Still growing strong: Park Point and more
The new Barnes & Noble store is the centerpiece of the retail section of the Park Point development.
Forty years after the move from downtown Rochester, RIT continues to evolve and expand.
RIT’s long-anticipated “college town” development opens this summer. The $72 million project now known as Park Point at RIT is located on a 60-acre site at the corner of John Street and Jefferson Road. The privately owned and managed project includes a blend of retail businesses and housing.
Key among the businesses is Barnes & Noble@RIT, a 40,000 square foot, two-story bookstore similar to other Barnes & Noble locations. It will also carry textbooks and other merchandise formerly available at RIT’s Campus Connections bookstore, which will close (the Macintosh computer and photo departments will remain open in the former location for the time being). Barnes & Noble has been operating RIT’s Campus Connections for more than a year.
Rounding out the retail portion of the Park Point project are Abbott’s Frozen Custard, Paradiso Pizza, Tiger’s Sports Bar, Lovin’ Cup Cafe and Music Bistro, Gallery Salon Too and Seven Days’ Convenience Store.
The development’s apartment buildings, with housing for 924 people, are almost fully rented. Many of the residents will be RIT students, but the project is open to the public. RIT Housing Operations is not involved in the project.
Wilmorite Management Group is the developer for Park Point. RIT sold the 60-acre site to Wiljeff LLC before ground was broken in 2007. Wimorite and Wiljeff are connected: Wilmorite President Paul Wilmot is also president of Wiljeff LLC. The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) approved nearly $7 million in property and sales tax exemptions over 10 years for the project.
Elsewhere at RIT, nearly $125 million in campus renovations, updates and new construction are in various stages of development, says James Watters, senior vice president for Finance and Administration. Projects include:
- Student/Administrative Services Center and Innovation Center. This $15.6 million project, under construction on Cross Institute Drive between the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and the Crossroads Building, will feature a 10,000-square-foot ground-level area for student and faculty projects. The building will also be home to the new centralized administrative and student-service facilities.
- Global Village. The Riverknoll apartments are gradually being torn down and will be replaced by this project, featuring student housing, a wellness center, bank and a late-night venue. It will ultimately house 1,200 to 1,400 students.
- Student Alumni Union Campus Center. This $10 million project will create a new student-oriented center in what was formerly the Woodward swimming pool. The center will be home to Student Government programs and student-activity space. RIT trustee John “Dutch” Summers has donated $2 million toward this project, expected to be completed in 2009.
- School for American Crafts. Work on new facilities for SAC will begin this fall. The project includes replacement of the existing glass and metals shops on the west side of the Booth Building.
- Rivers Run. This development, located on the former site of the RIT Racquet Club townhomes, is envisioned as an RIT-affiliated retirement community. Approximately 25 patio homes have been constructed, with an additional 82 apartment units in the works. Rivers Run will also be the permanent home for RIT’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, an educational organization for people over age 50.