buffalo.
ESD is funding the contract, contingent on passage of the state budget, through a $55 million Upstate City-by-City grant awarded to the Midtown Rising development effort.
In a release, ESD Chairman and CEO Dennis M. Mullen called it an important day for Rochester as another blighted structure makes way for a new landscape.
“While the abatement and air-monitoring work was important because it readied us for today’s step, now you will finally see exactly what progress is being made,” Mullen said in a release.
Mayor Robert J. Duffy said the city is a step closer to revitalizing Center City with a project that’s being called a “heart transplant” for the city.
“Soon, Downtown Rochester will be an even better destination for residential, as well as for commercial, retail and entertainment options,” Duffy said in the release. “I look forward to the day when Downtown Rochester is a shining jewel in the crown of Western New York.”
OSC will perform abatement and hazardous material disposal as well. The contract is for $9,561,200.
The scope of work to be performed at Midtown Plaza will involve three pedestrian skyway bridges; the B. Forman Building; partial dismantling of the service tunnel, Midtown Mall, Midtown Tower and the Seneca Building; demolition of Citizens Bank, the Scheer Building, the Wendy’s Building the McCurdy’s Buildings and Euclid Building.
Under the contract, the Midtown Tower structure and the Seneca Building floors 1-4 will remain. Work performed by OSC also will include two alternates, the first of which provides for demolition of Midtown Mall (the former Wegmans store at the corner of Broad and Clinton streets). The second provides for demolition of Midtown Mall (the former atrium, food court and post office), rather than a partial dismantling called for in the contract. A third alternate provided for the removal of the masonry curtain wall from Midtown Tower; however, the city chose to forgo that option after a consultation with the tower developer and it is being omitted from the contract. The bid alternates and associated partial demolition allowed the city more time to determine whether existing building structures and systems can be incorporated into the new, planned site developments.
Demolition work is expected to begin by mid- to late-July. An updated construction schedule will be posted on the Midtown Rising website at www.midtownrochesterrising.com.